New Delhi [India], February 7 (ANI): University Grant Commission (UGC) is all set to release Draft Guidelines and Curriculum Framework for Environment Education at the Undergraduate level soon.
The UGC has underlined that out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), six goals are directly linked to environmental protection and resource conservation.
UGC Chairman M Jagadesh Kumar told ANI that the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 underlines the importance of making environmental education an integral part of curricula and encouraging environmental awareness and sensitivity towards its conservation and sustainable development.
"NEP also advocates the attainment of holistic and multidisciplinary education, through flexible and innovative curricula for all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) which shall include credit-based courses and projects in the areas of community engagement and service, environmental education, and value-based education," Kumar told ANI.
"Global attention to the deteriorating condition of our environment was drawn in the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janerio in 1992 and World Summit on Sustainable Development at Johannesburg in 2002. In 2015, United Nations Members adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which provides a "blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future," UGC Chairmam said.
He further told ANI that continuing problems of pollution, loss of forests, solid waste disposal, degradation of the environment, issues like economic productivity and national security, global warming, the depletion of the ozone layer and loss of biodiversity have made everyone aware of environmental issues.
"Out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), six goals are directly linked to environmental protection and resource conservation,' UGC Chairman said.
"In the National Statement at UNFCCC CoP 26 Global Leaders' Summit in Glasgow, the Prime Minister's mantra was Lifestyle for Environment, and he also stressed setting a target for Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2030. On October 20th, 2022 the Prime Minister launched Mission Life, a global movement to safeguard our environment from the impact of climate change" UGC Chairnan added.
M Jagadesh Kumar further told ANI that environment education, therefore, needs to include areas such as climate change, pollution, waste management, sanitation, conservation of biological diversity, management of biological resources and biodiversity, forest and wildlife conservation, and sustainable development.
Earlier in 2003, UGC had come out with a core module syllabus for compulsory implementation of Environmental Studies at the undergraduate level as per directives of the Supreme Court of India.
Further, in 2017, UGC framed an 8 unit's module syllabus for the Ability Enhancement Compulsory Course (AECC-Environmental Studies) under the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS).
"The present document is an outcome of the UGC's initiative to implement the National Education Policy, 2020 which has emphasised the need to formulate guidelines and curriculum framework for environmental education. The document is expected to cater to students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and also includes topics to sensitise students about the commitment of the nation towards achieving sustainable development goals," UGC Chairmam said. (ANI)