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Friday, 17 July 2020

Giving ration to 15.8L pupils: Minister

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 16

School Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla on Thursday said the Punjab Government was committed to the overall development of the state's children and nutritious mid-day meal was being continuously provided to as many as 15.79 lakh students of government schools across the state.

Though the efforts had been hampered due to the spread of Covid-19, the commitment and zeal of teachers had made it possible to tackle the situation. "Despite facing many odds due to the pandemic, the teachers have really been doing a commendable job in taking online classes, distributing books and foodgrains at the doorstep of every eligible student," Singla said, while lauding the efforts of government teachers.

The Cabinet Minister claimed that 8,262.23 metric tonnes (MT) of foodgrains, including rice and wheat, had been sent to the schools to be delivered in sealed packets to the students for the first financial quarter of academic session 2020-21. For the second quarter (July 20-September 20), allocation of 11,974 MT had been approved.

Singla said: "An amount of Rs 37.26 crore as cooking cost has already been sanctioned by the state government, which is to be transferred to the accounts of beneficiary students, as per the guidelines laid by the Union Government. As some students did not have any operative bank account, around Rs 14 crore is lying with the respective schools."

Singla has now directed the Education Department officials to get a nod from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to release cooking amount in cash to the beneficiary students. On July 6, a letter was sent to the Centre seeking permission to pay for cooking cost in cash to the students but a reply was awaited, he added.

Resume mid-day meal benefits: Bajwa

  • Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa urged CM Capt Amarinder Singh to resume the distribution of mid-day meals to over 15 lakh students of government schools
  • He said despite Supreme Court directives to the states to ensure nutritional food to children during Covid-19, schools in the state had not provided ration to the beneficiaries since April 15
  • "West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Jamp;K are providing students with dry rations. Punjab should also resume the distribution of ration," Bajwa said

from The Tribune

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