Sustainable development should be based on co-existence of all and should not be limited to human welfare

 Ministry of Education and University Grants Commission organised a national webinar on A Fruitful Journey towards Sustainable Development today, as part of the Webinar Series on Good Governance being held from 17th September, 2021 to 7th October, 2021. Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Labour and Employment Shri Bhupender Yadav delivered the inaugural address. Secretary, Higher Education Shri K. Sanjay Murthy and other senior officials from Ministry of Education and University Grants Commission were present on the occasion.

Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Labour and Employment, Shri Bhupender Yadav highlighted the deteriorating environment and the challenges of Global Warming, Climate Change and Scarcity of Water due to our consumption. The Minister emphasised the need of debating whether sustainable development is for nature or for earth or for human beings. He said, sustainable development should be based on co-existence of all and should not be limited to human welfare.

Shri Yadav raised the question of life vs lifestyle and stressed upon the need of judicious use of what we are taking from nature for our development. The Minister underlined the development of humanity from industrial revolution to digital revolution and artificial intelligence to communication and information. He highlighted India’s role in International Solar Alliance and focus on renewable energy. He called upon the scholars to have concern for environment in their conscience. He called upon the higher education institutions to take forward this debate and create new avenues for making Mother earth sustainable for all.

Shri K. Sanjay Murthy, Secretary, Higher Education addressing the webinar highlighted two dimensions of sustainable development in relation to education. One, he underscored the educational targets under Sustainable Development Goals and elaborated how the National Education Policy is aligned with these goals by focusing on access, equity and vocational education and training. He also focused on the second dimension of environmental sustainability in educational ecosystem. Shri Murthy also highlighted the efforts of the higher education institutions in Swachhata, plantation, water conservation and management.

The Webinar- A Fruitful Journey towards Sustainable Development brought together eminent academicians, educationalists, environmentalist and administrators to create more aware and responsible citizen that contribute towards sustainable development.

Prof. M. Jagadesh Kumar, Vice-Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in his keynote address underscored the increasing global inequality and deteriorating environmental quality. He stressed upon the need to bring about an equilibrium between social development, economic development and the environment. Prof. Jagadesh also called for coordinated efforts at local, regional, national and global level towards achieving this.

The technical session was chaired by Prof. Yogesh Singh, Vice Chancellor, Delhi Technological University and Former Vice-Chancellor, M.S. University of Baroda. Prof. V.K. Jain, Vice-Chancellor, Tezpur University; Prof. A. S. Raghubanshi, Director, Institute of Environment & Sustainable Development, BHU and Dr. Rajesh Tandon, UNESCO Co-Chair on Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education joined the Webinar as experts.