Lecture on sustainable development draws applause
ALIGARH: Delivering the Sir Syed Memorial Lecture on â€œEnvironmental Concerns and Strategies for Sustainable Developmentâ€ at the Aligarh Muslim University today, Mr. Rajen H. Khwaja, former Secretary, Tourism, Government of India said that a new slogan has gained popularity these days that â€œenergy security of a country is as much important as its territorial securityâ€.
He pointed out that as a mega diverse country, the importance of conserving our forests, wildlife and ecologically sensitive areas cannot be overemphasized. It is a metter of greater concern that we are mindlessly destroying many ecologically sensitive areas in our country in the name of reducing poverty, industrial development and improving the quality of life of our citizens.
Mr. Khwaja said, â€œIn many countries certain areas are regarded as inviolate, where anthropogenic interventions are not permitted. These are normally areas having forests, wildlife, biospheres and coastal mangroves. In India we do not have this policy so farâ€.
Referring to the role of institutions of higher studies and research, Mr. Khwaja pointed that that the quality of academic institutions determined the significantly the quality of life of citizens in a country. He claimed, â€œIf we produce enlightened students, we are automatically promoting enlightened citizensâ€.
Mr. Khwaja asserted that â€œAMU had greater role to play in rejuvenating values which would enable the University to focus on a leadership role in promoting sustainable developmentâ€. He said, â€œThis University is not an ordinary university. The founding principles and founding father of this great institution believed in promoting noble and positive humanistic valuesâ€. He suggested that AMU could start courses with specialization in environmental sciences.
Mr. Khwaja further said that the University administration could also adopt many clean technologies for its establishment such as rain-water harvesting, vermicomposting, recycling of household waste, installation of energy saving electrical fixtures, replacement of high power consuming equipment including air conditioners, water pumping systems and old electrical equipment with Bureau of Energy Efficiency Certified equipment.
In his presidential address, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Brig. S. Ahmad Ali said that â€œwe are using our resources more than our needâ€ and this indiscriminate exploitation of nature has led to the greater environmental imbalance.
Brig. Ali said that in desert areas people have only three to four litres of water to use per day. He said that water conservation was an important aspect of environmental conservation. He said â€œnobody can win over natureâ€.
Brig. Ali said that every person can make significant contribution to safeguarding nature by making bits of efforts like lessening use of paper, conserving water, discarding motorized conveyances and reducing use of electricity.
On this occasion, a book on Sir Syed Memorial Lectures compiled by Prof. Shan Mohammad was also released.
Prof. Tariq Ahmad, Director, Sir Syed Academy welcomed the guests, while Mr. Husain Haider conducted the programme.