The Mid-Day Meal Scheme was launched in India on August 15, 1995, under the name of the National Programme of Mid-Day Meal in Schools,’ which is now often referred to as the Mid-Day Meal Scheme. In September 2021, the Mid-Day Meal Scheme was renamed ‘PM POSHAN,’ or Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman. At addition to those previously covered by the mid-day scheme, PM POSHAN would provide hot prepared meals to students in pre-primary levels or Bal Vatikas of government and government-aided primary schools.
The Union Council of Ministers adopted a 10% reservation in government positions and educational institutions for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in the General category on January 7, 2019. This is for all candidates who do not qualify for any reservations (such as OBC, SC, ST, and PH, but not Ex-servicemen) and come from economically Candidates taking any government exam can check for EWS certificate eligibility and make use of this opportunity.
It is important to know the details and significance of the aforementioned provision/scheme for aspirants preparing for government exams in India.
On that note, let’s discuss the eligibility and features of the mid-day meal and EWS Certificate as it is important to know about the aforementioned provision/scheme for aspirants preparing for government exams in India.
Salient Features of Mid-Day Meal Scheme
- Every child in classes 1-8, between the ages of six and fourteen, is entitled to a cooked nutritious meal every day excluding school holidays.
- For the preparation of midday meals, the schools purchase AGMARK quality commodities.
- Meals are only to be served on school grounds.
- Each school should have a sanitary cooking facility to prepare midday meals.
- The School Management Committees (SMCs) play an important role in MDMS monitoring. SMSc is required by the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act of 2009.
- The headmaster or headmistress has the authority to use school funds due to the depletion of the midday food fund. However, after the school is credited with the MDM budget, the money must be returned to the midday meal fund.
- The Food and Drugs Administration Department of the State may collect samples to ensure the nutritious value and quality of the meals.
- When prepared meals are not delivered due to unforeseen circumstances, the following food allowance will be offered to the children:
Quantity of foodgrains as per the child’s entitlement; and State cooking costs.
EWS Certificate – Who Can Claim EWS Quota?
The government has established specific eligibility requirements for candidates seeking reservations under this new category. The full form of EWS is the ‘Economically Weaker Section’.
To be eligible for the EWS certificate, you must meet all of the following requirements:
- You should run as a ‘generic’ candidate (not covered under reservation for SC, ST, or OBC).
- The gross annual income of your household should be less than Rs. 8 lakhs. This comprises income from all sources, such as agriculture, salary, company, and so on, for the fiscal year preceding your application for the exam.
- Your family should not hold agricultural land of more than 5 acres.
- Your family should not own a 1000-square-foot or larger residential flat.
- Your family should not own a residential site of 100 square yards or greater (in notified municipalities).
- Your family should not own a home plot of 200 square yards or more (unless in notified towns).
- Family’ according to the EWS Reservation rules include:
The person looking for a reservation, Parents, Siblings which are below the age of 18 years, Spouse and Children below the age of 18 years.