Dimapur, February 18: Reacting to allegation of irregularities in implementation of Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS) in Nagaland by the NPRAAF, the State Directorate of School Education has clarified that MDMS provides for meals to school children studying in Government schools and Government aided schools from Classes I-VIII as per norms. However, the Department claimed that it is also providing Mid Day Meal to Pre-Primary (Class A&B) students and not only from Classes I-VII as alleged by NPRAAF.
Principal Director of School Education, Shanavas C, IAS clarified that the yearly allocation of food grains depends on the number of working days and number of school children; and as per entitlement of students (Primary – 100 gms per child per day & Upper Primary – 150 gms per child per day) food grain is released by GoI. For the year 2019-20, the GoI allocated 4076.590 MTs of food grain as per the enrolment. The total number of beneficiaries for the year 2019-20 is 1,57,510 (Primary – 1,19,144 & Upper Primary – 38,366) and not 1,06,298 as reported by NPRAAF, he said.
Shanavas also clarified that the Department has engaged only one carriage contractor for transportation of food grains to 9 districts along with NCLP. For the districts of Tuensang and Longleng, he said the Department is implementing the scheme with NGOs on PPP mode and the food grains are lifted from the FCI depot by the NGOs for the respective districts.
The PD admitted that food grain received from GoI is in excess of the actual requirement for 2019-20. However, he said excess allocation is a normal practice since the excess of food grains received is accounted as ‘Unspent Balance’ and is subsequently adjusted during the next allocation by GoI.
On the claim of the NPRAAF of a racket where politicians and departmental officials demand percentages from profits after illegal sale of food grains in the market from the contractor, Shanavas said this is a very serious allegation and asked NPRAAF to substantiate the same with evidences.
He also informed that the Department has issued directives making it mandatory for every school to display posters (issued by the Directorate) indicating complete details of food grains and cooking costs received for a quarter along with enrolment of students in the school for public awareness and transparency in implementation of the scheme.
(Page News Service)