Punjab State Council for Science & Technology had taken the lead in setting up the Regional Centre for Expertise (RCE) network on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) for the region. Council had submitted proposal for the same to Global RCE Service Centre at United Nations University-Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS), Japan. In this regard, a stakeholders and partner agencies workshop was organized in the Council wherein RCE related issues and programmes were discussed in detail.UNU-IAS has accepted the proposal of PSCST after extensive review by the Ubuntu Committee of Peers set up by UNESCO and has acknowledged the Council as RCE Chandigarh. Council has received certificate for the same. Further, the RCE Chandigarh is the 100th member of the Global RCE network.
An RCE is a network of existing formal, non-formal and informal education organisations, mobilized to deliver ESD to local and regional communities. A worldwide network of RCEs constitutes the Global Learning Space for Sustainable Development. RCEs aspire to achieve the goals of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD, 2005–14), by translating its global objectives into the context of the local communities in which they operate. This group meets regularly to discuss issues, and looks for common grounds and issues to focus and work upon. The major thrusts of RCE are:
The theme of World Environment Day 2011 was ‘Forests: Nature at Your Service’ marking the International Year of Forests. It was intended to increase awareness about the importance of forests as an integral part of the sustainable development of the planet and about the economic, socio-cultural, and environmental benefits that forests provide. Deforestation and forest degradation contribute up to one-fifth of greenhouse gas emissions, a major cause of global warming.
PSCST motivated Govt. agencies, educational institutions and NGOs to celebrate the World Wetlands Day all over Punjab. Advertisement was also released on the occasion in leading local dailies in English and Punjabi to inculcate awareness among general public. As a result, this day was celebrated with huge participation of school students and NGOs in the State. Various programs were organized by PSCST, Schools and NGOs on the occasion.
World Ozone Day, 16th September was designated by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. It was on this day in 1987 that the Montreal Protocol was signed by a number of countries concerned about the depletion of the Earth’s protective ozone layer. This day serves as a reminder to decision-makers and the general public of the need to protect this valuable shield that safeguards the earth.
PSCST requested all the District Education Officers (S) in the State to celebrate Ozone day by involving schools covered under National Green Corps (NGC) Programme. Organisations actively taking up environmental activities under National Environment Awareness Campaign were also requested in this regard. A total of 56 schools celebrated the day. Various activities/ programmes organized all over the state on the occasion of celebration of International Day for Preservation of Ozone Layer, 2011 were as follows:
The National Green Corps (NGC) is a national program across India conceptualized and initiated by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India. PSCST is the nodal agency in Punjab for promotion, co-ordination and implementation of environmental activities in the State. From the state, 5000 schools are participating in this programme. These schools have constituted eco-clubs of 30-50 students which take up environment awareness activities under the guidance of eco-club Incharge Teachers. MoEF, GOI is providing financial assistance for 5000 eco-clubs @ Rs. 2500/- per Eco-Club to conduct activities for environmental awareness leading to action programmes. Financial assistance @ Rs. 25,000/- per district is also being provided for strengthening the implementation and monitoring at district level.
NGC schools in the state organized 13,355 different activities like seminars/lectures, competitions, plantation, cleanliness drives, water conservation, etc. involving 72, 0572 students during the year 2011-12. PSCST had organized meetings and discussions with District Science Supervisors and assessed the progress of activities under NGC programme in the schools of Punjab and motivated NGC schools from Punjab to participate in Green Olympiad organized by TERI and Paryavaran Mitra Programme. A two days State level Paryavaran Mitra Master Trainers Training programme was organized during 1-2 December 2011 at Chandigarh. Around 60 Master Trainers from 18 districts participated in the training programme. PSCST is also facilitating the program The Gobar Times Green Schools Programme (GTGSP) for Centre for Science and Education (CSE) in the State. Two Schools of Punjab namely BCM Senior Secondary School, Ludhiana and DRV DAV Centenary Public School, Phillaur have won top honors at the national level under this program. These schools have also implemented the Green Schools’ Programme (GSP) to bring about positive change in the schools environment in terms of practices followed to improve the quality/usage/sustainability of Land, Air, Water, Energy and Waste Resources.
In order to make NGC activities more broadbased, initiatives are being taken by PSCST in collaboration with State Institute of Science Education (SISE) and Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) to include Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) activities in the ambit of NGC programme. Realizing the need of inculcating the concept of sustainable development among children through education, a training module on ESD for Master Trainers is being developed by the Council in consultation with SISE, PSEB and other stakeholders and with inputs from DSSs & teachers. In this regard PSCST organized a workshop on ESD, inviting District Science Supervisors, Assistant District Science Supervisors and 70 Master Trainers from various districts to discuss and take their feedback on this training manual.
PSCST has been organizing ‘Popular Biotechnology Lecture Series’ every year with the support of DBT-GOI to keep the students and teachers abreast of advancements in this field. The 19th Popular Biotechnology Lecture Series was organized at Lovely Professional University, Phagwara on 8th February, 2013 on the theme ‘Bioremediation’. It comprised of three lectures viz. ‘Bioremediation – an Overview’ by Dr. Jatinder Kaur Arora, Director (Biotechnology), Punjab State Council for Science & Technology; ‘Role of Biosurfactants in Bioremediation’ by Dr. Swaranjit Singh, Scientist F, Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh and ‘Bioremediation of Xenobiotics and Heavy Metals’ by Dr. Neelam Verma, Professor, Department of Biotechnology, Punjabi University, Patiala. The lectures were followed by elaborate question- answer session. The programme was attended by more than 300 students and teachers from various educational institutions.
Resource Persons Delivering Lecture During Popular Series
Under the project ‘Scale up, demonstration & promotion of technology for production of natural vinegar and non-alcoholic naturally carbonated (NANC) beverages’ supported by DST, GOI, fourteen awareness programmes (detailed below) were organized in various districts of Punjab to make self help groups, rural & SC women, farmers & cooperative society members aware about potential benefits on natural vinegar & NANC beverages as compared to their synthetic counterparts available in the market. The lectures covering technical know-how and potential of these technologies as an enterprise were delivered. Further, for those participants who showed keen interest in starting enterprise based on these technologies, eight hands-on training workshops were organized, start-up cultures given and handholding provided whenever required. The programmes were organized in collaboration with Punjab Agricultural University and its Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Science and Technology Entrepreneurs Park, Thapar University, PAMETI, Punjab Institute of Cooperative Training, Unati Cooperative Processing and Marketing Society Talwara
Village / District covered
No. of participants
Departments of Extension Education, PAU
Sheikh Daulat, Jagraon
Punjab Agricultural Management & Extension Training Institute
Saholi, Nabha, Patiala
Punjab Institute of Cooperative Training
Distt. Ropar, SAS Nagar & Fatehgarh Sahib
Agriculture Cooperative Staff Training Institute
Distt. Jalandhar, Kapurthala & Hoshiarpur
KVK, Fatehgarh Sahib
Village Balari Kalan, Distt. Fatehgarh Sahib
Khalsa college Amritsar
Kisan Mela Amritsar
25 (SC )
Hands-on training workshops
Departments of Extension Education and Microbiology, PAU
Distt. Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Bathinda, Sangrur
Distt. Patiala & Ludhiana
Distt. Fazilka, Ferozepur, Ludhiana, Sangrur
Science & Technology Entrepreneurs Park, Thapar University
- do -
Distt. Nabha, Patiala & Ludhiana
Departments of Extension Education and Microbiology, PAU
Distt. Ludhiana, Sangrur, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ropar and Jalandhar
In view of the potential of kandi area for cultivation of medicinal & aromatic plants, the Council organized twelve on-farm contact programmes in villages Roug, Narainpur, Sukret, Harar, Dung, Hardusaran, Sarti, Dunera, Bhangoori, Jungath & Palah of Dhar Block, to promote cultivation of aromatic grasses under Field Demonstration Project for Dhar Block supported by Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India. During these programmes, information on potential of cultivation of aromatic grasses viz. lemongrass, palmarosa & citronella as compared conventional crops in the rain fed regions of the area were provided to the farmers. Further, technology demonstrations (hands-on training) for land preparation, use of farm inputs, nursery raising & cultivation of these crops was provided to adopted farmers (10 nos.) under the project. Three exposure visits of adopted farmers to see the success of lemongrass & palmarosa cultivation at farmers’ fields at Talwara & Mumbai and distillation units set up by PSCST & Unati and Kelkar Scientific Research Centre, Mumbai were arranged to give them first- hand experience of cultivation, processing & marketing of aromatic crops. About 220 farmers participated in above said programmes.
Two training-cum-demonstration programmes for promotion of neem biopesticide were organized in collaboration with Organic Farming Council of Punjab - at village Ryona Ucha, Fatehgarh Sahib on 2.6.2011 for about 70 organic farmers and at village Sajli, Sangrur on 7.6.2011 for about 30 organic farmers. During these programmes, technical know-how for production and application of neem kernel powder was provided.
About 1200 small scale steel re-rolling mills are operating in India, out of which 300 mills are in the state of Punjab. These mills are based on pulverized coal (fuel) for heating of raw materials like ingots, billets, blooms or scrap and operate at a thermal efficiency of 20-30%, resulting in wastage of precious heat energy. Combustion/flue gases generated from the combustion of pulverized coal are emitted from the furnace at very high temperatures (400-650oC) along with high concentration of suspended ash particles.
A few facts about these mills in Punjab are :-
As a result Mandi Gobindgarh has been identified one of 17 critically polluted areas in the country which is a matter of serious public concern.
Further, the rolling mills are facing heavy financial loss due to scale loss and non adoption of energy conservation measures (ECM). PSCST has successfully intervened by demonstrating better feeding, firing and operating practices along with ECM resulting in:
Further, Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) and All India Steel Rerollers’ Association (AISRA) were concerned with the problem of thick black smoke emanating during the cold start-up of rolling mill furnaces in early hours. Realizing the concern of black smock during cold start up, financial loss and poor combustion practices, AISRA engaged PSCST as Consultant in August 2012 for conducting Capacity Building Training Programs (CBTPs) so as to cover around 300 member mills.
The Council developed a knowledge kit comprising of manual, posters & video film in local language for making the CBTPs more meaningful and interactive. PSCST has conducted 19 offsite and onsite (early morning and late night) CBTPs and 2 feedback workshops till 31/08/2013 covering 131 mills. Council's intervention has resulted in visible smoke reduction, besides substantial gains to the industry due to implementation of ECM. The program has been appreciated by the industry and PPCB
(Onsite Training) (Offsite Training)
Short Group On-Site/ Off-Site Training Programmes for Promotion of Energy Conservation Concept in Brick kilns:
PSCST conducted a series of On-Site/ Off-Site Training Programmes for brick kiln owners & their workforce to sensitize them regarding better feeding, firing & operating practices in Fixed Chimney Bull Trench Kiln. On-Site short group programmes in different regions of Punjab comprising of 25-30 brick kiln owners and their workforce drawn from 5-6 brick kilns was also conducted.
The on-site demonstration of better feeding & operating practices was done at one kiln which was followed by interactive discussuions in the class room sessions.
Presentation was also given on better operating, firing and feeding practices in brick kilns. The various queries of kiln owners & work force were responded.
The impact of the training programme on the brick kilns owners and their workforce was observed during the subsequent visits to their respective kilns. Many progressive kiln owners had implemented/ adopted the major recommendations made by the Council team. The brick kilns owners were satisfied with the results which they were getting after adopting the recommended measures.
Information resources on leading issues, events and ideas on climate change.
Knowledge base of the current trends and practices on sustainable building design.
Knowledge City is a mega initiative of the State Government Coordinated
Platforms to engage young people and make themaware on environmental issues.
Conservation of Biological Diversity of Punjab by implementing the Biological Diversity Act 2002.
At the forefront of Sustainable Change