The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has requested the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to include Geology as an individual subject in the syllabus of secondary and higher secondary classes (VIII to XII) under all educational boards and councils across the country.

Dinesh Gupta, director general, Geological Survey of India (GSI), said, “We want Geology to be introduced as a separate subject, not as a part of Geography. The interest among students in the subject is also being felt. But the irony is that Geology has not been given its due recognition in the school education system in India. So we have requested the HRD ministry, copying all the state boards and ICSE and CBSE, to consider the request to give a constructive thought on the idea of introducing Geology as a subject at the school level.”

“From building bridges, construction activities to minerals exploration, geology is involved everywhere. Even the battery of mobile phone has lithium which is a mineral. So geology is an integral part of our life. The young generation should know more about it. Also it can provide good career prospects which the students are not aware of. Introducing it to the school level can create job opportunities as fresh teacher recruitments will be necessary in schools,” he added.

According to the base document that has been prepared and submitted by GSI to MHRD, the subject Geography in secondary (VIII-X) levels may be retitled as Geography and Geology. For higher- secondary (XI-XII) levels, they have proposed Geology to be included as a major optional or combination subject. The GSI has also submitted a proposed curriculum to the HRD ministry for all classes.

A senior official of GSI said, “Geological topics can be featured as exemplars in ‘Experimental and investigative Science’, which offers scope for field investigations. Additional Earth science topics, including plate tectonics, are also included in geography. All students will gather some knowledge of geology during their tenure at school.”

“Geology is presently offered in the faculty of science in Indian Universities for graduate and Master Degree courses. It is a mandatory part in the Civil Engineering, Mining, Metallurgy and Ceramic technology courses imparted throughout Indian colleges. It has also been a part of school curriculum in India but is amalgamated in the subject Geography. Various themes of Geology like structure and interior of earth, rock and minerals, classification of rocks, physical geology, landforms, weathering and erosion caused by river, wind, glaciers, mineral and power resources of the different states of India and their uses and many more topics related to Geology have long been taught in secondary and higher- secondary levels as a part of the subject Geography in the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), state Boards and CBSE schools” he continued.

This initiative of the GSI is a part of the model programme of ‘visibility, activity and quality’ (VAQ) of the Ministry of Mines.

“We are waiting for the final response of the HRD ministry though we are receiving good responses from the education boards of different states. The Uttarakhand state education board is very keen to introduce the subject and has already requested NCERT for the syllabus and books. The procedure is long as the state government will have to arrange teachers for the subject and arrange field excursion for the students as it is an application-based subject. We have also proposed field excursion for the higher secondary students,” a senior official of GSI confirmed.

According to sources, the West Bengal school education department is yet to respond on the issue.