On the occasion of United Nations Day 2021, O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU) released on October 24 the first-of-its-kind ‘Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: Role of Universities and Civil Society in Protecting the Environment Report’, mapping its compliance towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN. Setting a global benchmark, JGU has become one of the first universities to fully commit to and implement the SDGs on its campus, despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The report was launched in the presence of Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Education, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Environment, Professor (Dr.) Pankaj Mittal, Secretary General Association of Indian Universities, Shri Atul Bagai Head of Country Office United Nations Environment Programme and Mr. Sudhir Mishra, Founder & Managing Partner, Trust Legal, Advocates & Consultants.
The UN SDGs include affordable and sustainable energy, combating climate change, eradicating hunger, education, health, and gender equality. To demonstrate its commitment towards the implementation of the SDGs, JGU engaged in an independent assessment of its campus and initiatives to get a transparent and fair view of the university’s progress in compliance with the UN SDGs. A cohort of 12 assessors from the environment and legal fields including The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Trust Legal, Advocates & Consultants and Mazars Business Advisors Pvt. Ltd. carried out a rigorous evaluation of the university’s processes ranging from the university’s energy consumption to water management systems and community engagement initiatives.
Shri Dharmendra Pradhan said congratulated JGU on the launch of the Report and said, “The launch of the report comes at an opportune moment when the world leaders including Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will attend COP26 meeting at Glasgow next month. Diverse voices in the form of reports, scientific inquiry, and debates will only enrich our collective knowledge in protecting the health of the planet. The National Education Policy 2020 is fully aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Goals and aims to nurture youth with global outlook and sensibility with capabilities that can help them face the global challenges of the 21st century. It is built on the foundational pillars of access, equity, quality, affordability and accountability. childhood care to quality education for the students in the remotest corner of the country. Universities have responsibility to contribute not only to the local communities but also to the global community. This is primarily because they have the capacity to help students develop a holistic understanding of how a wide range of local, national and global challenges can be addressed. They help students in developing the spirit of scientific inquiry, curiosity and entrepreneurship needed to produce concrete and innovative solutions to tackle these challenges. The role of university in the road to the sustainable development is crucial. It becomes imperative that the universities devote time and resources to create an SDG ready generation that remains focused on the mission to achieve sustainable development.”
Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Hon’ble Minister of State for Environment, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Government of India said, “I congratulate the Vice Chancellor of JGU that under his leadership, JGU is not only committed to excellence in education but has also demonstrated a vision to implement the UN-SDG goals at the university. Educational institutions can play a pivotal role in informing young people and create awareness about the steps needed to protect and preserve the environment. India has a long tradition of protecting nature and environment. As our Vedas say, if you protect nature, nature will protect you. It is our duty to respect the environment for human survival. It is an achievement for JGU for conducting such a study on UN-SDG goals and its aim to handle the challenges of carbon emissions to pollution, flora and fauna and depleting natural resources.”
Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice-Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University said, “The Sustainability Development Report 2021 demonstrates our commitment to creating a green and socially-conscious campus and to have a transparent and fair view of our progress in our compliance with the UN SDGs. This comprehensive assessment was conducted on our processes ranging from our energy consumption to water management systems to community engagement initiatives. While the COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges as well as opportunities for reaching the SDGs, JGU has moved towards a healthier and safer environment by implementing the SDGs within its campus. By taking efforts to implement the UN-SDGs, JGU has shown the way to other educational institutions, how futuristic, social and environmental commitments are met. Even in the past, JGU has demonstrated its commitment to protecting our environment by gaining top rankings in the Swachh Campus Rankings of Higher Educational Institutions conducted by the Ministry of Education. The SDG Report 2021 on JGU is a culmination of outstanding efforts by TERI, Trust Legal and Mazars for creating a new dimension for promoting sustainable development. This has the potential to transform the future and help address the challenges of climate change by brining universities to the centre of knowledge creation, research, experiential learning, innovation and broader engagement with the youth.”