Efficacy of Mid-Day Meal Scheme in India: Challenges and Policy Concerns

Published date01 December 2022
Date01 December 2022
Subject MatterArticles
Efficacy of Mid-Day Meal
Scheme in India:
Challenges and
Policy Concerns
Tattwamasi Paltasingh1 and Prakash Bhue1
The Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS) in India is considered to be the world’s larg-
est school meal programme, serving hot cooked meals to the underprivileged
children. The ideas behind the introduction of this programme are to remove
malnutrition, supplement nutritional foods in school meals, to motivate out-
school children towards regular school, to decrease absenteeism and dropout
rate, and to bridge inequality among the children irrespective of their caste,
class and gender backgrounds. After the enactment of the Right of Children to
Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE), 2009, the programme is being moni-
tored by the School Management Committees. The article intends to highlight
the effectiveness of the MDMS in improving schools and the local communities
in India. It also focuses on the challenges being confronted with the implementa-
tion of the programme and suggests some relevant policy measures for reforms.
Mid-Day Meal Scheme, nutrition, RTE, reforms
As per the Global Hunger Index Report, the position of India is ranked 102 out of
117 countries (von Grebmer et al., 2019), which seems to be lower than the other
neighbouring South Asian countries such as Nepal and Bangladesh. Adding the
nutrition component through the Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS) among the
school students in India has started gaining adequate attention. Chronic hunger is a
Indian Journal of Public
68(4) 610–623, 2022
© 2022 IIPA
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/00195561221103613
1P.G. Department of Sociology, Sambalpur University, Odisha, India.
Corresponding author:
Tattwamasi Paltasingh, Professor & Head, P.G. Department of Sociology, Sambalpur University, Jyoti
Vihar, Burla, Odisha 768019, India.
E-mail: tpaltasingh@gmail.com

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