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With a view to enhancing enrolment, retention and attendance and simultaneously improving nutritional levels among children, the National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NP-NSPE) was launched as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme on 15th August 1995, initially in 2408 blocks in the country. By the year 1997-98 the NP-NSPE was introduced in all blocks of the country. It was further extended in 2002 to cover not only children in classes I -V of Government, Government aided and local body schools, but also children studying in EGS and AIE centres. Central Assistance under the scheme consisted of free supply of food grains @ 100 grams per child per school day, and subsidy for transportation of food grains up to a maximum of Rs 50 per quintal. Though the real-time data on number of children availing MDM can be tracked using the real-time school attendance of children, it is important to also monitor the nutritional value of food provided to children. For this, a low-cost and time-efficient kit may be developed that gives the nutritional status of the food being served to the children on the spot and without sending to the labs for testing.

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