Mid-day meals will be provided to students despite summer vacation in schools due to the ongoing lockdown implemented to stop the spread of COVID-19, Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank informed on April 27.
Addressing a meeting held through video-conferencing with state education ministers, the minister directed the states to start evaluating the answer sheets of the board exams of Classes 10 and 12 and facilitate the CBSE.
"During the lockdown, the ration is being provided under the mid-day meal scheme for the children to get adequate and nutritious food. Approval is being given for providing mid-day meal during the summer holidays of schools, on which an additional expenditure of about ₹1,600 crore will be made. In addition, under the mid-day meal scheme, an ad-hoc grant of ₹2,500 crore is being issued for the first quarter," Hindustan Times quoted Nishank as saying.
"In wake of COVID-19, the annual central allocation of cooking cost (or procurement of pulses, vegetables, oil, spices and fuel) under the mid-day meal scheme is enhanced to ₹8,100 crores from ₹7,300 crores, an increment of 10.99 per cent," he added.
He further directed the states, where Kendriya Vidyalaya and Navodaya Vidyalaya are approved but could not be started due to lack of land or running on less capacity, to transfer the land quickly so that the children of the state can get benefit from it.
With the lockdown entering last week Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week held a video conference with chief ministers of different states to discuss further steps to be taken to fight the pandemic. This was PM Modi's fourth such interaction with the state chief ministers since the lockdown began.
PM Modi said that any decision regarding the lockdown will be taken after May 3. The worst affected states will continue to be under lockdown. The PM also hinted that the lockdown will continue in hotspots.