“Thou shalt not spit and dirty thy surroundings.”
This is the new commandment the government wants college-goers to obey as part of its flagship Swachh Bharat programme.
A circular issued by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has asked all engineering, professional and technical institutions under it to launch a campaign aimed at discouraging students from spitting on campus. The institutions were told to involve voluntary groups such as the National Services Scheme (NSS) and National Cadet Corps (NCC) in enforcing the rule.
There are over 10,000 AICTE-approved institutions in the country, with an enrolment of about 20 lakh students.
“The practice of spitting in the open is very much prevalent (on college campuses). One has to bring about a change in mindset by taking preventive steps to stop it. You are requested to involve volunteers of the NSS, NCC and other voluntary groups to take the campaign forward,” the circular read.
The document signed by AICTE chairperson Anil Sahasrabudhe went on to state that though the Swachh Bharat campaign has received enormous support from all technical institutions, spitting remains a concern. Mass awareness on the issue was the need of the hour, it added.
The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, launched by the government on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in 2014, has received widespread support from the public as well as government officials. Recently, staffers of the Income Tax department in New Delhi contributed a day’s salary — amounting to a whopping Rs 52,75,183 — towards promoting it. A delegation representing the Indian Revenue Service Association, Income Tax Gazetted Officers Association and the Income Tax Employees Federation handed over the cheque to minister of state for finance Santosh Gangwar.