Smart citizens from smart campus

Modi’s USD five trillion goal takes off at campus


July 31, 2019

/ By / Kolkata

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The national competition of ‘Clean and Smart Campus’ is a step towards preparing smart citizens out of students who are going to live in the smart cities and develop the country to a smarter India and take it to the global level by practicing sustainable and effective methods to preserve the nature.

India’s journey towards attaining USD 5 trillion economy within five years has begun in India’s college and university campuses with the national competition of ‘Clean and Smart Campus’. Launched by All India Council of Higher Technical Institutes (AICTE) of Ministry of Human Resource Development and in partnership with TERRE Policy Centre, this initiative is to encourage cleanliness and promote smart use of technology in the institutes.

The council thinks that these smart campuses have the potential to be helpful in optimizing the use of energy and water consumption, effective waste management, sustainable transport, air pollution etc., within the campus. The increased use of technology, especially IoT (Internet of Thing), AI (Artificial Intelligence), robotics, cloud-networking and automaton can be immensely helpful to re-model a campus into a smart campus. The aim of this competition is to induce the minds of the students to reduce exploitation of the natural resources and to sustain the environment. Also, the smart campuses will produce ‘Smart Citizens’- those who are future-ready for the smart cities and even smarter India. Moreover, this engagement with the stakeholders in transforming the institutes to have clean and smart campus will also facilitate dialogue and sharing of ideas amongst students, faculty and administrators towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

“The focus of this award is to generate a positive competition among institutes and to provide them a platform of learning by sharing and coming in par with the latest environmental and technological trends,” said Anil Sahasrabuddhe, chairman of AICTE.

TERRE Policy Centre, a non-profit independent organisation dedicated to sustainable solutions towards developmental imperatives, had launched a digital dashboard of Smart Campus Cloud Network (SCCN) on World Environment Day in 2017 in presence of the central minister Prakash Javadekar to mainstream the amalgamation of digital technology and SDGs, to further enhance and transform the way education is delivered. SCCN now a joint initiative by TERRE and UNESCO, is a network of colleges and universities that shares information on the steps taken in their campuses regarding resource efficiency, SDGs and climate change through learning-by-doing and achieving-by-sharing methods. This ‘Clean and Smart Campus’ award is a tool to incentivise and accelerate this network process.

“SCCN moulds the minds of future policy makers to build the sustainable and shared future. India’s race towards inclusive development of all will be achieved through incubating the innovative ideas and start-ups. Nothing could be more important than imparting such knowledge and hands-on experience by deploying the modern technologies in the campuses for India’s march towards USD five trillion economy,” said Rajendra Shende, chairman TERRE Policy Centre and former director at UNEP.

“Linking smart initiative with Swachh Bharat (Clean India) mission of India will promote deployment of not only modern technologies like IoT, robotics, cloud networking and artificial intelligence in campus, but will provide human dimension to the smart campus by making it clean and healthy place,” he added.

There has been a great response from 31 Indian states and union territories, including Jammu and Kashmir, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Jharkhand and Sikkim towards the competition. 728 campuses out of more than 10,000 educational institutes have submitted their applications along with providing their campus data on how they have adopted, designed and monitored to improve the data by optimizing the use of energy, water, waste management, transport, air pollution, awareness and education courses within the campus. They also provided data on the use of digital technology for its contribution to SDGs on real time basis, as required by the questionnaire and guidelines jointly designed by AICTE, TERRE and International Institute of Waste Management.

“Promoting the positive competition and the constructive dialogue on UN Sustainable Development Goals and also facilitate better networking amongst other higher educational institutes – both regionally and nationally is the core objective of the Competition. Such awards along with the efforts of SCCN enable the desired transformation of students to ‘Future ready-smart citizens’ for the Smart Cities and an even Smarter India,” added Sahasrabuddhe.

The competition was launched on June 13 and the submission was completed on July 19. The awards will be declared on October 2, 2019, on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, after due evaluation and onsite verification by the jury. The award is categorised in three sub-categories as AICTE approved polytechnics, AICTE approved colleges (including standalone PGDM institutes) and universities/ deemed to be universities running technical courses and approved by AICTE.

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