8 Aug 2023

Students Will Study About Environment, Climate Change In UG Programmes

All students at India’s universities will study subjects such as environmental education and climate change in order to graduate, starting from the upcoming 2023-2024 academic year.  

Environment as a subject has become of prime importance

The compulsory course represents a major step forward in incorporating environmental education into the mainstream education system.

Many educationists have noted that as India has witnessed extreme weather events in the past few years, including huge loss to life and property, extreme heat waves, unprecedented floods and excess rainfall, landslides, glacier bursts etc, believed to be triggered by climate change and environmental imbalance, the environment as a subject has become of prime importance.

It is crucial to educate students about issues impacting the environment and ways of protecting, conserving and sustaining the environment by using multiple channels.

The course can provide students with a better understanding of the science behind environmental issues, as well as the tools to address them, according to some academics.

Environmental studies to be core subject for all UG programmes

The University Grants Commission (UGC) recently directed universities and colleges to introduce a compulsory core subject on environmental studies for all undergraduate programmes, including general engineering, medical, architecture, pharmacy, management, among others, according to the UGC guidelines issued on the direction of the Ministry of Education.

According to the UGC, the new environment education curriculum will be multidisciplinary and encompass areas such as climate change, sustainable development, conservation and management of biological resources and biodiversity, pollution, sanitation, waste management, and forest and wildlife protection.

More focus on practical knowledge and aspects 

Environment education was offered as an elective or optional course, but now it will be included as a main subject where students will focus more on practical knowledge and aspects rather than theory.

Institutions will have the flexibility to choose how to teach the subject, according to the UGC.

However, UGC also said that course design should be based on community engagement and service, practical understanding of threats to the environment and ‘value-based’ education to learn about environmental protection and sustainable development.

According to the UGC the proposed credits for the course can be acquired over six to eight semesters.

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