Swachh Bharat: Pune colleges gear up for clean campus initiative, but students want more

The educational institutions in the city, including the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), enthusiastically participated in the Swachh bharat summer internship and they are looking forward to showcase their initiatives.

pune Updated: Aug 17, 2018 18:12 IST
Ananya Barua
Ananya Barua
Hindustan Times, Pune
Chemical effluent treatment plant at Modern college, on Thursday.(Ravindra Joshi/HT)

“We saw the circular on Tuesday and are very excited to participate in the same. In the past one year, the university has taken up a number of green initiatives like waste segregation and management, solar panels, tree plantation and smart cycle - sharing. There are many more to come. The summer internship under the Swachh Bharat campaign was also a milestone initiative for us. Now the students are preparing the reports on their experience during the internship. These will be evaluated by the centre and then they would be recognised for their work and will be given certificates,” saidPrabhakar Desai, director, SPPU students’ welfare board.

Though the varsity has many initiatives to boost of, it has still a long way to go in terms of basic hygiene and cleanliness, say students.

Satish Debde, PhD student, department of political science said,“While the outer look at the campus gives a clean and well maintained look there is still lot of work which needs to be done, especially in terms of washrooms. With due respect to the initiatives launched,students want more. Barring the department bathrooms which are usually well maintained, the public bathrooms in the campus are in a very bad condition especially during rains. Also, the hostel mess and the canteens are very unclean. The recent protest around the canteen stemmed due to lack of basic hygiene. With the survey coming up, we hope the administration will try its best to make long-lasting changes.”

In January 2018,SP College was declared the winner in Kirloskar vasundhara International film festival for ‘green college, clean college’ film which showcased the college’s best initiatives. In spite of receiving laurels for the on-campus green initiatives, students are irked by the lack of hygiene in the toilets. The situation, according to Snehal Mete, a BSC second year student, has improved over the months but much more still can be done.

“The department washrooms are really clean, but the common washrooms, especially the one near the canteen area is not clean. However, the high point is that the authorities are very responsive to issues faced by students. They take cognisance of the matter and have been trying to maintain the campus well,as a whole. Cleanliness can happen only when the students also take efforts to maintain it. For instance, waste bins are provided in many places in the campus but it is upto the students to segregate and dump the garbage responsibly. It has to be a combined effort.”

Making ‘swachhta’ a scoring subject
Ministry of human resource and development will review the clean and green initiatives of every educational institution
Biotoilet at MIT campus, Paud road, Kothrud on Thursday. (RAHUL RAUT/HT)
1. Cleanliness and hygiene in washrooms
2. Waste management
3. Hygiene in canteens, hostels, kitchen and mess
4. Storage and distribution of safe, drinkable and potable water
5. Rainwater harvesting
6. Solar power panels
7. Campus greenery
8. Villages adopted by colleges for sustainable change and transformation
The last date for applying to the Swachh campus initiative is August 23.
Every college/university draws up a list of initiatives
Savitribai Phule Pune University
Green initiatives - waste segregation and management
Solar panels
Tree plantation
Smart cycle-sharing
Modern College of Arts, Science and Commerce
Chemical affluent treatment plant to reduce water pollution
A digital herbarium to stop physical collection of rare specimens for botanical study.
Digital simulation of dissection instead of a ‘live’ dissection in class.
What is digital simulated dissection?
Instead of using ‘live’ specimens of frogs, fishes and insects to study in biology and zoology labs, the college has installed a digitally simulated dissection software which allows students to dissect virtually and study the anatomy of various species.
Green and pollution-free campus
Biogas plant
On-campus mobike (dockless bike sharing service)
Solar panels
SP College
Declared winner in Kirloskar Vasundhara International film festival for ‘green college, clean college’ film which showcased the college’s best initiatives.
Botanical garden - Spread over 25 acres, the botanical garden has 800 plant species of 130 genera. Greenhouse and a vermi-compost plant are special features of the garden.
Digital herbarium - The Botany department has a herbarium of over 2,000 plants belonging to Algae, Bryophytes, Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms and Angiosperms, collected by the faculty and students from different parts of India and neighbouring countries. The earliest specimens were collected in 1929. Digitisation of the herbarium was initiated in March 2017, with the objective of making this collection accessible to a wider group of botanists. The herbarium is now registered at Index herbarium with an acronym SP College
Best 10 institutions will be selected on the basis of submissions and subsequent inspections of the campuses. For processing the application and more details, colleges must visit http://aishe.gov.in or http://mhrd.gov.in

Living up to the title of a green campus,Modern College of Arts, Science and Commerce, has a number of initiatives to showcase to the surveying committee.“For the past 4 years we have had a number of initiatives like chemical affluent treatment plant to reduce water pollution, a digital herbarium to stop physical collection of rare specimens for botanical study, digital simulation of dissection instead of a live dissection in class. We want to inculcate the idea of conservation and preservation of the environment without compromising on the process of understanding it. The survey which we want to be a part of could be a good way to share our practices with other institutes to improve the situation holistically,” saidR S Zunjarrao, principal of the college.

All institutions in the higher education system would be expected to participate in the rankings exercise and the centrally funded educational institutions receiving grants, would need to necessarily participate in this activity. The last date for application to the Swachh campus initiative is August 23. Best 10 institutions will be selected on the basis of submissions and subsequent inspections of the campuses. For processing the application and more details, colleges must visit visit http://aishe.gov.in or http://mhrd.gov.in

The Swachh Campus initiative was first announced by the HRD minister Prakash Javadekar in 2017, during a function at MIT-WPU campus, Kothrud.“We at MIT WPU Pune are already a green campus because we respect the environment and strive to do whatever it takes to ensure a pollution free campus. We applaud the swach bharat campaign launched by PM Modiji. Our campuses are totally aligned with Modiji's thought since we believe that each one of us has to be sensitive towards a clean India”, said Rahul Karad,Vice President MAEER's MIT-WPU.

Already a participant in the survey, the institution has a number of green initiatives like bio-gas plant, on-campus mobike, solar panels etc. It is also planning to install a water-bottle crapping machine on-campus, informed college officials. Like the Swachh summer internship, the institution has been involving students in several clean and green initiatives and providing them with extra credits by the end of the year.

First Published: Aug 17, 2018 16:41 IST