JAMMU: The Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta on Wednesday chaired a meeting of Steering-Cum-Monitoring Committee for Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman (PM POSHAN) and reviewed the achievements registered during the year.
Administrative Secretaries of the departments of School Education, Rural Development, Jal Shakti, Social Welfare, and Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs, besides representatives of the Finance Department, Housing and Urban Development Department and concerned HoDs participated in the meeting.
It was informed that during the current financial year, the Department has distributed 90% of the targeted food grains (17318.942 MTs) to approximately 8 lakh students by incurring an expenditure of Rs. 93.54 crore. It also signed an MoU with “AKSHAY PATRA” NGO for providing Hot Cooked Meal to 15,081 students in municipal limits of Jammu and Samba cities, on a pilot basis
The Department further organized16,420 POSHAN assemblies in virtual/physical mode and engaged 2,72,000 children in discussions on malnutrition, its impact on society and the value of a healthy and balanced diet, besides distributing School Health Cards to 12.07 lakh students to maintain a health repository of all school-going children.
While reviewing the POSHAN Scheme, the Chief Secretary asked the School Education Department to ensure provisions for healthy meals to the students through efficient coordination with the Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs Department, and Rural Development Department. It was also asked to undertake proper manpower management in food preparation and distribution so as to supplement the teaching efforts without compromising on the quality of education being provided across the Government schools of Jammu and Kashmir
To promote the consumption of a fresh, healthy and balanced diet under the scheme, the schools were asked to promote growth of fruits and vegetables in their backyards in POSHAN vatikas. Schools facing land shortage were encouraged to coordinate with respective Panchayats in the matter and establish the Vatika at a suitable nearby land.
The Chief Secretary asked the School Education Department to conduct social audits of the scheme by involving Panchayati Raj Institutions and ensure regular monitoring of the distribution of cooked meals.
To streamline the procurement and distribution processes under the scheme, Dr Mehta directed the Department to launch a POSHAN monitoring mobile application to provide real-time and GPS-based information, by April 1, 2022.
Further, the Chief Secretary underscored the importance of early detection of malnutrition in children and asked the Department to conduct a survey on malnutrition, anaemia, and stunting in coordination with the Social Welfare Department for facilitating prompt interventions towards healthy and overall development of students. Moreover, the Department was asked to issue digital health cards to all students within one month.
Regarding the reported kitchen-cum-store related pendency, the Department was asked to submit the AG audited financial estimates to the Finance Department within 3 days for the release of the respective funds.
The UT level Steering-Cum-Monitoring Committee for Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman approved the annual action plan for the financial year 2022-23 which targets distribution of 2363.92 MT of food grains to approximately 9.31 lakh students from pre-primary to elementary schools with the financial implication of Rs. 167 crore.