Mid Day Meal Scheme (MDMS)

Mid Day Meal Scheme (MDMS)

Share this article Share this article

According to the Performance Evaluation of Cooked Mid-Day Meal (CMDM) by Planning Commission, PEO Report No. 202, May 2010, http://planningcommission.nic.in/reports/peoreport/peoeval

•    A total of 48 districts and 480 schools across 17 states were covered in the study. Two blocks from each district were selected. Five schools from each block were selected.

•    The reference period of the study was from 2000-2006. The study was launched in November 2006 and field units (Regional/Project Evaluation Offices) completed their survey work in March 2007. Data entry was entrusted to the NIC and data entry of over 11,000 schedules was completed by September 2008, leading to the final report.

•    The study shows almost universal coverage of the scheme in states like Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh etc.

•    About 40 percent parents of the beneficiary children belong to the OBC category, 23 percent come from the SC category, 12 percent come from ST category and 24 percent belongs to the Other’s category, which indicates an achievement of social equity

•    33 percent of the parents of the beneficiary children are illiterates and 17 percent have studied till matric and above

•    A majority of sample schools in Bihar, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Karnataka denied involvement of Gram Panchayats in the scheme.

•    In all the sample states, except Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, no established linkage was observed with the Health Department

•    Although Steering –cum – Monitoring Committees have been constituted at all levels, they are not holding any regular meetings to co-ordinate and monitor the programme at the block/village level.

•    All the sample schools in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Meghalaya and Tamil Nadu have their own buildings.

•    In a majority of sample states, except for Bihar and West Bengal, more than 80 percent of sample schools had pucca buildings.

•    On average, 72% of the sample schools were reported to have toilet facility.

•    Except for Tamil Nadu and Kerala, in rest of the states a majority of sample schools, on an average, suffer from the unavailability and poor functional condition of kitchen sheds.

•    All the states suffer from the unavailability and poor functional condition of store rooms. The condition is marginally better in Tamil Nadu.

•    All the states, except for Bihar and Rajasthan, have reported poor availability of tumblers. Except for Rajasthan, all the states have reported a poor availability of plates.

•    In the states of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Meghalaya and West Bengal less than 75 percent of the sample schools have access to drinking water.

•    Except for Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, there is a serious shortage of cooks for CMDM in the sample schools across the country.

•    It has been observed that most of the states do not follow the guidelines of Government of India to deliver the foodgrain at the school point by PDS dealer resulting in leakage in the supply of foodgrain.

•    Selected districts in Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Meghalaya have utilized all the funds allotted to them. In contrast, some of the sample districts in Haryana, Jharkhand and Himachal Pradesh have utilized less than half the funds allocated to them.

•    The scheme has been successful in eliminating classroom hunger as a majority of sample beneficiaries have reported that the meal available at school is adequate.

•    A large proportion of children (in sample schools) in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu were of the opinion that the meals provided were of good quality. A large proportion of children (in sample schools) in Karnataka and Bihar were of the opinion that food served was of average and bad quality, respectively.

•    It has been observed that CMDM was able to bring together children from different communities in almost all the states and was thus able to achieve the objective of social equity to a considerable extent.

•    In most of the states teachers spend about one to two hours daily on activities related to CMDM thereby reducing precious teaching time.

•    Out of the 17 sample states where the data was collected, students in 9 states reported that they were involved in washing utensils.


According to Evaluation of the Ongoing Mid Day Meal Programme in Primary Schools of Chhattisgarh state (2008), Commissioned by the Directorate of Public Instruction, Raipur, Chhattisgarh,

•    Mid-Day Meal Programme was first initiated in Chhattisgarh in 1943 when erstwhile Koriya princely state instituted Gur-Chana meals in all the 18 schools existing at that time in Koriya. Since mid 1990s, the tribal blocks (ITDP blocks) in the state started the MDM programme. The programme got universalised in all state run/aided primary schools in 2001 after the Supreme Court ruling.

•    The programme allocation increased from 70 paisa per child per day to Rs. 1 and in April 2005 to Rs. 2 (plus 100 gm rice per child/day). In addition, government provides the Cook’s honorarium. MDM got a big boost in 2005 when the amount was raised to Rs. 2. Chhattisgarh Government implemented a new comprehensive menu for MDM which included Rice, Vegetables, Dal, Papad and Achar (Daily), Sweet (twice a month) and Eggs (subject to parent’s approval).

•    Chhattisgarh started serving cooked hot meal in all the Primary Schools from 1st April 2002. Conversion cost was kept at 75 paise. Later on, conversion cost was increased to Rs 1/ beneficiary/day on 23rd Feb 2004, From September 2004, Government of India decided to give Rs1/beneficiary/day as conversion cost. 

•    For this study, sample schools have been selected from all 16 districts of the state. From each district maximum 5 and minimum 2 blocks have been selected. In order to ensure proper representation of rural-urban and roadside areas from each of these blocks 10 schools have been included, in which 4 were from remote area, 2 from road side schools and 2 from urban area. There were 60 field investigators who collected data from the 16 districts. They spent around 6 weeks to collect data from 16 districts in 580 primary schools.

•    In 70% of the districts, the time of distribution of mid day meal is between 12-1pm. And in 25% the timing was between 1 & 2 pm. Only Durg district showed that mid day meal was served during morning between 10 & 11 am.

•    16 districts reported the menu of MDM was dal, rice and subji with accompaniments like papad, achar, khir, chana, laddu received sometimes on a weekly basis or infrequently. All 16 districts followed the routine menu- dal, rice and subji and 30 to 40% districts followed weekly to fortnightly accompaniments like sweet khir, papad and pickle. Iodized salt is being used for cooking of dal and subji. No seasonal fruits were found to be given to children during survey.

•    74% of respondents mentioned that there is no change in menu during festival season. 21% of respondents mentioned that the only change is that accompaniments are received during festival time.

•    93% of surveyed children responded that they like the MDM served food and 5% children responded that they dislike the food, because they dislike rice and wanted pooris instead. 2% children did not respond to this question.

•    Many children were thrilled with the hot cooked meal. They found the meal tasty and it ensured that they were in school at least for the first half of the day. Some made certain qualifications. A 10 year old girl in class 5 remarked, for example, that she enjoyed the meal except when the food has less salt or the rice was undercooked. Some parents were happy with the meal because it made their children so much keener to go to school (this was said about both boys and girls and also about children of all ages).

•    Some parents and children who were happy with the quality of the meal were unhappy about the quantity. And there were some unhappy with both. Their reasons for dissatisfaction: a. The food was not sufficient for growing children; b. It was absurd to make children stand in such long lines for such little food; c. Many felt the food was too little to make a difference to a child’s hunger; and d. Parents in some districts wanted eggs to be part of the menu.

•    Most of children reported that they brings plates and water from the home, the reason is that water is not served from the helpers or cook and if they need water they have to bring water by themselves. The reason for bringing the plates is that after eating in classroom they can take the food to home if remaining in plate.

•    Surprisingly >92% of children responded that the MDM is better than home cooked food or on par with it while 2 to 3 % children did not respond to this question. 5 to 6% children responded that the food is not better than home because there is no variety in food and sometimes the food is cold, rice is not well cooked and so on.

•    Most of children [98%] responded that they wash their hands before and after eating of food but with soap is none. This shows that children with help of teachers maintain the personal hygiene but not in proper manner. The helpers clean the serving areas where food is served before and after the meal.

•    No precautionary measures are taken for maintaining hygiene while serving the food, little emphasis seemed to be placed on their general cleanliness or training of cook and helpers. When the serving spoon, in one case, fell on the ground, the spoon was simply replaced in the bag.

•    In no school, did investigators see any cleaning up of the area where the food would be served or where the children would eat. In some schools, where children ate out in the open grounds, dust and dirt could well have found its way into the food.

•    What was also very serious was the fact that no one insisted that children wash their hands before the meal and rarely a child did. The importance of washing one’s hands with soap before eating was completely overlooked. Hygiene was a casualty even when there was adequate supply of water in the school, which was rare.

•    52% schools in 16 districts were found to lack additional washing space for utensils. In most of cases it was found that the distance between serving of meal place to hand pump is too far, 100-200mts and most of time helpers or cook bring water in bucket or take the utensils near to hand pump to wash them.

•    In the 580 schools surveyed, there was a handpump within the school premises. Most of hand pumps, around 70-80% were working while 20% were damaged.

•    The situation with toilets was also poor. In nearly every school, there were dirty toilets. In some cases, the toilets were just locked up and children encouraged going out in the open. Sometimes this area could be just behind the classrooms where children ate their food.

•    Rice and cereals are either stocked in one of the classrooms or in the house of the panchayat president or SJBS members. This creates problems during cooking, as rice is brought from the residence of the president on a daily basis. Also, the rice and cereals procured are not weighed, leaving the headmaster with no information on the quantity of foodgrains available in stock.

•    92% of teachers responded that the MDM Scheme is being implemented in their School. 7% of teachers responded in negative and these schools belong to jhanjgir and kabirdham districts.

•    7% teachers felt that the money is not sufficient for smooth running of MDM scheme. More than 30% teachers in korba district responded in negative to this question. They feel that as per MDM daily menu the money is not sufficient.

•    45% of teachers mentioned that the food quality is satisfactory and 39% teachers mentioned that the quality is good and 16 % mentioned that the food quality is average.

•    51% teachers mentioned that they check the food quality on a weekly basis. Most of teachers refrained from responding to this question. 7% teachers mentioned that they check the quality of cooked food on a monthly basis.

•    There is no standard time and day for tasting of cooked food meal. Teachers mentioned that it depends upon their will when they want to check the quality of food.

According to Recommendations on Mid-day Meals (based on deliberations of the National Advisory Council on 28 August 2004)
http://pmindia.nic.in/nac/communication/meal.pdf :

• The National Programme of Nutritional Support for Primary Education (i.e. the national “mid-day meal scheme”) was initiated in 1995

• The number of states providing cooked meals rose sharply from early 2002 onwards, after a Supreme Court order (dated 28 November 2001) directed all State Governments to introduce cooked mid-day meals in primary schools


Rural Expert

Write Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Video Archives


share on Facebook
Read Later

Contact Form

Please enter security code