More than 900 children were reported ill and none of them died after consuming mid-day meals across the country in last three years, according to HRD Ministry.
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has issued guidelines on quality, safety and hygiene in school-level kitchens to all the states and the UTs. The guidelines provide instructions to schools to procure AGMARK quality and branded items for preparation of mid-day meals, tasting of meals by 2-3 adult members of school management committees, including at least one teacher before serving to children.
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About the scheme
- The Midday Meal Scheme is a school meal programme of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, designed to better the nutritional standing of school-age children nationwide.
- The programme supplies free lunches on working days for children in primary and upper primary classes in government, government aided, local body, Education Guarantee Scheme, and alternate innovative education centres, Madarsa and Maqtabs supported under SarvaShikshaAbhiyan, and National Child Labour Project schools run by the ministry of labour.
- It was started in 1995 as National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education
- The Midday Meal Scheme is covered by the National Food Security Act, 2013.
Objective of mid-day meal scheme
- To enhance the enrolment, retention and attendance and simultaneously improve nutritional levels among school going children studying in Classes I to VIII.
- They include Government, Government – aided schools, Special Training centres (STC) and Madarasas and Maktabs supported under the SarvaShikshaAbhiyan.
- The scheme guidelines envisage to provide cooked mid-day meal with
- 450 calories and 12 g of protein to every child at primary level
- 700 calories and 20 g of protein at upper primary level
- This energy and protein requirement for a primary child comes from cooking 100 g of rice/flour, 20 g pulses and 50 g vegetables and 5 g oil, and for an upper primary child it comes from 150 g of rice/flour, 30 g of pulses and 75 g of vegetables and 7.5 g of oil.
- AGMARK is a certification mark employed on agricultural products in India.
- It assures that they conform to a set of standards approved by the Directorate of Marketing and Inspection, an agency under Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.
- The AGMARK is legally enforced in India by the Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marking) Act of 1937 (and amended in 1986).
- The AGMARK Head Office at Faridabad (Haryana).
- The present AGMARK standards cover quality guidelines for 222 different commodities spanning a variety of Pulses, Cereals, Essential Oils, Vegetable Oils, Fruits & Vegetables, and semi-processed products like Vermicelli.
- The term agmark was introduced originally in the bill presented in the parliament of India for the Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marking) Act, 1937.
- The entire system of Agmark, including the name, was created by Archibald MacDonald Livingstone, Agricultural and Marketing Advisory to the Government of India, from 1934 to 1941.
Source: The Hindu