NEW DELHI: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has directed universities to include a module on the ‘ill-effects of fireworks’ in the environmental studies paper in under graduate courses which has to be studied compulsorily.
The move comes in the wake of the ongoing debate on deteriorating air quality in cities and towns. Delhi, for example, has earned the sobriquet of being one of the most polluted cities in the world. The level of PM2.5 recorded this year after Diwali had exceeded permissible limits by seven to eight times.
“At a time when issues of climate change and global warming have captured international attention, we need to do all it takes to educate students about the severity of the toxicity of fireworks so as to discourage their usage,” the UGC said in a communication to the vice-chancellors.
The UGC has also desired holding of forums, discussions and presentations related to the hazard of fireworks and ways of reducing them. Besides, it has suggested sending student groups and teachers to workshops, lectures and presentations in schools and colleges in surrounding areas.
Fireworks shows also spray out a toxic concoction of carcinogenic and hormone disrupting substance that seep into soil and water, the commission said as it sought to underline the ill-effects of fireworks.
It also highlighted a Supreme Court ruling where it had expressed serious concerns over environmental health hazards and the toxic fallout of fireworks.
The communication to the universities also mentioned the recent Paris Climate meet.