Karnataka midday meal scheme: Govt to send 'cooking cost' to students through direct transfer

The move comes as the government could not serve the free mid-day meals to the children due to the ongoing Covid pandemic.

Published: 17th July 2021 07:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th July 2021 07:48 PM   |  A+A-

midday meal

For representational purposes (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

BELAGAVI: The Karnataka government has decided to give the 'cooking cost' of the mid-day meals to school students. The government has taken measures to transfer the money to the bank accounts of the students of first to eighth standards through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) programme. 

The move comes as the government could not serve the free mid-day meals to the children due to the ongoing Covid pandemic.

The government had announced the closure of schools to keep the students safe during the second Covid wave. However, the students were given the option of online classes. 

The state government has been providing midday meals to the students even during the summer holidays to ensure they are in good health. Since there was complete lockdown during the summer holidays, the students could not be served meals. Thus, the department of public instructions has decided to deposit the cooking cost of meals directly to the bank accounts of the students through DBT.  

The midday meals scheme was stopped for a total of 50 days in the month of May and June due to the lockdown. Therefore, the government has decided to pay the cooking cost for these two months directly to the bank accounts of the students under the food safety allowance. The government order also said that the ration of midday meals has been distributed to the families of these students under the public distribution system'.

In this backdrop, the government has written a letter to the chief executive officer's of all zilla panchayat's, deputy directors of the department of public instructions, block education officers and Zilla Panchayat midday meals officers on July 12.  

Since the bank account is required to transfer the amount to students through the DBT programme, parents are told to open the bank accounts of their wards. The headmasters of the respective schools are instructed to feed the data of the Student's bank account details in the 'SATS MDM' platform of the education department. Already, most of the students are having bank accounts to avail government scholarships meant for them. But, the children enrolled on the first standard may not have a bank account. Thus, zero balance accounts of such students have to be opened. 

The commissioner of the education department Anbukumar in his order has instructed the concerned department to inform all the branches of the nationalised banks and post offices to allow the zero balance accounts of children and link them in the MDM platform to avail the benefit. 


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