Monday, 24 July 2017

Preventing Junk Food in Schools

The Government of India or The Directorate of Education, Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCT)  Delhi have  not conducted any study/survey in this regard. However, it is observed that consumption of junk food among the school children is changing their eating habits and they are moving away from the habit of eating wholesome and nutritious food, which may have adverse effect on their health. This matter is of utmost importance therefore, various organizations under the Government of India and The Directorate of Education, GNCT Delhi have issued circulars for promoting importance of eating wholesome & nutritious food among the children and other stakeholders.
Hon’ble High Court of Delhi has directed in the judgment of WP(C) 8568/2010 dated 25.2.2015 (Corrected and released on 16.3.2015) that the guidelines framed by Food Safety and Standads Authority of India (FSSAI) for Promoting Wholesome and Nutritious Food and Restricting/Limiting the Availability of Foods High in Fat, Sugar and Salt (HFSS Foods) among School Children be implemented by the Administrator, Delhi under rule 43 of DSEAR.  It further directed Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to, on or before 30th April, 2015, consider the said aspect and take a decision thereon and if possible, include the condition aforesaid in the conditions for affiliation / continued affiliation prescribed by it.
Guidelines in this regard have been issued by Directorate of Education, GNCT Delhi. There are no canteens in the Govt. Schools under Directorate of Education, GNCT Delhi and such facilities are available in most of the Aided and Recognised Unaided Schools. Therefore, for creating widespread awareness among children about ill effects of Food High in Fat, Sugar and Salt (HFSS Foods) & promoting the consumption of wholesome & nutritious food and for effective implementation of the guidelines framed by FSSAI, the Directorate of Education, GNCT Delhi has issued circulars for all Heads of Govt., Govt. Aided and Recognised Unaided Schools under its jurisdiction.
Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), has issued strict directions to its affiliated schools to desist from serving fast food in schools.  CBSE has also directed schools to ensure that Junk/fast food needs to be replaced completely with healthy snacks.  Carbonated and aerated beverages may be replaced by Juices and dairy products (Lassi, Chach, Flavored milk etc.).
The syllabus on Health and Physical Education approved by National Monitoring Committee of National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) as a follow- up of National Curriculum Framework 2005 has included the contents related to Junk food.  In class three while highlighting the importance of “wholesome diets” “implications of Junk” food has been included as one of the key concepts.  Whereas in class IV, the harmful effects of Junk food and the importance of nutritious food has been included.  In class IX, the nutritional needs, over nutrition, under nutrition and its effects on health are the key concepts of the syllabus.
Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) has issued directives to all its schools not to allow junk food in school canteens and also to educate school children about the benefits of healthful and nutritious food.
University Grant Commission has also issued instructions against availability and sale of Junk food in Higher Educational Institutions.
Educations being a subject in the Concurrent List of the Constitution, substantial majority of the schools are under the purview of the State Government.  It is, therefore, for the respective State/Union Territory Governments to prevent sale of Junk food in schools.
This information was given by the Minister of State (HRD), Shri Upendra Kushwaha today in a written reply to a Lok Sabha question.


Courtesy: pib.nic.in

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