A section of civil society has written a letter to the National Institute of Nutrition(NIN) to withdraw its report endorsing the Akshaya Patra Foundation (APF) refusal to follow a directive given by the Karnataka government to include onions and garlic in the Mid-Day Meal Scheme.
Earlier,Karnataka government had sought a technical report from NIN following complaints by the State Food Commission as well as civil society groups about the APF refusal to provide onion and garlic in the food was in violation of norms prescribed by the local as well as the Central government.
The NIN was asked to look into four major issues (a)nutritional compliance (b)food safety measures (c) taste and (d)diversity of meals.NIN in its report had concluded that the mid-day meals served by APF complied with nutrition norms laid down by the government.
The National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) is an Indian Public health, Nutrition and Translational research center located in Hyderabad.The institute is one of the oldest research centers in India and the largest center under the Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR).
Mid-Day Meal Scheme is a centrally-sponsored Scheme that provides children studying in Classes I-VIII of government and government aided schools with cooked mid day meal.
The key objectives of the MDMS is to a) improve the nutritional status of children and b) improve enrolment,attendance and retention rates in schools and EGS/AIE centres(Alternative and Innovative Education Centers).