Noida principals unhappy with DM notification on tobacco sale
The district administration is going to take action against educational institutions if they fail to stop selling tobacco products such as cigarettes, gutkha, etc, within a 100-metre radius of the gate of school/college/universitynoida Updated: Apr 21, 2018 21:22 IST
Heads of various educational institutions have expressed their dissatisfaction with a notification that holds them accountable if any tobacco vend is found running near their educational institution.
The district administration is going to take action against educational institutions if they fail to stop selling tobacco products such as cigarettes, gutkha, etc, within a 100-metre radius of the gate of school/college/university. They may also lose their affiliation to school boards/universities if the institution is found violating the law.
The administration will be informing all schools, colleges, coaching centres and universities that if they fail to follow the CBSE guidelines or abide by the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 (COTPA), the head of the institution will be held liable.
Under COTPA, tobacco products cannot be sold to person below the age of 18 years and in places within a 100-metre radius of the institution.
“We are in touch with the authorities regarding this issue. We accept that it is our responsibility to make sure that no such establishment comes up near our school. We are careful about this. However, to solely hold the principal responsible seems to be a harsh move,” Renu Singh, principal, Amity International school, said.
Institution heads feel that it is the collective responsibility of the institute to ensure that all guidelines are complied with. “We have appointed a security in-charge who ensures that no tobacco vend comes up near the university. If there is any violation, the officer concerned should be questioned and not the institution head,” Ajit Kumar, joint registrar, Sharda University, said.
The administration and education department officials said that they will be conducting random checks and the heads of institutions will face action as per the law. “The health of students is important to us. We will be taking all the possible action to stop selling of tobacco products near educational institutes,” BN Singh, district magistrate, said.
Some institutes found the notification appropriate.
“Students are vulnerable. We, as principals, cannot run away from our responsibility. If any violation exists, it is the principal’s fault and they should be held liable,” Rashmi Kakroo, principal, Vishwa Bharati school, said.
Officials will also be checking if the institutes have put up ‘No Smoking’ sings. “We have informed all institutes to follow the guidelines related to tobacco products. Legal action will be taken against people who are found selling tobacco products near educational institutions. Action will also be taken against those who are selling cigarettes and tobacco products to minors. It is the responsibility of the administration to ensure the health of students,” Mahender Singh, city magistrate, said.
However, parents are not sure about how well the notifications will be implemented.
“The question is how will this be implemented. Most of these notifications seem like a formality. What can the principal do in this regard? They can control students on the campus but not outside. If there is such a notification, then it is the failure of the administration,” Yatendra Kasana, president, all Noida schools parent association, said.