The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked all universities across the country to ban the sale of junk food in higher education institutes.
This is as per the HRD ministry's order to set new standards for healthy food, reduce obesity levels in young learners, thereby preventing lifestyle diseases which have a direct link with excessive weight.
This is mentioned in a notice to the vice-chancellors of all universities, issued by Jaspal S Sandhu, Joint Secretary (HE), Department of Higher Education, MHRD, on 10 November, 2016.
"The Ministry of Human Resource Development vide its letter No.13-65/2015-U.5 dated 20 October, 2016 has desired to issue instructions against availability and sale of Junk food in Higher Educational Institutions. Banning junk food in colleges would set new standards for healthy food and make the students live better, and learn better and also reduce the obesity levels in young learners, thus preventing life style diseases which have a direct link with excessive weight," states the notice.
To implement the rule, UGC has asked all universities to do the following:
To implement measures to sensitise students on the ill effects of junk food.
Universities can serve as important data sources on students' health. Information on markers like body mass index (BMl)/percentage of body weighVwaist hip ratio etc. can help in creating awareness among students towards their health.
Orientation programmes for faculty and staff to be conducted on health issues.
Wellness clusters should be created under the Students Welfare Department where counseling should be offered on proper nutrition and exercise and healthy habits. These wellness clusters can also provide psychological support to students to prevent and reduce the incidence of obesity in young students.