No disparity in mid-day meal data, says Kerala; state to submit special report

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Midday meal provided to students in a Kerala school | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala General Education Department has responded to the concerns raised by the union government regarding the midday meal scheme figures, stating that there is no ambiguity in the data.

The state has decided to conduct a separate inspection to address the concerns and will submit a comprehensive report. The Union Ministry of Education expressed reservations during the Poshan project approval board meeting on May 5 and stated that claims made by the state about all enrolled students in primary availing midday meal daily in 2022-23 are “highly improbable.”

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Education principal secretary Rani George clarified during the meeting that information regarding students lunch participation is promptly recorded. A dedicated system has been implemented to ensure data accuracy. The union government raised concerns after observing disparities in the figures of Malappuram and Kozhikode districts compared to other districts. In Malappuram and Kozhikode, the participation rate in the midday meal scheme was 99 percent, while in other districts, it stood at 97 percent. Kerala explained that the project had successfully reached 99 percent of primary students.

In response to the discrepancies highlighted by the union government, Kerala has assured that a team of officials will be sent to conduct a special inspection. The state government is committed to thoroughly investigate the matter and submit a comprehensive report to address the concerns.

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