About 56,414 ghost beneficiaries slashed from Mid-day meal scheme in Arunachal and Manipur

About 56,414 ghost beneficiaries slashed from Mid-day meal scheme in Arunachal and Manipur

August, 10, 2017: The human resource development (HRD) ministry upon linking Aadhaar and database of the mid-day meal (MDM) scheme since February 2017 have found certain anomalies in three states where an additional 272,000 fictitious names were enrolled.

The Ministry has deleted these ghost students from the enrollment roll list of  Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Andhra Pradesh  who were enrolled to avail the mid-day meal (MDM) scheme. This initiative by the HRD ministry is with the initiative to improve the monitoring of the  school meal programme and reduce pilferage.

As per data provided by the ministry, Andhra Pradesh has deleted the names of over 215,000 students after Aadhaar authentication, followed by 42,414 students from  Arunachal Pradesh and nearly 14, 000 from Manipur.

An HRD ministry official, who declined to be named, said more such cases will come up in next few months from states as the Aadhaar authentication progresses. While it will reduce the overall students in schools the country by de-duplicating enrolments, it will allow the government at the centre and the states to save on MDM costs.

"We are closely monitoring the situation and hope Aadhaar authentication will give us a better picture of MDM," said Anil Swarup, secretary of school education in the HRD ministry.

At least 100 million elementary students studying in 1.5 million schools are now benefiting from the scheme that deploys 2.53 million part time workers for its implementations. In 2017-18, the central government has allocated Rs10,000 crore for the scheme.

The deadline for linking Aadhaar with MDM is 31 August. However, at least a dozen states, the first HRD ministry official said, are lagging behind the required progress on this.

TNT News with inputs from liveMint

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