The guidelines and curriculum framework for undergraduate environmental education have been prepared. According to the draft regulations, undergraduate students will be required to take a six-month core module course in environmental studies. The course will consist of 50 lectures. The exams will be held simultaneously with the annual examination. The UGC formed an expert committee to review the guidelines and curriculum framework, and the committee has completed its report.
In addition to being shared with all universities, the report will soon be made public. The environmental studies core module syllabus includes both classroom training and fieldwork. The syllabus is divided into eight units, each of which contains 50 lectures. The first seven units will consist of 45 classroom-based lectures designed to improve knowledge skills and attitudes toward the environment.
Unit eight is based on field activities and will be covered in five lecture hours, providing students with firsthand knowledge of various local environmental aspects. According to UGC Chairman M. Jagadesh Kumar, environmental education must include topics such as climate change, pollution, waste management, sanitation, biological diversity conservation, biological resource and biodiversity management, forest and wildlife conservation, and sustainable development.
“The present document is an outcome of the UGC’s initiative to implement the National Education Policy 2020, which has emphasized 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 sensitize students about the commitment of the nation towards achieving sustainable development goals,” Kumar said.
The ongoing problems of pollution, forest loss, solid waste disposal, environmental degradation, issues such as economic productivity and national security, global warming, ozone layer depletion, and biodiversity loss have made everyone aware of environmental issues. Kumar stated that six of the 17 SDGs (sustainable development goals) are directly related to environmental protection and resource conservation.