Human Resource Development Minister M.M. Pallam Raju Thursday remained absent from a meeting of the apex decision-making body on education as it discussed issues like status of right to education and mid-day meals.
Raju, who has submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh but was asked to wait, skipped the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) meet here. CABE has all state education ministers, representatives from different universities and other stakeholders as members.
The meeting was chaired by Minister of State for Human Resource Development Jitin Prasada. An empowered committee was formed to look in the mid-day meal scheme. Members said there should be a zero tolerance policy regarding quality of the mid-day meal.
The demand came months after 23 students died and dozens more fell ill in July at a primary school in Bihar's Saran district after they ate mid-day meal cooked in contaminated oil.
Members also said that school teachers and administration should not be involved in preparation of the meals and a parents body, or local administration like panchayats should be given the charge. Updates were also taken on progress of the right to education act.