Mid-Day Meal Scheme – UPSC Prelims

Ministry/Department : Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development
Objective: To enhance, retention and attendance and simultaneously improving
nutritional levels among children.
  • It is a centrally sponsored scheme.
  • Scheme covers all children studying in class I to VIII
  • 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¬†SSA and National Child Labour Project schools run by the ministry of labour
  • MDM is covered by National Food Security Act, 2013
Origin of the Scheme:
  • The roots of the scheme can be traced back to the pre-independence era. The erstwhile British administration has introduced the midday meal programme in 1925 in Madras Corporation.
  • A midday meal programme was also introduced in the Union Territory of Puducherry by the French administration in 1930.
Factual Information:
  • Started in 1995 as National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education
  • To achieve the above objectives, a cooked mid-day meal with the following nutritional content is provided to all eligible children.
    • For Primary students:
      • Calories 450
      • Protein 12 gms
    • For Upper Primary students:
      • Calories 700
      • Protein 20 gms
    • Adequate quantities of micro-nutrients like Iron, Folic Acid and Vitamin-A.

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