Today, Smt. Smriti Irani, Minister of Human Resource Development presided over a meeting of the Empowered Committee, to discuss the Mid Day Meal Scheme. The meeting saw the participation of representatives of State Governments, Food and Nutrition experts and senior officers of the Central Government. The main objective of the Committee was to evaluate the implementation of the Mid Day Meal Scheme and identify its shortcomings. The Committee decided to strengthen the monitoring system of the Mid Day Meal Scheme so has to ensure hygienic food for the children and even deliberated upon ways to enhance participation by the respective communities, in the execution of the Scheme.
In its meeting today, the committee came up with two major decisions which were as follows:
(i) After gauging the immense success of Tithi Bhojan in Gujarat, the committee decided to replicate the practice in schools across the country. Tithi Bhojan refers to the practice of community members contributing to improve the quality of the school mid day meals on a happy occasion / event in the family, be it a birthday or festival etc.
(ii) The committee decided to introduce a protocol for standards in food safety and testing in order to make sure that the quality of the meals was not compromised upon and appropriate nutrition standards were maintained under the Mid Day Meal Scheme. This protocol for standards would be rolled out in the coming New Year.