New Delhi, Oct 31: The HRD Ministry has asked IITs to explore the possibility of having a separate eating space for vegetarian students as non-vegetarian food was "deviating them away from the Indian value system".
A communication in this regard was sent by the Ministry in Hindi to IITs after it received a representation from Katni-based trader S K Jain, who demanded a separate eating space and mess for students consuming vegetarian food.
Jain's letter has been forwarded to IITs along with a cover letter from the Ministry, asking them to keep the ministry informed of action taken. IIT Delhi, however, said the communication was just a "suggestion", and it was up to the IITs to decide on the feasibility of the proposal.
"This is not a directive and just a suggestion," Dean of students welfare S K Gupta said, adding, they have not yet responded to the letter. "We will have to see, if it is not possible what we can do," he said to a question.
Jain, in his letter to HRD Minister Smriti Irani, has contended, "children who have started practicing non- vegetarianism have saddened their parents by their 'tamasic' behaviour.
They are deviating from the Indian value system because food has a direct correlation with their thoughts." "It is the call of the parents of India that IITs and other institutions segregate their dining halls for vegetarians," he said, with a copy forwarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well.