The Panjab University has imposed a ban on the preparation and consumption of junk food within the campus. Prof Emanuel Nahar, Dean of Students Welfare, issued a list of banned items, which include:
Cold drinks with artificial sweetners, chips, French fries, hot dog, pizza, burger without vegetables and white bread. It also listed instant noodles as a banned item. However, he left out samosa, cold fizzy drinks and aloo-patty due to popular demand of the students’ council.
The ban will be applicable at hostels and student centre shops also. The PU took this step after directions from the University Grants Commission (UGC). Directions had been issued on August 21 by UGC reminding universities and colleges to ban junk food and “create awareness among the youth”.
Sandwiches are allowed only in brown bread or multigrain bread. Oats and atta maggi have also been allowed.
Kanupriya, president, Panjab University Campus Students’ Council said, “Food is unhygienic at the PU. So what shall we eat? We are retaining samosa, aloo-patty and cold drinks as these are cheaper options. Juices and fruit chaat are nutritious but they will cost you Rs 50 on the campus. Non-vegetarian food is not allowed, which provides proteins”.
Prof Emanuel Nahar said, “We formed a committee to discuss junk food items. We consulted the students’ council also. We will ban more food items in the second phase”.
The UGC had said that banning junk food would “set new standards for healthy food and make students live and learn better”.
It will reduce obesity, thus prevent lifestyle diseases, which have a direct link with excessive weight, the UGC guidelines said.