Midday meals served in Delhi government schools are set to get healthier with bananas and eggs being included in the menu. While the expenditure for midday meals is borne by the Centre, the Delhi government has decided to pump in extra money to enhance the nutritional value.
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Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had announced this while presenting the budget for 2017-18 on Wednesday. Earmarking Rs 55 crore in its annual budget for the mid-day meal scheme, the Delhi Government has also planned to expand its coverage to all students of class IX to XII in girls schools.
“The Centre provides complete assistance for implementation of the midday meal scheme in government schools for students of Class I to VIII. However, the grant is hardly sufficient to ensure desired levels of calorie and nutrition with quality in the meals,” a senior official of Directorate of Education (DoE) said.
“We have decided to supplement the existing nutrition content by providing banana/boiled egg to each student from Delhi government’s resources,” she said. Questions have been raised time and again over the quality of the midday meals being served in schools.
A committee formed in 2015 by the HRD Ministry which had experts from AIIMS had recommended that items like milk and milk products, eggs and bananas be included in midday meals. However, the upgradation is yet to take off at national level.