New Delhi: Kerala has got a shot in the arm with the Ministry of Human Resource Development appreciating the functioning of the Mid-day meal scheme in Kerala and allocating the entire amount demanded by the state.

In a program review meeting held at the HRD headquarters, the Centre has sanctioned Rs 203.42 crores for the academic year 2017-18, Rs 13 crores more than the previous year. The Centre has also allotted Rs 109 cores for the construction of kitchens at schools. Add to this, the state allocation of Rs 183 crores and 3031 schools will have new kitchens coming up. 

The meeting also drew praises for the breakfast program run by the NGOs and the local administration bodies like Corporations in over 1500 schools in the state. The ministry also noted that it is a model worth emulating for the other states.

The mid-day meal scheme is funded on a 60:40 funding model between the Centre and state but the share Kerala bears in the overall expenses is more than 200 percent. Usha Titus, Public Education Director, K V Mohan Kumar, DPI and other representatives from the mid-day meal scheme shared in the meeting that the increased effectiveness is precisely due to the larger investment in the scheme.

It was also pointed out that Kerala was instrumental in ensuring substantive access to nutrition by including essentials such as milk and eggs in the school diet. Giving access to 99 percent children in the primary segment and 96 percent in the upper primary segment, this is way above the national average of 65 percent.