Vs. Union of India & Ors  Insc 668 (18 December 2003)
Hegde & B.P.Singh Santosh Hegde,J.
the respondents have filed their response indicating the steps taken by them in
implementing the orders of this Court.
Petitioner-in-person requested the Court to first consider the steps taken by
the respondents- States in regard to the 4th direction issued by this Court as
per its order dated 22nd
November, 1991 and
consider other directions separately on any other subsequent date.
direction No.4 issued by this Court reads thus:
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. Learned Attorney General pointed out to us that the Central
Government is associated with education at the higher levels and University
Grants Commission can monitor only the under graduate and post graduate
studies. The rest of it, according to him, is a state subject. He has agreed
that the University Grants Commission 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 upto the college level is concerned, we would require every State
Government and every Education Board connected with education upto the
matriculation stage or even intermediate colleges to immediately take steps to
enforce compulsory education on environment in a graded way. This should be so
done that in the next academic year there would be compliance with this
requirement." It is seen that as per this direction this Court has directed
the respondents-States and other authorities to create environmental awareness
amongst the students through the medium of education. Accepting the suggestion
made by the then Attorney General, this Court required the State Governments
and other authorities connected with the education to introduce compulsory
education on environment upto matriculation stage or even in intermediate stage
in a graded way. Though belatedly, we notice from the replies filed by the
respondents, some steps have been taken by the States and other authorities
concerned to comply with the said directions issued by this Court.
Shri M.C.Mehta contends that the steps taken by the various States and other
authorities are insufficient and not in conformity with the spirit and object of
the above order of this Court. He submitted that the States and other
authorities concerned should prescribe a suitable syllabus by way of a subject
on environmental awareness, not only in the primary level of education but also
in the higher courses leading upto even post graduate level. He submits that
the University Grants Commission, NCERT and AICTE who are some of the apex
bodies in prescribing and controlling educational standards should be directed
to work out a proper syllabus to be taught at different levels uniformly all
over the country. In the absence of such uniform prescribed syllabus in the
educational institutions in various States, different institutions are adopting
different methods some of which are only basic which do not fulfil the requirements
of the directions issued by this Court.
heard the learned counsel for the parties and bearing in mind the burden that
may be imposed on the students by introducing an additional subject, we think
for the present the steps taken by the respondents as indicated in their
affidavits could be accepted pending further consideration in this regard.
However, to make sure that these steps taken by the concerned states are
implemented without fail, we direct all the respondents-States and other authorities
concerned to take steps to see that all educational institutions under their
control implement respective steps taken by them and as reflected in their
affidavits fully, starting from the next academic year, viz., 2004-2005 atleast,
if not already implemented. The authorities so concerned shall duly supervise
such implementation in every educational institutions and non-compliance of the
same by any of the institution should be treated as a disobedience calling for
instituting disciplinary action against such institutions.
acceptance of an interim arrangement, however, will not prevent the
respondents-State and other authorities from drawing up or of taking further
steps to more effectively fulfil the objects of the directions issued by this
also direct the NCERT which is a respondent herein to prepare a module syllabus
to be taught at different grades and submit the same to this Court by the next
date of hearing so that we can consider the feasibility to introduce such
syllabus uniformly throughout the country at different grades.
this matter for further orders on 14th April, 2004.