Students pursuing undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) courses will now earn two curriculum credits if they do an internship under the Swachh Bharat Summer Internship Program. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has directed universities in the State to implement this program from the current academic year. This program has been taken up in commemoration of 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary. This is in the pursuance of achieving the Swachh Bharat mission, which also entails in involving college students. A senior official from Bangalore University (BU) said, “Students will be given two credits just like they can achieve in an optional paper. They can either choose an optional paper or do this internship to get their credits.” “Students can choose a village which comes within the purview of the university or is within a few kilometres from the university. They can work with the villagers in ensuring that proper drinking water and sanitation facilities are available in their area,” added the official. Students can work with the villagers in ensuring that proper drinking water and sanitation facilities are available in their area ­ –BU official Officials from the higher education department also said that even now there are more villages which have yet to be declared Open Defecation Free (ODF). “Though we might show in numbers and statistics we are still dwelling in a system where villagers resort to open defecation. Youngsters need to come and become aware of the situation,” said R Krishnan project manager at SNEHA NGO which is working various projects with the State government. Several universities have already adopted villages as per the mandate by the UGC and have agreed to send students to do internships in the same villages. A vice-chancellor of a State University said, “We have already adopted a village and we will assign students to work there for 100 hours, as part of this internship. We need to work it out and see how to club these two programs for students. However, these initiatives by the commission should come with guidelines so that it doesn’t overlap with other activities that we are already carrying out.”