Cabinet approves continuation of PM POSHAN for five years

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Cabinet approves continuation of PM POSHAN for five years

  • Union Cabinet approved continuation of the 'National Scheme for PM POSHAN in Schools' for five years from 2021-22 to 2025-26 at a cost of over Rs 1.30 lakh crore.
  • PM POSHAN is a centrally-sponsored scheme which covers all school children studying in classes 1 to 8 of government and government-aided schools, providing them one hot-cooked meal.
  • The existing Mid-Day Meal will now be renamed as the National Scheme for PM Poshan Shakti Nirman.

PM Poshan Shakti Nirman Scheme

  • In its new form, the scheme will be offering hot cooked meals to pre-primary classes or Balvatikas as well.
  • It was earlier limited to students of classes 1 to 8.
  • This is expected to benefit about 11.80 crore children studying in 11.20 lakh schools.

Steps decided to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the scheme

  • The scheme is proposed to be extended to students studying in pre-primary or Bal Vatikas of Government and Government-aided primary schools in addition to all the 11.80 crore children from elementary classes.
  • The concept of TithiBhojan will be encouraged extensively. TithiBhojan is a community participation programme in which people provide special food to children on special occasions/festivals.
  • Government is promoting development of School Nutrition Gardens in schools to give children first hand experience with nature and gardening. The harvest of these gardens is used in the scheme providing additional micro nutrients. School Nutrition Gardens have already been developed in more than 3 lakh schools.
  • Social Audit of the scheme is made mandatory in all the districts.
  • Special provision is made for providing supplementary nutrition items to children in aspirational districts and districts with high prevalence of Anemia.
  • Cooking competitions will be encouraged at all levels right from village level to national level to promote ethnic cuisine and innovative menus based on locally available ingredients and vegetables.
  • Vocal for Local for Atmanirbhar Bharat: Involvement of Farmers Producer Organizations (FPO) and Women Self Help Groups in implementation of the scheme will be encouraged.