National Green Corps

Devised by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Implemented by partner organizations at the local level.

Centre for Environment Education (CEE) is a resource agency for 15 States and 2 Union Territories in India providing technical inputs in implementation of program, conducting trainings, developing materials, monitoring visits.





Grade Level of Students Participating

Grades 9-12

Number of Students Participating per Year

3.5 million

Year Organization Began

Program began in 2001-2002

Relationship to the public education system

Work together with public/school education systems 

Organization’s Vision and Mission

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India conceptualized and initiated the National Green Corps program in 2001. This initiative is aimed at spreading environment awareness among school children and involving them in activities related to environment conservation across the country.

Brief Description of Program Activities

The program is operational across India through school eco-clubs established for the purpose of promoting environmental conservation and preservation activities. There is no set amount of time allocated to Eco-club participation, but a minimum of 30 minutes per week is recommended. Many schools set aside Saturdays for students to partake in Eco-club activities.

Eco-club Program Objectives:

  1. Children gain knowledge about their immediate environment, interactions within and problems therein through hands-on experience. 
  2. Children can develop skills of observation, experimentation, survey, recording, analysis, reasoning needed for conserving environment through activities.
  3. Children learn appropriate attitudes with regard to environment and its conservation through action-based programs. 
  4. Children are sensitized to issues related to environment and development through field visits and demonstrations. 
  5. Children practice skills at logical and independent thinking in order to make good decisions choices and to instill in them the spirit of scientific inquiry. 
  6. Children get involved in activity-based learning projects related to environmental conservation.

Program Content: Intrapersonal Competencies

Independent thinking, scientific mindset, resilience (coping skills).

Program Content: Interpersonal Competencies

Leadership, group work, peer learning, assertive communication, negotiation, empathy building, values clarification, teamwork. 

Eco-Club activities: Community-involvement, Organization and participation in seminars, debates, marches, awareness campaigns, rallies, competitions, survey 

Program Content: Cognitive Competencies

Observation, critical thinking, decision-making, experimentation, survey, recording, analysis, reasoning needed for conserving environment through activities, planning and executive function.

Program Content: Attitudes and Values

Attitudes of environmental protection, conservation and knowledge/values promoting sustainable and ecologically-sensitive living.Eco-clubs are also meant to promote school-society interactions to sensitize the society to environmental issues.

Program Content: Pedagogy/ Active Engagement of Students

Most of this learning is project/activity-based for the students. There is a strong pro-social component that encourages environmental protection, conservation and activism. During eco-club meetings, students define their pledge, create a symbol/logo and plan monthly and annual activities. Members may take on various roles, such as President, Secretary, Treasurer, Member Secretary and other roles.

Additional Notes

Children learn about: Enhanced Greenery/Biodiversity, Waste Management, Water Conservation, Energy Conservation, Sanitation.

 Activities include: cleanliness drives, setting up bird baths and feeders, visiting natural and cultural spaces, creating databases on land use pattern, species diversity and medicinal plants to help planned conservation efforts, testing soil, water and air quality and studying their impact on health, growing kitchen gardens, maintaining vermin-composting pits, constructing water-harvesting structures in school, practicing paper recycling, etc.

Source of Information

1All information for this summary come from India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change website and a phone interview with the Senior Program Coordinator for CEE North (an implementing agency) that took place in June 2016.

Prepared by

Ashim Shanker