Puratchi Thalaivar MGR Nutritious Meal Programme was launched in 1982 with a view to providing adequate nutrition to economically disadvantaged children of age group 2 to 5 years and was later extended to students and providing social security to the disabled. of age up to 15 years. Besides combating malnutrition, the programme sought to act as an incentive for increasing enrolment in schools and for reducing dropouts.

A review of the programme revealed the following:

A quantity of 38820 MT of fine rice received from Government of India under National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education, was substituted by common rice.

Supply and use of Double Fortified Salt in seven goitre prone districts against the recommendations of UNICEF and the National Institute of Nutrition resulted in extra expenditure of Rs 27.15 lakh during 2002-04.

Despite recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee, measuring devices for weighing food ingredients had not been provided to the noon-meal centres.

There were shortfalls in conducting inspections by the Personal Assistant (NMP) in various districts during 2002-04. Similarly the Block Development Officers did not conduct required number of inspections during 1999-2004 in three sample districts. This trend is indicative of inadequate level of assistance.