Skip to main content
Sabrang
Sabrang
Health Rule of Law

Gujarat HC takes suo motu cognisance of mid-day meal survey

The High Court has issued notices to the principal secretary of education department and the commissioner of mid-day meal scheme

Sabrangindia 28 Dec 2020

Image Courtesy:indianexpress.com

The Gujarat High Court on December 18, took suo motu cognisance of a survey conducted by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) and the UNICEF Gujarat, which revealed that among the households which had children enrolled in the Government schools, 85 percent of the parents reported that they were not able to access anything in lieu of the mid-day meals since March, when the schools were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Bench of Justice J. B. Pardiwala and Justice Ilesh J. Vora said, “The Indian Express News Service, Ahmedabad, in its article dated December 18, 2020, has reported something very serious, which calls for the immediate attention of the State Government.”

The court also directed the registry to register a writ petition by giving a 'pucca' number and issue notice to the Principal Secretary, Education Department and the Commissioner, Mid-day Meal Schemes.

The study conducted by the KMIC-Knowledge Management and Innovations for Change, an IIMA and UNICEF initiative launched in 2015, to understand the accessibility to remote learning and challenges faced by the students and their parents, revealed that about 15 per cent of the parents received rice, wheat and/or pulses in lieu of the mid-day meals.

Further, around 30 percent of the children had not engaged in any formal learning activities since March 2020. This was highest for those attending the private schools (33 per cent), followed by the Government schools (26 per cent), and those attending the private schools through the RTE mandate (22 per cent). The average income of the sample was around Rs.1,190 per month and more than 95 per cent of the households had monthly income less than Rs.4,400.

The court also took note of the alarming rate of dropouts in the State. “The inability to pay the fees has led some parents to consider an alternate option of transfers to other schools or even dropping their children out of the school for the year. This is something very serious,” said the Bench.

Also, only 54 per cent of the families said that they have a functioning television with cable/DTH. Less than 2 per cent had access to a laptop and a Wi-Fi connection and email was used by less than 12 per cent of the families.

In this backdrop the court said, “The attention of the State Government should be immediately drawn to the aforesaid, and in such circumstances, we deem fit to take suo motu cognizance of the above in public interest.”

The matter will now be heard on January 5, 2021.

The order may be read here:

Related:

No Mid-day meals disbursed in Goa during lockdown: Education Ministry
Broken Slates and Blank Screens: PUCL's report on Education amidst the lockdown
Covid-19: Schools terminate contractual services, reduce teaching staff during lockdown

Gujarat HC takes suo motu cognisance of mid-day meal survey

The High Court has issued notices to the principal secretary of education department and the commissioner of mid-day meal scheme

Image Courtesy:indianexpress.com

The Gujarat High Court on December 18, took suo motu cognisance of a survey conducted by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) and the UNICEF Gujarat, which revealed that among the households which had children enrolled in the Government schools, 85 percent of the parents reported that they were not able to access anything in lieu of the mid-day meals since March, when the schools were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Bench of Justice J. B. Pardiwala and Justice Ilesh J. Vora said, “The Indian Express News Service, Ahmedabad, in its article dated December 18, 2020, has reported something very serious, which calls for the immediate attention of the State Government.”

The court also directed the registry to register a writ petition by giving a 'pucca' number and issue notice to the Principal Secretary, Education Department and the Commissioner, Mid-day Meal Schemes.

The study conducted by the KMIC-Knowledge Management and Innovations for Change, an IIMA and UNICEF initiative launched in 2015, to understand the accessibility to remote learning and challenges faced by the students and their parents, revealed that about 15 per cent of the parents received rice, wheat and/or pulses in lieu of the mid-day meals.

Further, around 30 percent of the children had not engaged in any formal learning activities since March 2020. This was highest for those attending the private schools (33 per cent), followed by the Government schools (26 per cent), and those attending the private schools through the RTE mandate (22 per cent). The average income of the sample was around Rs.1,190 per month and more than 95 per cent of the households had monthly income less than Rs.4,400.

The court also took note of the alarming rate of dropouts in the State. “The inability to pay the fees has led some parents to consider an alternate option of transfers to other schools or even dropping their children out of the school for the year. This is something very serious,” said the Bench.

Also, only 54 per cent of the families said that they have a functioning television with cable/DTH. Less than 2 per cent had access to a laptop and a Wi-Fi connection and email was used by less than 12 per cent of the families.

In this backdrop the court said, “The attention of the State Government should be immediately drawn to the aforesaid, and in such circumstances, we deem fit to take suo motu cognizance of the above in public interest.”

The matter will now be heard on January 5, 2021.

The order may be read here:

Related:

No Mid-day meals disbursed in Goa during lockdown: Education Ministry
Broken Slates and Blank Screens: PUCL's report on Education amidst the lockdown
Covid-19: Schools terminate contractual services, reduce teaching staff during lockdown

Related Articles

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

Theme

2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.
Delhi HC

Hate Speech and Delhi Pogrom 2020

A spate of provocative speeches, that amount to hate speech in law and should be prosecuted allowed blood letting to spill on the streets of north east Delhi in February-March 2020
hashimpura

Hashimpura Massacre

The Lemmings of Hashimpura

Campaigns

Sunday

03

Jan

Pan-India

Saturday

05

Dec

05 pm onwards

Rise in Rage!

North Gate, JNU campus

Thursday

26

Nov

10 am onwards

Delhi Chalo

Pan India

IN FACT

Analysis

2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.
Delhi HC

Hate Speech and Delhi Pogrom 2020

A spate of provocative speeches, that amount to hate speech in law and should be prosecuted allowed blood letting to spill on the streets of north east Delhi in February-March 2020
hashimpura

Hashimpura Massacre

The Lemmings of Hashimpura

Archives