Nation Current Affairs 07 Feb 2016 Bengaluru: Mid-day m ...

Bengaluru: Mid-day meal fails to bring in students, points out CAG

Published Feb 7, 2016, 6:14 am IST
Updated Feb 7, 2016, 7:41 am IST
It shows that a free Mid Day Meal, by itself is not a sufficient condition to retain children in schools, says CAG.
Students having Mid day meal atschool  (Representational Image)
 Students having Mid day meal atschool (Representational Image)

Bengaluru: The performance audit of the Mid-Day Meal (MDM) Scheme by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, (report no. 36 of 2015), has busted a few myths about the significance of the MDM in the state of Karnataka. 

A major observation made in the report, was the decline in enrolments in schools that have a MDM, from the period between 2009-10 and 2013-14.


According to the report, in a few states including Karnataka, it has been clearly established, that a section of people prioritize quality education over free meals.

"It also shows that a free MDM, by itself is not a sufficient condition to retain children in schools, unless accompanied with improvement in teaching/learning outputs.

As per the report in these states, while enrolment increased by 38% in private schools (which do not have a MDM facility), it declined by 5.58% in MDM covered government and government-aided schools.

According to sources at the DPI, this trend is not unusual, with more parents showing an increased interest in English medium schools, even though they were not covered under the MDM scheme.


"Even under the Right to Education (RTE), lakhs of students are admitted in private unaided schools which do not have any MDM facility. All of this has led to a decline in the enrolment in government schools which have a MDM facility.
“It is fact that parents want good education over any other facility. Additionally, children belonging to private schools do not receive facilities such as a bicycle, but these schools are considered more attractive," said, a senior officer.

But enrollment is not the only issue haunting the effectiveness of the MDM. The CAG, has listed around 10 deficiencies in the implementation of the MDM in state schools.


According to the report, one of the objectives of the MDM scheme is to encourage poor children, belonging to disadvantaged sections of society, to attend school regularly and help them concentrate on classroom activities.

It was noticed that 21 state governments including the Karnataka government, did not formulate any criteria to identify poor children nor did it conduct any survey to identify such children.

Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru