“Who are we fooling when we sell the idea of ‘Green Bangalore’?” asked Suresh Heblikar, Founder and Chairman of Eco Watch, at the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore (IIMB). Addressing students, faculty and staff at the IIMB library on Earth Day, he quoted statistics to prove his point: from 1,000 lakes the city now has 70 lakes, 50 per cent of which are encroached; 40 per cent of the apartments in the city get no fresh water but depend on tankers; ground water has receded to well below 1,000 ft; and 111 villages that were once vital lung spaces have been urbanised, resulting in the loss of ecosystems/ livelihoods.
“The need of the hour is to start young. We must have ‘green schools’ that create awareness about rainwater harvesting and solid waste management; we must popularise cluster village development; we must revive lakes not by building fancy jogging tracks or installing colour lights but by ensuring that catchment areas are not given to industrial parks,” he suggested.
Vinay Rao, Climate Change and Sustainability Adviser, Climate3c, focused on the perils of climate change that, he reasoned, “will be visible in our lifetime; not in a hundred years from now”.
P.D. Jose, an expert on climate change, spoke of a four-step process that could prevent conflicts that arise due to pressure on scarce natural resources.
Earlier in the afternoon, Devanath Tirupati, Director In-charge, IIMB, highlighted IIMB’s academic initiatives on the subject of sustainability.
A ‘plastic-free awareness campaign’ was organised on International Mother Earth Day by Bangalore University. A release from the varsity said plastic waste constitutes a significant portion of the total municipal solid waste (MSW) generated in India. It is estimated that approximately 10,000 tonnes per day of plastic waste is generated.
From the academic year 2014, National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore, will launch a two-year Master of Public Policy (MPP) post-graduate degree. The course provides comprehensive training in designing public policies for complex societal problems, translating policies into deliverable programmes, and in evaluating the efficacy of policies.
This two-year residential programme is open to students holding a graduate degree in any discipline. The course has adopted an innovative pedagogy which combines reflective learning through classroom discussions, on-field exposures, solving problems for real-world clients, internship and research dissertation. The application deadline is April 30 and only 40 students will be selected through a nation-wide competitive examination and interview, a release from the law school said.