Dr R K Pachauri enowned environmentalist and TERI University Chancellor has called for an expansion and reorientation of higher education to create a sustainable living for people across the world in view of the growing need for developing alternative methods through specialised education.
Speaking at the fourth Convocation ceremony of TERI University, he said, “There is not only a need of a major expansion of higher education in this country but also compelling imperative to re-orient higher education in several direction to create conditions for sustainable living of people across the world.”
Dr Pachauri is also the Director-General TERI, and has also served as the chairperson of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 2002.
“Besides local priorities and concerns and national goals and objectives, we now have to create a body of citizens who carry a global vision of the problems that humanity is facing today and the solution which work,” he said, adding, “At the core of this vision is the protection of this planet and preservation of our eco-system.”
Dr Pachauri said that Urbanisation is one of the major challenges that developing countries are facing today. “In view of that, TERI University plans to introduce a new MBA programme in Urban Management,” he said, adding, “Higher education must create the ability for the youth of India to innovate in every sphere of human endeavour. Innovation applies not only to the development of technologies but in the building the evolution of institutions, policies and most importantly the human behavior.”
He said further added that the curriculam in Higher education must be relevant and research based; and should be a blend of modernity and tradition. “Lessons that we imparted 20 years ago in the classrooms would be totally out-dated not only in content but also in their relevance, if they are not refurbished through adequate new research. The effectiveness and value of the knowledge imparted would remain undiminished only when we create the ability of our graduates to inculcate a spirit of enquiry in them,” he said.
He said that TERI University has a global agenda to pursue and for that it will strengthen its linkages with other institutions across the globe.
“We have much more to do in realizing the vision of TERI University. I see the global agenda which is unfolding behind us as the defining challenge of 21st century. This requires that TERI University develop linkages with institutions round the world,” he said, adding, “The richness of programmes at the University presents a refreshing flavour of innovation and relevance to address challenges of tomorrow’s sustainability.”
He said that TERI University will soon expand to other centres across the world. “Our physical infrastructure here is now saturated. We are contemplating the expansion of this university to other centres in India. Indeed, we would willingly explore opportunities to have presence in the other parts of the world.”
The TERI University is currently running its programme from its 2-acre campus in New Delhi.
The genesis of TERI University is rooted in the comprehensive research, consultancy, and outreach activities of TERI, a not-for-profit, independent research institute recognised globally for its contribution to scientific and policy research in the realms of energy, environment, and sustainable development. Initially set-up as the TERI School of Advanced Studies, it received the status of a deemed university in 1999. The School was subsequently renamed TERI University in October 2006.