Mayawati's food tracking system for schools gets HRD nod
Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, January 30, 2012
UP Chief Minister Mayawati casting her vote at a polling station
during the legislative council election in Lucknow.
Inspired by the way Mayawati government, the Central government has
decided to replicate the Uttar Pradesh model to track mid-day meal
scheme to cross-check if children get their hot meal in schools. The
HRD ministry has decided to have a nation-wide short messaging service
system to monitor the Rs 10,000 crore mid-day meal scheme. Under the
scheme, the school children till upper primary level are provided hot
cooked meal once a day.
Mayawati government in UP was the first to introduce a software based
SMS system, wherein the school principal and a few parents received an
automatic message the day less than 50 percent or a large number of
school children were served mid-day meal.
The SMS was generated on basis of information on mid-day meal feed by
teacher in-charge of the scheme into an online monitoring system. The
principal was required to give an explanation through SMS and parents
to verify the claim.
A senior HRD ministry official said the national system will be
improvement of the UP model and no money will be charged from parents
for sending an SMS system to the national server. A successful pilot
has been implemented in Bihar and the ministry expects to cover 12
lakh schools across India by June this year.
Every school will have to feed information regarding the mid-day meal
served to children every day and the type of food. They will be
required to provide details about the quantity of food-grains they
received and the amount used.
The entire information generated would be in public domain on the new
mid-day meal website. "It will help in curbing corruption and ensure
that children get good quality food," HRD minister Kapil Sibal said,
after launching the website on which the mid-day meal scheme
information will be available.
The UPA government has been critical of UP government over
implementation of Central schemes and had detected irregularities in
National Rural Health Mission and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural
Employment Guarantee Scheme. But, the government had no problem in
adopting a UP's innovation.
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