Centre pulls up Punjab for not providing supplementary nutrition in mid-day meals

Punjab did not “present any supplementary vitamin gadgets” to kids of courses 1-8 in authorities colleges beneath the PM-POSHAN scheme (mid-day meal) in 2021-22 regardless of approval from the Centre, the Union Ministry of Education has identified.

Last 12 months, the state had proposed to supply bananas to kids in two districts, Moga and Ferozepur, nevertheless it did not take off.

A recent proposal made for 2022-23 states that kids shall be offered multi-grain millet chikki (peanut bars) as supplementary vitamin within the two districts.

As per the minutes of the assembly of the Programme Approval Board (PAB) headed by the Ministry of Education (copy with The Indian Express), the Centre flagged that the “state has not offered any supplementary vitamin gadgets.” The assembly was held in March this 12 months to think about the annual work plan and price range for Punjab beneath PM Poshan Shakti Nirman.

In its feedback, PAB stated: “It is noticed that the state didn’t present the supplementary vitamin beneath flexi fund element though it was authorized by PAB in 2021- 22. PAB suggested the state to see the feasibility of offering supplementary vitamin to kids, particularly in aspirational districts and districts having a excessive prevalence of malnutrition.”

Moga and Ferozepur are two districts in Punjab which had been included within the checklist of 124 Aspirational Districts by NITI Aayog for “fast and efficient transformation of essentially the most under-developed districts.” Last 12 months, authorities colleges in these two districts began getting fortified rice for mid-day meals from the Centre. This rice is extra nutritious than abnormal rice and helps combat malnutrition, anaemia and so on. in kids.

In its recent reply, Punjab instructed PAB: “The state authorities has proposed to supply multigrain millet chikki @ Rs 7 every for 145 days over 6 months to 1,51,142 enrolled kids in two aspirational districts at an estimated expenditure of Rs 1,534.09 lakh, comprising Rs 920.45 lakh as central share and Rs 613.64 lakh as state share.”

Even although the PAB has authorized the recent proposal for giving multigrain millet chikki to kids, it has clarified that the state has to fulfill this expenditure from the funds out there.

“After detailed discussions, PAB authorized the proposal of the state to supply supplementary vitamin gadgets i.e. multi-grain millet chikki for 145 days over 6 months to 1,51,142 enrolled kids in two aspirational districts…This expenditure shall be met from the funds out there with the state (recurring central help + state share)…,” stated PAB.

Punjab additional knowledgeable the Centre that as a consequence of Covid, high quality testing of meals and coaching of cook-cum-helpers couldn’t be held in 2021-22.

Harinder Kaur, DPI (elementary) Punjab and incharge mid-day meal, stated, “The fortified rice which was earlier offered in two aspirational districts of Punjab, have been prolonged to all districts by the Centre. However, as an alternative of bananas, Punjab has now proposed to supply multi-grain chikki for which funds are awaited. The Centre has stated that we’ve got to make use of 5% of the overall price range (60:40 share by Centre and state) for supplementary vitamin. We are ready for sufficient funds to implement the proposal.”

Nutrition gardens, group participation earn reward

The Centre has appreciated Punjab for growing college vitamin gardens in 18,308 (93 per cent) colleges and has suggested the state to develop such gardens within the remaining colleges with the assistance of agriculture and horticulture departments.

The Centre has additionally appreciated group participation in Punjab. The state authorities instructed PAB: “Punjab is implementing ‘Tithi Bhojan’ beneath the title ‘Priti Bhojan’ beneath which the group distributes meals and vitamin gadgets equivalent to sweets, namkeen and so on. on vital days to kids in colleges.”

PAB stated that “Tithi Bhojan is an excellent solution to rework the group involvement and group possession of schemes into Jan Andolan.”


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