What are the steps you have taken to enforce our 1991 directions to make 'Environment Science' a compulsory subject in college and school curricula. You (University Grants Commission and Human Resources Development Ministry) take instruction on it, SC told the Centre today.
“We will hear it again on September 23”, a bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice A M Khanwilkar said.
The bench was hearing an interim plea of environmentalist M C Mehta alleging that the directions passed in 1991 on his PIL have not been complied with letter and spirit.
During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General P S Patwalia, said state boards, responsible for deciding school curriculum, functioned under the state administrations and hence cannot be forced by it to do the needful.
WHAT THE ORDER HAD SAID
In the 1991 verdict, a bench headed by then Chief Justice Rangnath Misra had said the UGC will take appropriate steps immediately to give effect to what we have said, i.e., requiring the Universities to prescribe a course on environment.
They would consider the feasibility of making this a compulsory subject at every level in college education. So far as education up to college level is concerned, we would require every state Government and every Education Board connected with education up to matriculation or even intermediate colleges to immediately take steps to enforce compulsory education on environment in a graded way, it had said.
Besides making 'Environment Science' a compulsory subject, it had then passed a slew of directions including an order to cinema halls, touring cinemas and video parlours to exhibit free of cost at least two slides/messages on environment in each show undertaken by them.
Disposing of the PIL in 1991, the bench had asked the Centre to issue appropriate directions to state governments and Union Territories to invariably enforce as a condition of license of all cinema hails, touring cinemas and video parlours to show slides on environment free of cost.