In view of the initiative being unique, the key development steps mainly related to the design aspects and can be summed up as under:
• Given the huge number of schools from where data was desired to be captured on daily basis, the first major step was zeroing-in on a suitable and viable technology for the System.
• Secondly and largely attendant to the first was arriving at a solution wherein the sender of data i.e. the teacher in this case need not spend a single penny so that the focus remained on monitoring of the Scheme instead of reimbursing the expenses incurred by the teachers for giving data. This was necessary to ensure meaningful participation of lakhs of teachers in the initiative.
• Also significant in this regard was focus on ‘pull’ rather than ‘push’ method of data capturing so that data is captured from maximum teachers and it was not left to their will to send it on their own.
• Further, this had to be done within the given timeframe after the meals are served and before the school is closed for the day.
• Bridging gaps in traditional monitor system necessitated attention to carefully designing necessary MIS and exception reporting structure and alerts etc.
Key implementation steps were:
• Foremost implementation step was selling the idea to the teachers and making them own it. All the teachers unions were consulted so as to convince the teachers about the benefits of the System by way of demo etc.
• Other such steps were codification of about 1.52 lac schools, trainers-training, preparation, design and printing of about six lac operational manual and its distribution before onsite demo, onsite/ on-line demo/teachers’ training in about 820 blocks and town areas of the State, collection of teachers’ personal phone numbers (as neither phones nor SIM cards have been given by the Government/MDMA to the teachers).
• Development of the data-base and purging it, devising mechanism of call system and call escalation, on-line verification of the mobile numbers of almost 4.5 lac teachers, devising mechanism of updating of database in case of change of teachers’ place of posting or mobile numbers, establishing call-centre for personalized attention to teachers query etc have been other major landmarks.
• It has also been ensured that at the end of the month, the data keyed-in by the teachers is verified in black and white by them.
• Vision document prepared and submitted on Jul 12, 2007,
• Project launched on Mar 31, 2010,
• System developed and tested within two months of the launch date and stabilized within six months.
• System started capturing real time data since June, 2010
• Five regional workshops across the country conducted during Jul-Aug 2011 by GOI for orienting the States/ UTs in view of GOI’s decision to replicate this System for monitoring MDM in the whole country.
• Govt. of U.P. replicated DMS for monitoring nutritional support programme under ICDS (Integrated Child Development Services) since Sep 1, 2011.