The University Grants Commission (UGC) has ordered universities to include Environmental Studies in their courses so that they could make students aware of environmental studies and pertinent environmental issues. All the universities which are affiliated under UGC would now have to re-adjust their course structure to include environment studies in their course work as new subject.
According to the core module set so far, there would be both theory and practical work in the subject and would contain 50 units. The course has to be compulsorily conducted in the second year of graduation of the students. The convenor of Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad said, “Around 1.5 lakh students are taking up this course in which they are taught about pollution, the eco-system, and social issues related to the environment, etc.” The institutes have been asked to implement the orders with immediate effect.
Along with initiating the course in the undergraduate level, the UGC has also urged all the new students in colleges to plant a sapling on their first day at their colleges. The commission is expecting this to happen in all the 706 universities across the nation. These guidelines came from the UGC after the Supreme Court’s National Green Tribunal presented its directives. Although, the move of each new student planting a sapling is well appreciated, but there lies the issue of space in majority of the universities. The institutes are not sure whether they would be able to accommodate such a large number of saplings in their campuses.