The Mid Day Meal Scheme, which reaches nearly 12 crore children everyday in government and aided schools, may be extended to privately managed schools in tribal areas and unaided minority institutions.

The Human Resource Development Ministry has set up a committee to examine extension of the scheme to such institutions. The committee had held a meeting of State education secretaries and asked them to suggest their views on how it can be implemented since there is confusion over number of recognised schools in different States.

“In certain States, the elementary schools are recognised by the government, while they are not recognised in a few other States. The question is what should be the criteria to identify schools for inclusion under the scheme,” official sources said.

The committee apprehends that many non-deserving institutions may take advantage of the scheme for lack of proper criteria. A few States have submitted their representation to the ministry so far.

The Mid Day Meal Scheme covers children studying in Class I to Class VIII in government and aided schools and centres under Education Guarantee Scheme and Alternative and Innovative Education, including madrassas supported under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan.

[Related media: The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009]