The University Grants Commission has asked all educational institutions to develop green campuses in a bid to promote the idea. As per a circular dated March 10, the UGC has asked university officials to send proposals under the Development of Solar Cities programme.
The project, under the ministry of new and renewable energy, aims at a minimum reduction of at least 10% in the projected demand for conventional energy at the end of five years, read the circular. This will be done once colleges are shortlisted following which energy efficient measures will be implemented on the campus.
As per the plan, measures such as an energy-efficient street lighting system with proper control, low-energy fixtures, energy-efficient pumping system, energy-efficient motors and use of star-rated equipment will be implemented at the institutes included in the list of green campus.
A Shivaji University, Kolhapur (SUK), official said that ensuring a green cover in the campus is the need of the hour for every university and college. He also praised the UGC initiative and said it was a positive step towards greener college campuses.
According to the official, SUK has already proposed developing its campus as biodiversity park. The university's botanical department also hosts the 12-acre Lead Botanical Garden and an additional land of 30 acres for conservation of rare species. As many 100 species are being cultivated at the botanical gardens and some of them are rare and endangered species. The creation of artificial ponds is another step toward conserving current flora and fauna.
The Shivaji University campus is spread across 843 acres while the two ponds occupy around two acres.
The UGC circular has asked all vice-chancellors to become partners in the cause and send in proposals as per the guidelines of the programme. It also mentions that an awareness workshop will also be organised on the campus regarding renewable energy applications and initiating suitable measures for energy conservation and energy efficiency. In the guidelines for development of green campus, the circular states that Rs 5 lakh will be provided to the interested campuses for preparing a master plan.
Highlighting growing concerns, the UGC circular reads that urbanisation and economic development are leading to a rapid rise in energy demand from urban areas of the country further causing enhanced Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. "Many cities around the world are setting targets and introducing polices to promote renewable energy and reducing GHG emissions. Accordingly, the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) has taken initiatives to develop green campuses," read the circular.
Source: Prasad Patil, City Journalist, CollegeDekho