New Delhi, Oct 1: School kids under the Midday Meal programme will be entitled to 'Food Security Allowance' if meals are not provided to them, as per the Mid-Day Meal Rules, 2015, which has come into force.
The Rules, notified yesterday under the Food Security Act 2013, also seeks to fix responsibility on persons for non-supply of food for three consecutive school days or five days in a month.
It also seeks to improve efficiency in implementation by plugging loopholes, check irregularities and ensure quality of food served, officials in HRD Ministry said.
The mid-day meal programme covers roughly 10.5 lakh students across the country.
Testing of the meals by accredited labs has been made mandatory under the new rules to ensure nutritional standards.
Hot cooked meal provided to children will be evaluated and certified by the government food research laboratory or any laboratory accredited or recognised by law so as to ensure that the meal meets with the nutritional standards and quality.
The Food and Drugs Administration department of the state will be engaged to collect samples to ensure the nutritive value and quality of the meals.
The samples will be collected at least once a month from randomly selected schools or centralised kitchens and sent for examination to the laboratories, the rules state.
On the Food Security Allowance, it says, "If midday meal is not provided in school on any school-day due to non-availability of food grains, cooking cost, fuel or absence of cook-cum-helper or any other reason, the State Government shall pay Food Security Allowance by 15th of the succeeding month."
The allowance will be fixed based on quantity of food grain supplied as per entitlement of a child and the cooking cost prevailing in the state.
In case of non-supply of meal by the centralised kitchen, food security allowance will be realised from the centralised kitchen, the rules say.