The objective of DAI-ES project is to continuously conduct a course on Environmental Studies at DA-IICT. The course “Environmental Studies” at the Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Gandhinagar was developed and offered by CEE on invitation.
The course explored the concept of 'Environment' in its broadest sense of 'surrounding', and related to this, the idea of Sustainable Development. It was organised around key themes that discuss the issues of sustainability and development, socio-cultural and built environment, and sectoral issues related to biodiversity, water, energy, agriculture, urbanization and industry. Important issues such as caste-based discrimination, HIV/Aids in India and the relationship these have to environment, were also included.
The course highlighted cross-cutting issues such as quality of life, consumption, equity, participation in decision making, etc. At the outset, the course addressed certain key issues that were particularly deserving of attention, based on the past experiences with teaching the course. These were:
□ Duration of each session was one-and-a-half hours, and there were two sessions per week (as against one 3-hour session per week the previous year, which students found ‘too heavy’ and not conducive to sustaining their attention).
□ Attendance was not mandatory. (As against mandatory attendance in 2005). As a result, most students who came were interested.
□ Fewer assignments (instead of every session having at least one assignment). The assignments were however compulsory for all, and were designed to require students to do considerable research and/or reflect on issues
Towards this, an approach in which student presentations will form the mainstay of the course, and trialing a mode of evaluation that does not burden the teacher, is what CEE hopes to undertake in near future.