ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Tamil Nadu's Midday Meal Scheme

Tamil Nadu's noon-cum-nutritious meal scheme is the country's largest in terms of the number of beneficiaries covered. There is little doubt that enrolment and retention of children, including girl children, in schools have shown significant improvement. Besides, drop-out rates have shown a decline. However, as this paper analyses, there is now a need to seriously re-examine the orginal rationale for the scheme, namely, getting children to school and retaining them. In the two decades of the scheme's existence, the educational profile as well as the nature of problems at the ground level have changed significantly. Much of this is not reflected in the data presented and available with the government. On the other hand, the scheme has not been able to bring all children to school. If the midday meal is to retain its effectiveness and relevance, it may have to be modified in the light to these changes.

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