Students of around 400 universities will study the ill-effects of fireworks. The UGC has instructed all universities and colleges to include a module on the ill-effects of firecrackers in the paper on environmental studies, a compulsory subject for all undergraduate students.

UGC secretary Jaspal S Sandhu says the UGC wants varsities and affiliated colleges to organize forums, discussions and presentations related to the hazards of firecrackers. “The UGC took this decision after it observed the effort of world leaders at COP21 in Paris recently, and underscored the preservation of the environment as our collective responsibility.”

The December 11 UGC circular said: “We know that the smoke from fireworks consists mainly of particulate matter than can enter the lungs and severely affect people with asthma or multiple chemical sensitivity. Fireworks also spray a toxic concoction of carcinogenic and hormone-disrupting substances that seep into the soil and water…. Worse are chemicals in fireworks that persist in the environment and do not break down.”

The UGC, referring to earlier studies, said on festive occasions, the levels of particulate matter in the air increases beyond permissible levels. “It is necessary to educate students about the severity of toxicity of fireworks, so also to discourage their usage,” the UGC secretary said.

BU to enforce it

We welcome the UGC’s decision. Crackers cause serious damage to the environment. They also have a bad impact on our health. We’ll implement the UGC’s directive including it in our syllabi.


By Adam