Mid-day meal to be linked to Aadhaar by 1 Sept

mid-day meal

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government now plans to complete the Aadhaar registration of every child in schools to reach him the benefit of mid-day meal by 1 September. The previous deadline was 30 June.

In this entire exercise, States like Jharkhand and are performing well while Jammu & Kashmir and West Bengal are lagging behind in making Aadhar cards for children. Several quarters had opposed the idea of linking Aadhar with mid-day meal, which has been running for years ridden with leakage of allocations.

The reason for the delay is purportedly the fact that the schools are closed for summer vacations these days. However, sources in the Human Resource Development Ministry informed us that Jammu & Kashmir and West Bengal have not been cooperating with the Centre in this matter.

There are a total 11.50 lakh schools and around 11.03 crore benefiting from the scheme. Sources informed सिर्फ़ News that, the moment schools are open, the process will take full pace once again. Sources said that there is a law-and-order problem in Jammu & Kashmir but West Bengal government is not cooperating.

The ministry, according to our sources, has prepared a programme detailing work allocation among its teams. With the help of State governments, the plan will be implemented across every State. On being asked whether a child without the Aadhaar card would be deprived of the benefits of the mid-day meal scheme, the officer said that the ministry would ensure that not a single child went without the meal.

The Union government was informed that the grant for mid-day meal was reaching lakhs of non-existent whose names were fraudulently added by school and State authorities. Linking the mid-day meal with Aadhaar is expected to stop this brazen act of and leakage of huge proportions. “The intention of the government is to bring transparency in the mechanism,” said an officer, “not to stop anyone from getting the benefit he or she deserves.”

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Senior journalist and political commentator