UGC releases draft guidelines for environment education at UG level

The University Grants Commission (UGC) Tuesday released the draft guidelines and curriculum framework for environment education at the undergraduate level highlighting that out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), six are directly linked to environmental protection and resource conservation.

“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,” UGC Chairman Jagadesh Kumar told The Indian Express.

He said that the 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.

Earlier in 2003, the UGC came out with a core module syllabus for compulsory implementation of environmental studies at the undergraduate level as per the directives of the Supreme Court.

Further, in 2017, the UGC framed an eight-unit 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.” Kumar further added, explaining about the draft guidelines.

Kumar highlighted that in the national statement at UNFCCC CoP 26 Global Leaders’ Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, PM Modi stressed on the mantra ‘Lifestyle for Environment’, and also about setting a target for net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

“On October 20, 2022 the Prime Minister launched Mission Life, a global movement to safeguard our environment from the impact of climate change. 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,” he said.

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