UGC Directs Varsities To Ban Junk Food On Campuses; Varsities Comply

No Junk Food

The University Grants Commission (UGC) had issued a notice to varsities to ban the sale of junk food on their respective campuses and colleges. This notice was issued after the Ministry of Human Resource Development asked the UGC to ban the sale of junk food on educational institutions’ premises. The move is aimed at setting standards for healthy food and reduced obesity levels.

“Banning junk food in colleges will set a new standard for healthy food, make the students live better, learn better and reduce obesity levels. This will prevent lifestyle diseases which have a direct link with excessive weight”, the notice said.

Days after they were issued the notices, varsity officials have said that they are taking steps towards that direction. Speaking TO PTI, Calcutta University Vice-Chancellor Sonali Chakravarti Banerjee told PTI “There is no sale of food items which can be categorised as junk food within the varsity campus. Still, we are making everybody, including affiliated colleges, aware of the UGC directive. We have also instructed the canteens of the university and affiliated colleges to maintain hygiene norms while cooking items.”

Jadavpur University Registrar Chiranjib Bhattacharya said that the university will launch an awareness campaign among students about the UGC restriction on junk food consumption. However, he added that it was difficult to change an individual’s eating habits, but they will try to curb junk food consumption.

When asked about the sale of junk food items like burgers and noodles on college campuses, Presidency University Vice-Chancellor Anuradha Lohia said, “We’ll put up the notice by UGC on our display board.” Echoing Bhattacharya’s words, she added, “One’s food habit is entirely a matter of one’s personal choice, but the Presidency will go by the UGC directive.”

In the past, the Central Board of Secondary Education had directed affiliated schools to ensure that food items like chips, carbonated drinks, ready-to-eat noodles, pizzas, burgers, and confectionery items like chocolates and candies are not available in the school canteens.

The CBSE letter said that schools should implement a ‘School Canteen Management Committee’, comprising of about 7 to 10 members including teachers, parents, students and school canteen operators, to implement and monitor the guidelines to make safe food available to students. Additionally, daily physical activities or games of about 40-45 minutes should be inculcated.


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