Here, PG students get marks for planting, nurturing saplings

Kuvempu University introduces ‘Green Graduation’ to award marks for green initiatives

The literary works of poet laureate Kuvempu are known for vivid descriptions of the forests and biodiversity of the Western Ghats. As a tribute to the writer, the university in Malnad region of Karnataka, named after him, has introduced the concept of ‘Green Graduation’ from the present academic year. Under this, it has been made mandatory for students who have enrolled for postgraduate courses to participate in green endeavours.

H.S. Bhojya Naik, Registrar, Kuvempu University, told The Hindu that students who enrol for PG courses should plant a sapling and nurture it till the completion of the course, including watering it, administering fertilizers and removal of weeds. In addition to planting saplings, students should visit villages in the vicinity and present talks on the evils of deforestation and environmental pollution, and stage street plays on themes related to conservation and enhancement of green cover. Student are being trained on activities related to village visits.

At the end of the academic year, the performance of the student in maintaining the sapling, the garden, and in activities conducted during village-visits will be evaluated for credits.

The Kuvempu University campus is near Bhadra reservoir. Established in 1987, Shivamogga and Chikkamagaluru districts fall under its jurisdiction. The university has adopted the choice-based credit system (CBCS) under which, apart from the core academic subjects, credits are accorded for non-core subjects like communication skills, computer applications and personality development. Credits accumulated for non-core academic learning will not reflect in the marks card but passing these is mandatory for completion of the course. Mr. Naik said participation in green endeavours would be considered as part of activity related to personality development.

The saplings of plant varieties commonly found in the Western Ghat region have been procured from the nursery of the Department of Forest and Wildlife. As part of Green Graduation, PG students of 2018-19 have so far planted 1,600 saplings on campus. From next year, saplings will be planted on road side and on unused government land in villages in the vicinity. Mr. Naik said the initiative is consistent with the one-student-one-tree concept that was part of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of World Health Organisation.

Dhanush C.S., pursuing M.Sc in Wildlife Management, has planted the sapling of a fig tree on campus under the initiative. He said the knowledge acquired in classrooms and libraries should not be considered an end in itself. There is lot to learn in nature too. Rural visits that are part of the initiative will help students understand social realities and provide opportunities for them to become agents for positive change in society, he added.

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