The death of 23 children in the Saran district of Chhapra, Bihar after consuming their school midday meal has put the union government's Midday Meal Scheme in the spotlight. The incident highlights once again how big policy initiatives are let down by poor implementation and monitoring at the ground level.

In the 2013-14 budget Rs 13, 215 crores were allotted to the scheme that was set up in 1995 and as on April 2012 the scheme had touched the lives of over 11 crore children.

In its study of this scheme IndiaSpend discovered that while the scheme employs over 24 and-a-half lakh cooks across India this is still short of the number required. Read more