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Today, the Centre launched the Prime Minister POSHAN scheme or PM-POSHAN scheme for providing one cooked hot meal in government and government-aided schools. In the next five years, the government plans to spend Rs. 1,30,795 crore on the scheme. In addition, it will be replacing the existing national program for mid-day meals in schools or Mid-day Meal Scheme.

The decision was taken during the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) meeting that was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Sources claimed the scheme will cover 11.8 crore students enrolled in classes 1 to 8 in over 11.2 lakh schools across the country.

Elaborating, the scheme is for five-year starting from 2021-22 to 2025-26 with a financial outlay of Rs. 54,061.73 crore from the Central government and Rs. 31,733.17 crore from state governments and UTs administration. An additional cost of Rs. 45,000 crore on food will be provided by the Centre.

All the students studying in pre-primary or Balvatikas running in government and government-aided primary schools will be eligible for the scheme. Also, nutritional gardens in schools will be promoted. However, the items to be served will not be decided by the Centre.

Meanwhile, the social audit of the scheme has been made mandatory in all districts under the scheme. After a period of five years, the scheme will be renewed.

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