The central government on Monday told the supreme court that it has asked the universities all across the country to include Environmental Studies in college curricula as directed in the judgment which was delivered in 1991. A bench of chief justice J S khehar and other justices S K Kaul and D Y Chandrachud that considering this matter and also considered the response of Human Resource and Development Ministry that the UGC university Grant Commission committee is looking into the matter and the needful will be done.
The court then disposed of the interim applications filed by the environmentalist M C Mehta and seeking a direction to the centre to include Environmental studies as one of the important subjects in schools and colleges curricula. Additional Solicitor General P S Patwalia said that some universities already included that subject in their curricula and the efforts are going on to persuade the others universities too. He said 306 universities are yet to include Environmental studies in their curricula. He added, so far as the inclusion of Environmental studies in schools are concerned the centre has no role as the state government has their own examination boards and can take the decision independently.
Earlier the court has confabulated the central government for not implementing 1991 directions, including making Environmental studies as a compulsory subject in schools and colleges curricula. Besides of all this, the centre had apprised the court that it has made a core committee which includes a chairman and a four members committee to monitor and review the matter related to implementation of directions issued in its order that was passed on 22 November 1991 on Mehta’s PIL?
This bench members was also hearing an interim plea of Mehta alleging that the directions passed in November 1991 on his PIL have not been complied with in letter and had asked the centre to apprise it on what steps could be taken to ensure that the schools colleges curricula includes Environmental studies as compulsory subjects in their course.
In the verdict of November 1991, the bench which is headed by chief justice Rangnath Mishra. At that time he said, ” The UGC will take all the appropriate steps immediately to give effect to what we have said, that is requiring the Universities to prescribe a course on environment. They would consider the workability of making this a compulsory subject at every level in college education.”
Besides of making Environmental studies as compulsory subjects in college there was a slew passed in order to make cinema halls , touring cinemas and video parlours to exhibit at least two slides on environmental education free of cost in each show undertaken by them.
Then it had asked Attorney General to have a dialogue with the Ministry in the manner that All India Radio and Doordarshan could assist this process of education. It had said that the materials to be shown by exhibitors would be given to the District Collectors that are the licensing authorities for the cinema exhibition halls for compliance.
It said,” The Information and Broadcasting Ministry should start this without any delay producing information films of short duration on various aspects of environment and pollution bringing out the benefits for society on the environment being protected and the effects involved in polluting the environment.”