With schools closed due to Covid-19, the education department transferred Rs 39 Crores to the students.
Following the state government’s decision to provide money of the Mid Day Meal (MDM) scheme to its beneficiaries during the closure of the schools due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the education department of Uttarakhand has distributed about Rs 39 Crores to the students for their mid day meals.
The department made Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of Rs 19.9 Crore into the bank accounts of 1.55 lakh students and made cash payments of over Rs 19.74 Crore to over 15 lakh students from the month of March till end of July.
According to the Uttarakhand education department’s latest data, over six lakh students get MDM in all the thirteen districts of the state.
The education secretary, R Meenakshi Sundaram, said, “Our department adopted both the option of cash payment and DBT for the mid-day meal procurement for the students by their parents during the lockdown. The random survey of the district level teams has revealed brilliant results at the micro- level across the 13 districts.”
He added that during the Covid-19 pandemic, all states face the challenge of keeping the school drop rate in the current academic year. Sundaram claimed that the DBT and cash payment to parents would play an important role in reducing the school dropout rate in rural pockets across the state.
As per the central government norms, primary class students get Rs 114.31 and secondary class students get Rs 171.35 every month under the MDM. It is in addition of the 2.3 kg rice for 23 days every month. The state has over 16000 schools and the mid day meal scheme caters to over six lakh students studying till class eight.
The Additional state project director, Mukul Kumar Sati said “The real and full potential of the central government’s direct bank transfer has been utilized during the lockdown by the state education department. The students and their parents who don’t have bank accounts are being given cash payment.’’
Monday, 24 August 2020 | PNS | Dehradun
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