Centre to send team to review midday meal scheme’s implementation in West Bengal

The central government will soon send a team to review the implementation of the midday meal scheme in different parts of West Bengal, said Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday.

“On January 5, Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari laid down a petition in front of the government of India. Taking this into consideration, the department has implemented a joint review mission JRM, which will consist of all the experts and nutritionists while in 2020 the state had objected to the visit of any such joint review mission (JRM), this time we are determined to send a JRM,” Pradhan said.

Central officials, state officials and experts from the state will be part of the proposed team, he added.

ALSO READ: West Bengal: Snake found in mid-day meal, several children fall sick in Birbhum

Earlier, Adhikari urged the Union Education minister to send a central audit team to probe the alleged largescale misappropriation of midday meal funds.

The JRM will visit West Bengal and review a few major areas, including implementation of the scheme at state, district and school levels for a specified period of time on defined parameters, according to an official statement of the Ministry of Education.

“The JRM will also review the fund flow from the State to Schools/implementing agencies, coverage of the Scheme and the availability of management structure at state, district, and block levels. It will also review the delivery mechanism of food grains to schools,” the ministry said on Friday.

Recently, the West Bengal government decided to serve chicken and seasonal fruits in mid-day meals for four months starting in January and allotted 371 crore for introducing the same. According to an official notification, chicken and seasonal fruits will be served weekly once for four months for additional nutrition under PM POSHAN.

Pradhan further hit out at the Mamata Banerjee government and said that the education policy is not working properly in West Bengal because of the prevalent corruption.

“We need to make the people aware so that they make better choices in the next elections,” he added.

With PTI inputs.

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