Gujarat student meals: Government spends less than Rs 10 per child daily

The revelation comes a day after NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar said Gujarat would need to do some catching up in the health and education sectors.

Published: 20th March 2018 12:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th March 2018 12:13 AM   |  A+A-

PTI file image of Students having the midday meal used for representational purpose only. (File | PTI)


GANDHINAGAR: The Gujarat government spends Rs 6 per "normal" child and Rs 9 for "highly malnourished" ones every day on food for children enrolled in Anganwadis in the state.

This was stated in the Legislative Assembly today by the state's Women and Child Development minister, Vibhavariben Dave in a written reply to a query by Congress MLA Santokben Arethia during the Question Hour.

Dave informed the House that the current rates were in accordance with the Centre's notification issued in December 2012.

The revelation comes a day after NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar, on Sunday, had said that while Gujarat had performed very well in industrialisation, it would need to do some catching up in the health and education sectors.

"Gujarat's achievements in education and health are not like those in other areas like industrialisation, infrastructure and energy. It lags behind in these two (health and education). I talked about this with the state government," Kumar had told reporters yesterday after meeting Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.

Dave today said that the Centre had recently approved a hike in rates, following which, the state government had planned to increase rates to Rs 8 per day for a "malnourished" child and Rs 12 for a "highly malnourished" child.

In response to a related question by BJP MLA Arvind Rana about the mid-day meal scheme, state Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said, in his written reply, that the government spent Rs 4.58 per day on each student of class 1 to class 5 as part of the scheme.

He added that the per day cost came to Rs 6.41 per day for providing food to each student of class 6 to class 8.

Congress MLA Kalabhai Dabhi sought to know if there were any plans to increase this expenditure as per the Centre's directive issued in January 2016.

In his written reply, Chudasama said the Centre, through its letter in 2016, had asked the state government to increase the expenditure by 7.5 per cent and the same had been already implemented by the government.

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