Mumbai colleges will soon have to stop sale of ‘junk food’ on campuses
Mumbai colleges will soon have to stop the sale of ‘junk food’ on their campuses to comply with the University Grants Commission (UGC) directive, aimed at curbing obesity and promote a healthier lifestyle among students.
The UGC, a statutory body of the Government of India for the coordination, determination, and maintenance of standards of university education in the country, had issued an advisory in November 2016 for banning junk food in colleges.
It issued a notice to Vice Chancellors of all universities on August 21, requesting to ensure strict adherence of the advisory.
“Banning junk food in colleges will set new standards for healthy food, making the students live better, learn better and reduce obesity levels. This will prevent lifestyle diseases which have a direct link with excessive weight,” the UGC said in its communication.
The circular was issued after a directive from the HRD ministry, asking the UGC to ban the sale of junk food on premises of higher education institutions.
“You are requested to ensure strict adherence to the advisory. Create awareness among the younger generation who are vulnerable,” it added.
A similar move was made earlier by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) which had directed all affiliated schools to take junk food off their canteen menu.
At the time, schools were also asked to inspect lunch boxes of students, create awareness about nutritious food and regularly monitor students’ health.
The circular was released following a report by the Ministry of Women and Child Development on consumption of foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) and promotion of healthy snacks in schools.
Back in 2017, the Maharashtra government had banned the sale of junk food in school canteens on the same grounds.