Environment literally means the surroundings in which we are living. Environment includes all those things on which we are directly or indirectly dependent for our survival, whether it is living components like animals, plants or non-living components like soil, air, water. Environmental studies
in India imparts knowledge about the current scenario and teaches people to think about the environment related issues we are facing and engage in ways to preserve it.
Education about the environment is extremely important, as it affects us directly but with no necessary attention being paid to it.
By including environmental studies, students will be able to associate their core subjects to the direct or indirect impact it has on the environment. Educating students on environment should result in them being more aware and sensitive towards the world we live in.
There are many reasons why Environmental Studies should be a part of mainstream studies :
Impact of Development on Environment:
The basis for education at all levels is to educate students about the current developments in industries, technological advancements and economic progress. When students are taught about the consequences of growth without a care for the environment, there is every possibility this will make them think and channelize their energies into technology that benefits the environment. Once they are made aware of the repercussions of haphazard development it is possible to guide students to rethink methods and tweak it to have a beneficial relationship with the environment.
Sustainable ways of living:
Natural resources like air, water and land are getting depleted at a frightening pace, it is important for students to understand the ways in which they can live by using alternatives to many things in order to slow down the process so that future generations don’t have to bear the consequences of our actions. Environmental sustainability doesn’t have to mean giving away a luxury but rather adopting ways to reduce consumption and waste.
How to utilize resources correctly:
With resources being limited, compared to the demands of progress in a rapidly developing country like India, Environment Science does more than just teach students about the resources we have and the exploitation of it. What it does teach students is how to utilize it efficiently and effectively with the right tools and techniques so more is gained with less exploitation.
To create awareness and sensitivity:
Once an emotion is attached to something and an understanding is instilled that once lost, a few things will not come back, they will understand the need to protect. Having taken the environment for granted all this time, it is critical that students start seeing the seriousness of the situation and act towards it. Awareness and sensitivity can only come once a topic has been delved into deeply and the feeling that something that’s worth saving can be saved, is instilled. It requires collective effort to make an impact, which is why equipping students with knowledge is important.
Modern/ Contemporary Environmental problems:
As children we read about the environment and its problems at a surface level. But that might not be applicable today as there are many more issues that are relevant today and needs to be addressed. Which is why environment studies in India is required to be taught at all stages and with respect to contemporary issues.
As a subject:
Environmental Science as a subject is gaining increasing popularity and so is the necessity of preserving it in today's situation. Career opportunities are thriving too. Courses like Environmental Engineering and Environmental Management are coming up to serve a niche that hasn’t yet been explored.
Studying core subjects in tandem with environment related subjects like ecology and permaculture can help create a space where students of every discipline can engage with their knowledge and relate it to an ecological problem, either understanding it from a certain perspective or trying to use this combination to solve a certain problem.
To sum up the importance of environmental studies
, the knowledge gained will help students realize the importance of resources and to develop ingenious solutions to the problems at hand. The aim is to create enough awareness and concern about the environment, and the best place to begin are colleges and universities.