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UN to promote Sustainable development

Dr.T.P.Sethumadhavan

In the era of changing environments, sustainability is emerging as one of the development goals which has economic, social and environmental implications. In the liberalised era important issue among developed countries including India is whether to go for technologies for sustainable development or not? Without sustainable development livelihood issues cannot be solved. Food security, food safety, GER in education, sanitation, emerging diseases, etc are emerging as major issues. Of the total child births in India 42% of new born has less than two Kg body weight. Protein malnutrition is an important issue but Indians spends 40 percent of their daily income for food alone.
Choice, Skill, Connectivity and involvement are the major pillars of development. With regard to education 4 Es are more important which includes expansion, equity, excellence and employability. India has 750 Universities, 47000 college and 30 million students with a gross enrolment rate of 21 percent for the age group of 18-23 years. Private sector accounts for 62 percent intake of students, State Governments by 35 percent and Central Government by 3 percent. Demographically India will soon overtake China as the World’s largest population with an average GDP growth of 8 % per annum.
According to a study of 50 Nations carried out by Oxford Economics for British Council, by 2020 one of the largest higher education Systems is likely to be in India with 28 million students. The vision 2030 envisages that by 2030 number of students in the higher education sector will increase from 30 million to 70 million with the GER of 50 percent. It has been forecasted that 23 Universities will reach the top 200 of the World by 2030 and the country will have at least six new Nobel laureates. Share of private sector in education system has grown from 42 percent to 64 percent from 2001 to 2014. Private sector will have 80 % share of the students. Five lakh overseas students will pursue education in India and two million students pursue education outside India. Universities should encourage creativity, innovation and leadership to encourage quality, interaction between institutions and industry. Funding, leadership, management, quality assurance, accountability, relationships with industry, international collaboration and the way teaching and research is conducted are important bench marks of quality. Institutions can be categorised as foundation institutions, career and research focused institutions.
In tune with the United Nations Millennium Development goals, Sustainable development goals must be formulated. It must be location and stakeholder based in nature. Government of India is giving more impetus to make in India, Skills India and Digital India. These initiatives will create umpteen job opportunities within the country. Connectivity will facilitate the concept of global village at a faster pace. But there is a huge gap between availability and requirement of resources. This demand supply mismatch needs to be filled in a sustainable manner. There lies the importance of technologies. Universities should act as stakeholder based technology generating and dissemination centres rather than producers of graduates or doctorates. Scientists must see the society and work for them with the help of stakeholders and industry. They need to respect traditional sustainable technologies. Food security, health, sanitation, livelihood and education issues require timely attention and improvement. Technologies for sustainable development must be oriented towards livelihood and food security issues.
Taking the words from Smt. Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO of US Fund for UNICEF I believe in zero hunger, zero poverty, zero disease and universal education.
 

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