UGC's Circular to Remove Junk Food in Colleges Stirs Debate

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In a move to instill healthy eating habbits in students, the University Grants Commission (UGC) recently issued a circular to colleges asking them to cut down on junk supply. In its instruction, it had also sought colleges to display the calorie content of the foods served and execute measures to sensitise the students on the negative effects of eating junk food.

"Universities can serve as important data sources on student's health. Information on markers like body mass index (BMl)/percentage of body weight, waist-and-hip ratio etc can help in creating awareness among students towards their health," read the UGC notice.

It has been a week since the notice was issued. Nevertheless, the varsities have not yet started to implement the instructions strictly it seems.

Colleges React to UGC's No Junk Recommendation

Some colleges however, took the recommendation into consideration and tried to do their best for the menu changes. A college in Mumbai scrapped off aerated drinks from the menu while retaining baked and fried items on their list.

SIES College, Matunga took the notice seriously and resolved to no junk food menu. Principal Uma Shankar said, "We plan to take away all junk food from the menu. A meeting was held regarding the same with the college management and the decision will be implemented in a couple of days."

Mithibai College, Vile Parle has planned to conduct programmes to create awareness among students about the effect of junk food.

"The student council has been assigned the task to conduct such awareness programmes among students to make them understand the importance of nutritious diet," said Principal Rajpal Hande.

The University Grants Commission has asked the colleges to conduct orientation programmes for faculty and staff on health issues.

Hande said the college already had an expert committee in place to conduct daily checks on the kitchen and ensure proper hygiene.

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