Bangalore: Even before Prime Minister Narendra Modi could start his Swachha Bharat Abhiyan, Bangalore University (BU) silently started its own campaign, with students being awarded marks for their cleanliness quotient. Students have to take exams in the subject and failure to adhere to cleanliness would give them a backlog to clear.
Starting this academic year, BU has redesigned its Environmental Science course as Environment and Public Health (EPH). This is one of the compulsory add-on subjects, along with Indian Constitution, which have to be studied by all four lakh undergraduate students of the varsity.
The EPH course had a dedicated chapter on cleanliness and civic sense in Bangalore. BU vice-chancellor B Thimme Gowda said, “If we orally ask students to take up cleanliness drive, they may not do it. With the issue being linked to their marks, we hope that they rise to the occasion.”
Dr N Nandini of Environmental Science department said, “Garbage is a big issue in Bangalore as we keep reading how the BBMP and state government are battling it out. Despite the court ruling that we need to segregate the waste as dry and wet, how many of us actually do it at home? So there is a detailed chapter on how waste needs to be segregated and what constitutes dry or wet waste. ”
The beauty of the add-on subject is that though the marks scored in the subject will not have a bearing on the overall marks, they need to have the mandatory 75 per cent attendance and pass the subject. The subject will have a 100-mark paper where 70 marks are theory and 30 marks are allocated to practical/internal assessment. Students have to take part in a number of camps and campaigns related to the garbage issue. They also need to go on a door-to-door campaign for segregation of waste.