Introducing millets in Mid-Day Meal Scheme
In order to enhance nutrition among children, Central Government requested State Governments/Union Territory Administrations to explore the possibility of introducing millets under the PM POSHAN Scheme preferably in the districts where eating millets is a culturally accepted food habit. It is suggested to introduce millets (coarse grains) based menu once a week and also conduct cooking competitions among Cook-cum-Helpers to popularize millet-based recipes. It is also suggested to prepare small videos for creating awareness about the goodness of millets and showcase them in schools and consumption of millets may be discussed during the School Management Committees (SMCs) and Parent Teachers Meeting (PTM).
NITI Aayog is also promoting the introduction of millets in the PM POSHAN Scheme and conducted a national consultation with State Governments/Union Territory Administrations. During consultation best practices on millets from Odisha, Telangana and Karnataka have been shared with other State Governments/Union Territory Administrations.
The Scheme provides for 3 types of food grains i.e. wheat, rice, and coarse grains. Foodgrains are allocated as proposed by State Governments/Union Territory Administrations as per their requirement in Annual Work Plan & Budget (AWP&B) and approved by the Program Approval Board of the Scheme. The food grains are allocated biannually by the Department of School Education and Literacy with the concurrence of the Department of Food and Public Distribution. It is also mentioned that the entire cost of foodgrains is borne by Central Government.
The information was given by the Minister of State for Education, Smt. Annapurna Devi in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.