Authors: Anshul Pathak
Certificate: View Certificate
There is no way to anticipate what India\'s environmental impact will be in the next years. It is undeniable that climate change has had an impact on India in terms of difficult climatic conditions, availability of water and energy, agricultural challenges, natural disasters, and other factors. India is particularly vulnerable to climate change due to the fact that it is a major source of carbon dioxide emissions. According to the objectives of this study article, the causes for the lack of environmental sustainability as an intrinsic structure of the environment in administrative training colleges in India will be identified and explored in this article. In order to be effective, an environmental manual for training officers must be well-organized and put into effect immediately rather than later in the future. During the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP-26), India committed to increasing renewable energy generation to 500 gigatonnes (GW) by 2030. Promoting solar energy, on the other hand, involves the provision of subsidies for domestic solar panel makers, which has prompted solar panel manufacturers in the United States to submit objections with the WTO. During such times, the task of senior civil servants involved in policymaking across a wide range of ministries and departments becomes more complex than it has ever been. Indian civil service training has traditionally focused on teaching administrative principles and legal requirements, filing-drafting abilities, the fundamentals of public administration, and more recently, computer training and e-governance to civil servants in the country. As part of this effort, the article seeks to emphasise the need of environmental sustainability training for public employees during their foundational pre-service training, mid-service training, and executive training development programmes for senior bureaucrats and officials. The purpose is to gain a better understanding of the existing condition of administrative training in India, including how much emphasis is placed on environmental sustainability and what additional curricular modules and programmes are required.
The fact that climate change and environmental issues have started taking over our lives is not new in recent times. Over the years we have witnessed increased environmental issues and disastrous situations not only in India but all over the world- whether it be the wildfires of Australia in 2019 or the heatwave in otherwise cold Canada in the immediate next year. These situations of climate change have bought our critical attention to the problems we are causing to our environment through various means and polluting behaviors like rapid expansion of industries all over the world, increased emission of greenhouse gases and consumerism which is generating tones and tones of waste every day of which mainly is the plastic waste which is derogating the environment by polluting land. This is the need of this hour to finally do some amendments and take come measures to address these situations. Although in various global and national level summits, governments are making promises, now the thing to look out for is how much these countries do on ground because now the situation of environmental sustainability and protection has come to a point where wither we take action now or we all die very soon.
II. ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES FACED BY INDIA
In context to India, it is very important to look out for a few aspects as how changes in the attitudes of people and government of India could change the overall situation of environment all over the world, becauseclimate change and environment deterioration does not know the geographical boundaries so, even if one person is harming environment, it is harming the world and not only the country. India is the second most populated country in the world and also the biggest developing nation, which negatively means that we are not advanced enough to adopt technology as such which could address the need of sustainable environment, the most recent example can be of electric cars, which is currently unaffordable for a majority of households and for a country which is not developed enough to fight starvation and hunger in the country yet and is currently standing at the 101st rank in global hunger index, even below our neighbor nations like Pakistan and Bangladesh, we can not just assume that people would be capable enough to transit their needs of energy to the more expensive, environment friendly means of energy.
On one hand, India deals with poverty, on the other hand it is the world’s largest growing economy which means increased industrialization, increased production and ultimately increased pollution and environmental damage, these factors make India as the center of environment protection and thus vigorous methods have to be adopted by Indian government to deal and address these environmental issues which are not only critical but complex as well.
Although, why do we need to take immediate actions about environmental sustainability in India? It is because only in the past year of 2021, there were a lot of instances where we realized the environmental problems in India are ready to be worsened in upcoming years. To compare the present situation, lets go 13 years back in time, a study conducted in Cambridge University in 2009 predicted the environmental issues which are going to be faced by India in the next 25 years, now 13 years down, if we compare our present situation with the study and see if we are going along the predictions of it, we can see significant similarities.
The study stated that the major problem to be faced by India in the next 25 years would be water pollution and deforestation. It was predicted that this would be a problem due to population growth of which majority would live in rural areas and would be dependent on fossil fuels for non-commercial needs, they would be using cow dung, firewood, agricultural waste etc., and even if it would be reduced, deforestation and lack of proper management system in rural area and lack of drainage system in developing industries, the water bodies would get polluted which would affect the lives of people specially in rural area. This turned out to be true but with a little twist, deforestation continues to be the biggest problem in the country not just because of firewood burning but because of the mega projects proposed by government of India itself. Major examples of the same are- “developing the Andaman and Nicobar Islands” which is a 75,000-crore project which includes development of a transshipment terminal with a greenfield international airport, townships and solar and gas based powerplants in the islands, sociologists have warned that this would affect the indigenous tribes and would backfire to the area’s fragile ecology. Another exampleis in Goa where people have been questioning the purpose of 3 development projects that would mean cutting down 40,000 trees in 2 protected areas in the state. Yet another example is of the Lakshadweep crisis where for tourism purpose a few projects are being proposed which would not only harm the forests of the island but also harm the biodiversity of this area, against this proposal an online petition has also been initiated by the citizens and various environment protection agencies of India. These are not the only instances, several other projects like Char Dham expansion highway and various mining sites have been granted permission to cut trees despite several warnings from environmentalists.
Other problems which come along with deforestation which would and still are plaguing India includes adverse climate conditions, which now have become extreme, like floods in Eastern India during rains, drought in Maharashtra, Rajasthan and other parts of middle and northwestern India during summers and ice and rock avalanches (which are rare) in northern India like Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh have become common. These events not only harm the lives of people but also the economy badly, because a lot of money have to be kept aside for the sole purpose of dealing with these extreme calamities in the country which affects the total financial stability of the country which would yet increase in future.
So, after understanding the problem and its urgency and severity now, we should look at what could be done at the national level for mitigating these issues, there is no overnight solution for these issues but they are possible to be resolved slowly and gradually. The best way to call for the solution to these problems could be achieved by inculcating environment protection values in our hearts as well as in the policies.
III. ROLE OF CIVIL SERVANTS IN ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
Policies of government are drafted by the civil servants, the policymakers of the country, they make sure that the policies are good enough to benefit the masses of the nation. They focus on not only the overall development of the country but also looks into how those policies are benefiting the sole stakeholders of the country- citizens, through a proper system of administrative mechanism, supervision and feedback. So, when these policy formulators and executors would initiate environment-friendly values through their policies and programs, the United Nations goal of sustainable development and sustainable environment could be achieved and maintained in the long run.
IV. CIVIL SERVANT’S RECRUITMENT TRAINING AND CAPACITY BUILDING
The IAS officers and other civil servants are chosen by the Union Public Service Commission for national level and by State Public Service Commissions individually for states. They are selected through a three-level selection process which includes a preliminary examination, mains examination and the interview, through this process the best brains of the country are chosen for the prestigious job of a civil servant and through the course of their study they study various subjects including geography, ecology and disaster management, but if we think about environmental sustainability, it is not a mere subject to be studied in a room, rather it is something that has to be done on ground then only a difference could be made ever, so the practical knowledge about the subject and its knowhow of application on ground should be included in the training schedule of a civil servant.
V. CIVIL SERVANTS TRAINING AT NATIONAL LEVEL
Typically, traditionally, the training module of an IAS officer is divided into 5 parts including 3 phases, namely, the foundation course, phase 1, district training, phase 2 and assistant secretaryship, apart from this induction training for direct recruits, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Administrative Academy (LBSNAA) which trains the IAS officers are also trained to face the real-life challenges of administration and also train the civil servants promoted from state services. Not only this, mid-career programs are also held to upskilling bureaucrats. It is an almost 2-year long training schedule for the new recruits, where in 1st phase and 1st module of the foundation course, there is Bharat darshan along with academic module which is 15week long and includes academic sessions on policymaking, land management, soft skills, project management, national security and E-governance. It also includes physical activities and cultural activities.
Then comes District training where candidates learn about the particular district that has been allotted to them by being a part of it and gain knowledge about the development about the development issues, challenges and solutions and implementation of those solutions. Later in phase 2, there is discussion on challenges and issues in development, sharing of individual learning experience from phase 1 and special sessions with distinguished subject matter experts. Furthermore, after their induction training the probationers join their respective deputations and there the training period ends.
From understanding the training module of Civil servants, we can observe that no special recognition is given to environmental studies and real-life problems of environment and how to deal with those. There is no particular structure for training the candidates disaster management, sustainable environment and environmental issues.
LBSNAA has a great reach to civil servants from all the levels, it should inculcate the severe subject of environment to its curriculum as because in the structure of training of civil servants, inclusion of a well structured environment sustainability module has become more significant than ever now as India has made big promises in environment related summits and conferences which are now growing in importance and the countries globally are now taking them seriously and have started making laws and promises for environment protection, it has now become adamant to include pro-environment aspects to the policies of the country relating to each and every sector which directly or indirectly concerns the environment.
VI. CIVIL SERVANTS TRAINING AT STATE & DISTRICT LEVEL
A) The District administrative Training institute (DTI) helps all training institutes to design an annual training plan. This Training Plan (TP) outlines the number of Training Programs (TP) for Group C and D employees, the topics covered, and the training model employed. The DTI organises trainings in each of its districts. Every year, the District Deputy Commissioner chairs a Management Committee Meeting and writes letters to all departments asking for information such as expected attendance and training needs. The DTI designs the training curriculum and evaluation framework based on departmental needs and feedback from previous TP participants.
DTIs employ participant feedback to improve training sessions. The District Deputy Commissioner then approves the Annual Training Plan. After approval, the Institute notifies concerned departments and requests employee information for upcoming TPs. Departments give names and phone numbers of potential participants. The DTIs have a difficult time acquiring participant lists; previous TPs have revealed incorrect lists and a high absence rate.
Institutes monitor staff involvement in training to avoid absenteeism. Most expected staff do not attend training due to work pressure and competition. If the quorum is not met, the TP is cancelled.
DTIs offer two types of training: Sponsored Programs vs. Regular
Sponsored programmes are organised by the State Institutes of Rural and Urban Development (SIRD) and government enterprises. These institutes or departments pay DTIs to provide training. Regular programmes are those that air regularly.
B) Creating training materials is an important part. They help the Administrative Training Institute establish the training timetable. The DTIs construct the syllabuses based on government orders, departmental reference materials, and resource person information. Training sessions use PowerPoint slides and lectures.
The distribution of training materials is not standardised; participants receive soft copies via email, hard copies if available, or all materials on a CD at the end of the session.
C) Trained Resource Persons are required. Due to a lack of trainers, DTI staff conduct the TPs. Guest lecturers, domain experts, and consultants may get honoraria. The TPs are likewise led by retired civil servants. Untrained guest faculty members provide years of experience. Staff members encouraged permanent hiring of qualified lecturers.
VII. NEED FOR THE TRAINING OF ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
In the most ambitious target set by a developing country to combat climate change, PM Narendra Modi has announced at the COP-26 Summit in Glasgow in November 2021, that India would achieve net-zero carbon emission by 2070, that means, the country has promised to balance all the carbon it emits by capturing an equal amount. PM has also said that India would achieve a non-fossil energy capacity of up to 500 Megawatts by 2030 and that 50% of the country’s energy requirements would be met by renewable resources, finally, he said that India would reduce carbon emissions by a billion tones from 2021 to 2030. Now, to fulfil these statements, India has to deal with a few barriers- first and foremost being the challenge to transit to solar energy. To reach the 0% carbon emission trademark, India needs to transit to solar power but various challenges at the national level like manufacturing capacity of solar panels, investment in research and development to research about the more efficient means of solar energy production, lack of investment friendly environment in the country, lack of skill development to operate into solar power, low voltage grid connectivity of variable solar resources and regulatory decisions are major challenges that needs attention and resolution to boost solar power in the country. As solar power is the more suitable, sustainable and favorable choice, the administration has to keep aside a part of budget for research and development in this field so that it could become more available and affordable, also, training has to be provided to the workforce in this field so that it could overcome the challenges related to transiting energy usage to solar powered means.
Although the government of India is taking small steps to popularize the initiative by giving subsidies to people who chose solar energy in their commercial as well as private areas so that a shift towards solar energy could be initiated through a small step. Not only this the government is also promoting electric vehicles and is also introducing electric vehicles in public transportation so that the dream of achieving 0% carbon emissions could be achieved by the country and an example could be set for the world in this positive direction.
On the other hand, if policymakers are trained in the field of sustainable environment, they can make policies, keeping in mind the environmental impact of any proposals or projects so that they can make arguable difference through including innovative ideas to address the issues of environment and its effect on development.
Just like the administrators are now given training in the technical fields, because we have understood that to keep up with the dynamicity of the changing world, we need to acquire these technical skills, training in disaster management is no different. To mitigate the effects of a disaster is a technique that has to be acquired by the administrators now because it would happen, disasters now are unavoidable as the damage to the environment has been made already, now we can just minimize its effects as far as humanly possible, this fact makes the training in sustainable environment more significant as the civil servants are the ones who practically run the nation, by making and executing policies.
Now, just development is not the goal of a country but a sustainable development as we do not borrow the environment from our ancestors but borrow it from our children, thus the servants of the civil, the executives and bureaucrats play an inevitable role by suggesting ministers about the possible environmental issues and their solutions and framing policies as such that environment and development go hand in hand and nothing is left behind in the race of time.
Thus, making a properly structured environmental training program an integral part of the learning module of civil servants could play an exponentially important role in environmental protection and recovery.
This training program should not only be inculcated at the probationary level but also at all the levels of services as well as in the curriculum of school students in a theoretical as well as practical manner, because these environmental issues need to be highlighted and solved at all levels.
Today, as the world is changing constantly, threats to environment are also changing rapidly and are becoming more complex day by day with increasing population and dependence on natural resources so, keeping pace with the changing problems and solutions related to environment has never been more important than in today’s world. Thus, we can conclude by saying and understanding how important it is to not only include environment sustainability in the training curriculum of civil servants but also acting upon it accordingly in practical world to meet the global need of environment protection and also keep the national growth moving upward in the graph of development. We can achieve it through developing related technologies, upgrading skills of people performing administrative activities from top to bottom of the scalar chain and changing habits by adopting to small changes and making a big impact, for that all of the administration and civilians needs to work together to make an impact in the country as well as in this world because as they say “the greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else would save it”. To sum up, it is vital to not only teach environmental sustainability to public servants, but also to implement it in the actual world to satisfy global environmental protection needs while also guaranteeing that the national economy grows and progresses higher in the development graph. Among the issues include a lack of soft skills training, such as how to use ICT to boost productivity and multitasking, and how to undertake \"documentation\" and \"assessment\" of schemes and programmes by private consulting firms with no prior experience in public administration. Less investment in capacity building means more reliance on consulting firms for even regular tasks. In order to avoid overtraining and undertraining, prescribe training length limitations for the entire career. Bihar, for example, has a minimum of one week and a maximum of 104 weeks. To do this, we must create associated technology, improve administrative skills among all levels of the supply chain, and modify habits by making tiny but significant adjustments. All levels of government and citizens must work together to make a difference in the country and globally, because \"our planet\'s biggest peril is the notion that someone else will save it.\" The training programme should be implemented not only at the probationary level, but also at all levels of service, as well as in the curriculum of school students, in both a theoretical and practical manner, because environmental issues must be brought to the attention of and resolved at all levels of government and business.
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