The University Grants Commission (UGC) has currently advised its affiliated universities and faculties to introduce a obligatory six-module course on Environmental Studies at all branches of undergraduate diploma.
The module, but, has been existent on the grounds that 2013, and the brand new directive to enforce it, is part of a ordinary task by UGC to remind universities or schools who both have now not implemented the practise or aren’t aware of the same, says a senior UGC officer, even as speaking to Education Times.
The choice to create a six-module course on Environmental Studies changed into taken by way of the Supreme Court in 1991 after a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed with the aid of an suggest, MC Mehta. According to the court docket order, UGC needed to prescribe a route on surroundings as a mandatory problem in schools.
It took UGC over many years to conceptualise and introduce a course on Environmental Studies. “We shaped a committee of six professionals comprising five professors and one UGC respectable to prepare a obligatory direction,” says the officer.
“The fact that our society is already dealing with essential environmental demanding situations which want to be addressed without delay, a whole technology of students
searching for better training in any concern ought to engage in Environmental Studies before they graduate and take up careers to determine society’s destiny,” says SD Biju, dean of Faculty of Science and Head of Department of Environmental Studies, University of Delhi which implemented this route at the UG level due to the fact that 2014.
Biju adds further, “The path will help college students acquire interdisciplinary understanding at the critical linkages among nature, society, and the financial system, besides growing their crucial wondering to take informed decisions for sustainable improvement and life.”
As for the right college to train the course, it must be mentioned that there is a stark difference among Environmental Sciences and Environmental Studies. “While the former deals with the medical elements of surroundings, the latter is about surroundings in wellknown and goals to make students ecologically conscious. Hence, professors from Science, Geology and even Geography whose fields have relevance with Environmental Studies are able to educate the concern,” says the UGC officer.
The module has been split into 8 devices, and 50 lectures. “It is as much as the university or university to determine how they will incorporate the module across their UG degree,” the officer adds.
Looking at the contemporary UGC directive “as a contribution to systematically strengthen training for sustainable improvement”, Arun Kansal, dean, Research and Relationships at TERI School of Advanced Studies, points out that Environmental Studies together with catastrophe control (additionally mandated by way of UGC) are possibly the best topics that unite all disciplines, be it natural, social and applied sciences without compromising the curriculum rigours of a course.
“Having said that, educational institutions must protect in opposition to blindly adopting a universally valid environmental studies path content material. Rather, they should tailor make it consistent with the needs of diverse disciplines. If carried out within the proper manner, Environmental Studies will improve the studying effects of various disciplinary programmes,” Kansal adds.