The core module has both theory and practical work. It is a 50 unit subject which has to be compulsorily conducted in the second year of graduation. V Ramana Rao, 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 institutions have been asked to implement this order immediately.
Other than the course being introduced, the UGC has asked all new students in colleges to plant a sapling on their first day. This activity has to take place in all 706 universities across India. This guideline from the UGC comes after a directive from the Supreme Court’s National Green Tribunal.
Although the move has been welcomed by colleges and students, there is the issue of space. The institutions are not sure if they have enough area to plant such a large number of saplings.
Dr K S Ravindranath, vice-chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), said “We’ll hold a meeting with the colleges to discuss how to frame the syllabus for environmental studies as RGUHS already offers different programmes in health sciences,”. According to him the initiative is a positive step, however the universities will have to discuss among themselves if there is enough space for such an activity.