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National Programme of Mid Day Meal in Schools (Midday Meal Scheme)

news-details Image Source May 29, 2021 13:00 IST · 2 min read

Mid Day Meal Scheme was started on 15th August 1995 under the name of National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP-NSPE).

In October 2007, NP-NSPE was renamed as National Programme of Mid Day Meal in Schools, which is popularly known as Mid-Day Meal Scheme.

It is is a school meal programme designed to better the nutritional standing of school-age children within the age group of six to fourteen years studying in classes I to VIII nationwide.

The food is provided free of charge every day except on school holidays with nutritional standards of 450 calories and 12 gm of protein for primary (I- V class) and 700 calories and 20 gm protein for upper primary (VI-VIII class).

The Mid Day Meal Rules are notified under the National Food Security Act, 2013 and amendments have been made from time to time.

The scheme provide instructions on procuring AGMARK quality items for preparation of midday meals, tasting of meals by two or three adult members of the school management committee, including at least one teacher, before serving to children.

Tamil Nadu is the first state to implement the midday meal scheme.

The programme is applicable for children in primary and upper primary classes in government, government aided, local body, Education Guarantee Scheme, and alternate innovative education centres, Madarsa and Maqtabs supported under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan(SSA), and National Child Labour Project schools run by the ministry of labour.

The main objectives of the Midday Meal Scheme (MDM) scheme are:

1) To increase the enrolment of the children belonging to disadvantaged sections in the schools.
2) To retain children studying in classes 1-8.
3) To provide nutritional support to the children of the elementary stage in drought-affected areas.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) is the authorized body to implement the scheme.

It is a centrally sponsored scheme hence cost is shared between the centre and the states in 60:40 ratio.

If the Mid-Day Meal is not provided in school on any school day due to non-availability of food grains or any other reason, the State Government shall pay food security allowance by 15th of the succeeding month.


In 1925, a Mid Day Meal Programme was introduced for disadvantaged children in Madras Municipal Corporation.

By the mid 1980s three States viz. Gujarat, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the UT of Pondicherry had universalized a cooked Mid Day Meal Programme with their own resources for children studying at the primary stage.

By 1990-91 the number of States implementing the mid day meal programme with their own resources on a universal or a large scale had increased to twelve states.

The National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP-NSPE) was launched as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme on 15th August 1995.

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