For Undergraduate Courses of all Branches of Higher Education
University Grants Commission
4/9/2004, 5:06 PM
Credits Principal author and editor – Erach Bharucha Unit 1 – Erach Bharucha Unit 2 – Erach Bharucha, Behafrid Patel Unit 3 – Erach Bharucha Unit 4 – Erach Bharucha Unit 5 – Shamita Kumar Unit 6 – Erach Bharucha, Shalini Nair, Behafrid Patel Unit 7 – Erach Bharucha, Shalini Nair, Behafrid Patel Unit 8 – Erach Bharucha, Shambhvi Joshi Case Studies – Prasanna Kolte Co-ordination and compilation – Behafrid Patel Textbook Design – Narendra Kulkarni (Mudra), Sushma Durve Manuscript review and editing – Chinmaya Dunster, Behafrid Patel Artists – Sushma Durve and Anagha Deshpande CD ROM – Jaya Rai and Prasanna Kolte
© Copyright Text – Erach Bharucha/ UGC, 2004. Photographs – Erach Bharucha Drawings – Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute of Environment Education and Research All rights reserved. Distributed by University Grants Commission, New Delhi. 2004.
Environmental Studies for Undergraduate Courses
4/9/2004, 5:06 PM
The importance of Environmental Studies cannot be disputed. The need for sustainable development is a key to the future of mankind. The degradation of our environment is linked to continuing problems of pollution, loss of forest, solid waste disposal, issues related to economic productivity and national as well as ecological security. The increasing levels of global warming, the depletion of the ozone layer and a serious loss of biodiversity have also made everyone aware of growing environmental concerns. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio De Janero in 1992, and the World Summit on Sustainable Development at Zoharbex in 2002 have drawn the attention of people around the globe to the developing condition of our environment. It is clear that no citizen of the earth can afford to be ignorant of environmental issues. Environmental management has become a part of the health care sector. Managing environmental hazards and preventing possible disasters has become an urgent need. Human beings have been interested in ecology since the beginning of civilization. Even our ancient scriptures have included practices and values related with environmental conservation. It is now even more critical than ever before for mankind as a whole to have a clear understanding of environmental concerns and to follow sustainable development practices. India is rich in biodiversity which provides various resources for people. It is also the basis for biotechnological development. Only about 1.8 million living organisms have been described and named globally. Still many more remain to be identified and described. Attempts are made to conserve them in ex-situ and in-situ situation. Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) have become important in a biodiversity rich country like India to protect microbes, plants and animals that have useful genetic properties. Destruction of habitats, over use of energy resources and environmental pollution have been found to be responsible for the loss of a large number of life forms. It is feared that a large proportion of life on earth may get wiped out in the near future. In spite of the developing status of the environment, the formal study of environment has so far not received adequate attention in our academic performances. Recognisation thus the Hon’ble Supreme Court directed the UGC to introduce a basic course on environment for every student. Accordingly the matter was considered by the UGC and it was decided that a six months compulsory core module course in environmental studies may be prepared and compulsorily implemented in all the Universities/ Colleges in India. The Expert Committee appointed by the UGC has...