Published: 13th July 2022
NEP position paper from NIMHANS on eggs, meat in diet is misuse of Science, says activist. Here's why
The paper proposes that the diet provided in schools should include the best nutrition for people of Indian ethnicity
The position papers for the National Education Policy from Karnataka have invited criticism yet again. Now, one of the papers, on health and well-being, published under Dr K John Vijay Sagar, professor and head, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS), claims that eggs and meat lead to lifestyle disorders among Indian people.
The paper proposes that the diet provided in schools should include the best nutrition for people of Indian ethnicity. The paper says, "Given the small body frame of Indians, any extra energy provided through cholesterol by regular consumption of egg and meat leads to lifestyle disorders."
Karnataka's decision to introduce eggs in the Mid-Day Meal plan for students of government schools in seven districts was met with opposition from some religious communities. However, the government decided to go ahead with it to counter the rate of malnutrition among children in the state.
Swati Narayan, an activist with the Right to Food campaign has called the paper "unbelievable." Like other experts who have criticised the stance taken by the position paper, she says it is highly unscientific, and that eggs are necessary to battle the undernutrition that is rampant among children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds in India. She also expressed alarm at the fact that this paper was written by the Head of a department at a reputed institute such as NIMHANS and added that it was further proof that science was being misused.
According to Madan Gopal, the head of the NEP task force in Karnataka, each state in India is getting expert committees to write 25 position papers on various topics in order to formulate the NEP curriculum. However, these are merely recommendations which will be deliberated upon before being considered for implementation.
The papers are available on the website of the Department of State Educational Research and Training (DSERT).