According to the information given by the Union HRD Minister, Smriti Irani in a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question on 14 July, the midday meal guidelines lay down that on an average 25 percent of schools should be inspected every quarter by State Government officers belonging to different departments at District, Sub-Division, Tehsil/Taluka, block and other suitable levels.
In addition, the Joint Review Mission consisting of representatives of Central Government, State Government, UNICEF and Supreme Court Commissionerate, also help in detecting anomalies in the scheme. Similarly, 41 independent monitoring institutions such as IIT Chennai and Visva-Bharati etc. also monitor the MDM scheme.
The States / UTs have formed Committees with members from Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes to inspect the preparation and distribution of mid day meals. Priority is given to recruitment of cook-cum-helpers from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes, wherein more than 30 percent cook-cum-helpers are from the SC and the ST communities. The States / UTs have been advised that the nodal officer or nodal agency in the States should make regular field visits and conduct surprise inspections every month. States and UTs have been advised to hold periodic interactive sessions in schools against caste discrimination.
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