PM Poshan scheme: Basics Explained

The Union Cabinet, , gave its nod to the ‘Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman’ scheme in order to address malnutrition among school-going children in the country.The existing Mid-Day Meal scheme, which provides hot meals to students, will be renamed as PM Poshan .The nationwide Mid-Day Meal Scheme was launched in 1995 by the Narasimha Rao government. In 2001, the Supreme Court ordered state governments to provide free lunches to students in all state-run elementary schools. The scheme was launched in order to increase school enrolment and improve the nutritional status of millions of undernourished children across the country.

The scheme aims to cover 11.80 crore children in 11.20 lakh schools, All school-going students of classes I to VIII, studying in government and government-aided schools, are eligible to avail the benefits of the scheme.It will cover an extra 24 lakh beneficiaries in the age group of 5-6 years who will now be a part of the formal school system, through Balvatika. Balvatika is the pre-school of government and government-aided primary schools that was started in government schools last year to include children aged younger than six years in the formal education system.

PM POSHAN will also monitor the nutritional levels of schoolchildren, among other things. A nutritional expert will be appointed in every school to ensure that BMI, haemoglobin and weight levels of the students are monitored. Furthermore, special provisions for nutritional items will be made for children in districts that have a high prevalence of Anemia. The government is also considering developing nutrition gardens on school campuses with active participation by students.

Cooking competitions will be encouraged at all levels — right from the village to the national level — to promote ethnic cuisine and innovative menus based on locally available ingredients.

Additionally, to support Vocal4Local and fulfil the objectives of the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, PM POSHAN will involve Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO) and Women Self Help Groups in the implementation of the scheme.


As per data of the National Family Health Survey(NFHS-5)

  • 16 states recorded an increase in underweight and severely wasted under 5 children among 22 states that were surveyed during the first phase of the fifth National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5)
  • Wasting percentage increased in under 5 children in 12 states and UTs in comparison to NFHS-4.
  • 13 states and UTs of the 22 surveyed registered a surge in the percentage of stunted children(low height for their age)under five years of age in comparison to 2015-16.

For several decades India was dealing with only one form of malnutrition– undernutrition. In the last decade, now faces the double burden which includes both over-and undernutrition,

  What is malnutrition?

Malnutrition is the condition that develops when the body does not get the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients it needs to maintain healthy tissues and organ function. The term malnutrition covers 2 broad groups of conditions.

One is ‘undernutrition—which includes stunting (low height for age); It is associated with an underdeveloped brain, poor learning capacity, and increased nutrition-related diseases.), wasting (low weight for height); It is associated with decreased fat mass. Also known as wasting syndrome, it causes muscle and fat tissue to waste away.), underweight (low weight for age), and micronutrient deficiencies or insufficiencies (a lack of important vitamins and minerals).

The other is overweight, obesity, and diet-related non-communicable diseases (such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer).

Children who are already undernourished can suffer from protein-energy malnutrition (PEM).

Two types of PEM are— Kwashiorkor and Marasmus.


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