Environmental issues like climate change and global warming are wreaking havoc on our planet. With pollution and deforestation being the primary cause of such issues, people, government and organizations around the world are finally taking steps to protect the Earth from devastation. Accordingly, tree plantation drives have been initiated by people around the world.
In India, the latest state to join the ‘good cause’ is Rajasthan. The government of the state has ordered that every new student taking admission in any state-run engineering college must plant at least one tree in the campus this academic session.
“Each new student in government engineering colleges of Rajasthan will plant a tree in the campus this academic session and will look after the trees until they graduate,” said technical education minister Dr. Subhash Garg told Hindustan Times.
The tree plantation drive is among the four initiatives taken for eco-conservation on engineering campuses. The other three initiatives for in the program include a pond for water conservation, cleanliness, and events on Gandhian philosophy.
Currently, there are 11 engineering colleges run by the state government in Rajasthan which work through eight campuses. Every campus has an average of 300 seats with around 100 admissions each.
Garg said that he will himself tour all the colleges in August to inspect if the orders were followed correctly.
Talking about other initiatives, Garg said that the college students along with their faculty will be encouraged to do ‘shram daan’ to dig ponds for water conservation.
“We firmly believe that Gandhi’s philosophy should be taught even in engineering colleges but for now, under the 150th birth anniversary celebrations, we have asked the colleges to organize debate competitions on the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi,” he said.
Garg also said that he had asked principals of engineering colleges and vice chancellors of Rajasthan Technical University and Bikaner Technical University to focus on more student-oriented schemes. Lessons on Gandhian philosophy in Sanskrit being one among those.
“We need to make our engineering colleges attractive to students. There has been a drop in admissions over past few years. There was a time when students from 17 states studied at our engineering colleges,” the minister said.
“The department will development Centre for e-Governance (CEG) in Jaipur as the nodal centre for training and placement, and set up ‘Vidyarthi Sewa Kendras’ at each college for students to get their documents (such as mark sheets and migration certificates) from the college itself instead of going to the headquarters of Rajasthan Technical University in Kota” he added.
Garg also said that he has done a micro-level review of all the colleges and assured that all the glitches and problems in the system are studied and resolved accordingly.
We’ve all been taught lessons on environmental science in our schools. But we often lose contact with nature as soon as we step in our colleges. Such an initiative by the government which keeps students connected to the environment where they can continue to take care of mother nature is certainly a good move. We hope more and more colleges get inspired by Rajasthan and include eco-conservation programs in their academics.