Seeking implementation of its directive to make environment education a compulsory subject in school curricula across the country, the Supreme Court Friday asked the Centre to constitute a core committee to monitor and ensure that all state boards comply with the order.
“Let Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) be the nodal agency to see our directions are complied with. MHRD will bring all the stakeholders on a common platform so that they can share their views and also put forth difficulties in implementing the court order. We will proceed against the states that have not complied with our orders,” said a bench led by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by environmentalist M C Mehta in 1991, asking for a directive to make study of environment a compulsory subject in schools and colleges. In November 1991 and subsequently in 2003, the top court ordered the NCERT to prepare a model syllabus.
On Friday, Mehta read out the pertinent part of the court order. It stated: “We accept on principle that through the medium of education awareness of the environment and its problems related to pollution should be taught as a compulsory subject.”
The order said the University Grants Commission will take appropriate steps “immediately” and ask universities to prescribe a course on environment. After perusing the order, the bench told Additional Solicitor General P S Patwalia: “You speak to the MHRD and give us a road map by Friday next week. There could be people from MHRD and Environment Ministry in this committee which will discuss the issue and report back to us with information on states that are yet to comply with our order.”
The bench fixed the matter for September 23.