Mid-day Meal Audit

Mid-day Meal Audit

 

Prelim: economy and social development 

Mains: GS II: government policies and intervention for the development, and resolve issues 

Why in the news?

The central government has ordered the State government and Union Territories to carry out the social audit of the mid-day meal scheme in each and every district by November 30.

 What is a social audit?

  •  It is an audit done jointly by the government and public agencies, checking the detailed resources, both financial and non-financial, for the development initiatives that are shared with the people, through a public platform. 
  • The social audits authorize the public to enforce accountability and transparency, providing the ultimate users with a window to scan the development initiative.

Benefits of social audit 

Guaranteed  Accountability:

  •  The audit authority guarantees public accountability, transparency and citizen participation in executing the government schemes services and programs, and also the direct performance of the implementing agencies.

Evaluation of the service

  • The audit authority will evaluate the quality of the service delivered by the government schemes and programs. In addition, it will also carry out a people’s satisfaction survey to find out the various outcomes of various schemes.

Plan and perform the social audit.

  • It will find out the efficiency and effectiveness of the service delivery and whether public money is being used economically.

Recognizes and builds the capacity of civil services organisation

  • It gives technical assistance towards the productivity of implementation of various schemes and programmes; provides technical aid to the finance and planning department towards strengthening the yearly plans and their result budgeting, and also evaluates the quality standards of development and infrastructure works in rural and as well as urban areas.

Need for social audit 

Challenges of social audits 

  • In many parts of our nation, social audits are not unhampered to prevent corruption, due to the lack of adequate administration and political will in institutionalising social audits.
  • It becomes difficult for Social audit units as well as village social audit facilitators, to access primary records for verification, due to the ongoing resistance and intimidation.
  • As there is a lack of education, awareness, and capacity building in the common people, the participation of people is less.
  • The absence of an independent agency to investigate and act on social audit findings

 

 Mid-day meal schemes

  •  It was started by the government in 1995 on  15th August, as the national Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP-NSPE)’.
  • On October 27, 2007, it was renamed the” National Programme of Mid-Day Meal in Schools’, and popularly known as Mid-day Meal (MDM) Scheme. Currently, it is functioning under the name of PM Poshan Shakti Nirman or PM Poshan from 2021.
  • Under the Poshan Shakti Nirman or PM Poshan scheme, a freshly cooked hot meal per day is provided to all children (studying in Class I to VIII) enrolled in government schools, local body schools, government-aided schools, special training centres (STC), maktabs and madrasas which are supported by the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

 

 The objectives of the Mid-day meal scheme

  • The main objectives of the mid-day meal scheme.
  • To boost the admission in the school of the children who belong to the unprivileged sections of the society
  • To boost the attendance of the student in the government and government-aided schools
  • To keep up the children studying in classes I to VIII.
  • to give nutritional support to the children studying in the early, particularly in the areas which are affected by drought.
  • To address malnutrition and hunger and resolve the social issues among castes.

Calories Intake 

The calorie intake which is prescribed per child per school every day is given below 

 

No. Nutrition Primary Class Upper Primary Class
1 Protein 12gms. 20gms.
2 Calories 450 calories 700 calories

 

 

 Funding and implementation of Mid-day meal

  • In each state and UT, at the state and district and block level, they have set up state steering –cum Monitoring committees (SSMCs), to supervise the implementation of this scheme, as well as establish a mechanism to keep up the quality and nutritional standards of the meal.
  • It is a Centrally sponsored scheme, the fund is shared between the centre and state with a ratio of 6:4.
  • But, Sharing is 90:10 for the Northeastern states, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, while the Centre bears 100% of the costs in UTs without legislature.

Sources 

https://bit.ly/3RgwBza(The Indian Express )

Plutus IAS current affairs eng med 28th Sep 2022

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