Dearth of food grains in schools: CAG report

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Dehra Dun, Mar 8 (UNI) A performance review of the implementation of the Mid-day-meal (MDM) scheme in Uttarakhand has pointed out inadequacies in the '' allocation, distribution and transportation of food grains'' to selected schools of the state, according to the report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India for the year ended March 31, 2007.

The report, tabled in the state Assembly yesterday, stated that ''understaffed schools are currently bearing the burden of serving and implementation of the scheme''.

The review stated that the scheme suffered setbacks due to the absence of unreliable data on enrollment of the students.

Under the National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP-NPSE), also known as MDM scheme, every child of the age group of 6-11 years enrolled in primary schools is to be provided meals during the school hours.

The CAG pointed out that at the school level, the quantity of food grains being provided to students during 2002-07 in test-checked districts of the state was much less than the prescribed quantity of 100 gms per child per day, resulting in ''non-achievement of the objective of improving nutritional standards of the targeted children''.

The year-wise distribution of food grains in 128 schools test-checked across seven districts revealed that in 42 schools (PS/EGS), students were provided less quantity of food grains ranging from 40 gms to 90 gms per student per day for a total of 6176 days during three years (2004-07).

The total quantity of food grains provided in the 42 schools during 2004-07 was 8194.42 kgs.

Receipt of food grains for two selected months (March and September) of each year in the schools were checked in audit. In 19.06 per cent of the school months test-checked, the shortfall in receipt of food grains was in excess of 14.2 per cent of the requirement.

During the period 2003-04 to 2006-07, students enrolled in 233 schools were not provided meals in 20.3 per cent to 26.9 per cent of the school days, reflecting the failure of the department in meeting the primary goal of the programme to that extent, the report stated.

On the transportation of food grains, the report stated that in 157 out of 327 schools in test-checked districts, the District Supply Officers, entrusted with the transport of food grains to schools, transported food grains only till the Fair Price Shops and the schools were making their own arrangements at their cost, sometimes deputing students to collect the grains. The problem was more acute in the remote areas.


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