DoSE clarifies on MDM scheme

DIMAPUR, FEB 18 (NPN) | Publish Date: 2/18/2020 12:50:12 PM IST

Directorate of school education (DoSE) has conceded with Nagaland Public Rights Awareness and Action Forum (NPRAAF) that food grains received from Government of India (GoI) was in excess of actual requirements in 2019 -20. However, DoSE clarified that excess allocation was a normal practice and the excess food grains received was accounted as unspent balance and subsequently adjusted during the next allocation by Centre.

Reacting to news item “NPRAAF alleges irregularities in MDM scheme” published in local media, DoSE principal director Shanavas C further termed the forum’s claim of the existence of a racket where politicians and departmental officials demanded percentages from profits after illegal sale of food grains in the market from the contractor as a very serious allegation and asked it to substantiate the same with evidences.
He also clarified that the department had engaged only one carriage contractor for transportation of food grains to nine districts along with NCLP. In Tuensang and Longleng districts, he said the department was implementing the scheme with NGOs on PPP mode, adding the food grains were lifted from FCI depot by NGOs for the respective districts.
According to Shanavas, meals were being provided to school children studying in government schools and government-aided schools from Classes I to VIII as per norms under the Mid Day Meal (MDM) scheme. He, however, claimed that DoSE was also providing mid day meal to pre-primary (Classes A&B) students, and not only from classes I to VII as alleged by NPRAAF.
Shanavas explained that yearly allocation of food grains depended on the number of working days and number of school children. And as per entitlement of students (100 gm per child per day in Primary; 150 gm per child per day in Upper Primary), food grains were released by Centre. 
He also clarified that Centre allocated 4076.590 metric tonne (MT) of food grains in 2019-20, as per enrolment, while total number of beneficiaries was 1,57,510 (1,19,144 in Primary and 38,366 in Upper Primary), and not 1,06,298 MT as alleged. He said DoSE had also issued directives making it mandatory for every school to display posters issued by it indicating complete details of food grains and cooking costs received for a quarter along with enrolment of students for public awareness and transparency.

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