Now Mid-day Meals For Class VI-VIII Kids

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New Delhi, Oct 22 (UNI) As many as 17 million more school kids will benefit from the Mid Day Meal Scheme now extended to upper primary schools in backward areas, the Human Resource Development Ministry said today.

The scheme has been extended since October 1 to classes VI to VIII in 3,479 Educationally Backward Blocks and will cover the entire country next year on, an HRD Ministry statement said.

In keeping with its newly acquired function, the National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education is renamed National Programme of Mid Day Meals in Schools, it said.

Central assistance to States to cover upper primary stage was included in a Rs 7324 crore MDM grant as part of the Budget 2007-08 which marked a 37 per cent increase over the previous year, the statement said.

The expenditure as on September 30, 2007 was Rs 2231.12 crore, including Rs 422.94 crore towards cooking cost for upper primary stage, it said.

States have additionally been allocated 3,22,785 tonnes of foodgrain for the extended coverage, it said.

The 700 calorie meal and 20 grams of protein amount to 150 grams of foodgrains per child per school day, it said.

States and Union Territories will pay 50 paise of the Rs 2.50 cooking cost per child per school day, except Northeastern States which will pay 20 paise, the statement said.

Transport subsidy for eleven special category States has been raised from Rs 100 per quintal to Rs 125 per quintal, it said.

These are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand.

Central assistance to build kitchen-cum-store in upper primary schools is set at Rs 60,000 per unit, besides Rs 5,000 per school for kitchen applicances as in the case of primary stage, the statement said.

UNI

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