Report by Rashmi r Parida, New Delhi: The Seventh Convocation ceremony of the TERI University was held today, where four eminent dignitaries were awarded honorary doctorates. They are Dr José Manuel Ramos-Horta, Former President, East Timor, Mr Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever, and Mr Hiroaki Nakanishi, Chairman and CEO, Hitachi, and test cricketer V V S Laxman. In all, a total of eight doctoral degrees and 178 master’s degrees were awarded to the TERI University students at the convocation.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr R K Pachauri, Chancellor, TERI University, and Director General, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), said: “Growth cannot happen in a vacuum, we need to create an enabling environment. TERI University has been built with an objective to achieve environmental sustainability. More importantly, we need to bring about a transformation in resource efficiency. Our country’s population is growing rapidly and we need to create engines of change.”
Mr M Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Minister of Urban Development, said: “I am happy to be here at the convocation and I want students to never stop learning. TERI University students have a challenge to achieve both environmental and social sustainability. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we have a chance to transform India and make the country development oriented. Skill development and management is one of the critical areas to transform India. For this, we need to change our mindsets. Given the state of unplanned development, we need to build capacity, especially for our urban bodies. We cannot build Smart Cities overnight, but we need appropriate technologies to realize this dream. We need to be proud of our nation and its heritage.”
Dr Leena Srivastava, Vice Chancellor, TERI University, and Honorary Executive Director, TERI, said: “It has been 15 years since we were recognized as a deemed university by the
Government of India. The TERI University is proud to see how its students are already making a mark in society. From helping integrate sustainability reporting, including the publication of the Economic Survey, to setting up social enterprises, from contributing to the efforts of international development organizations to working with corporates, and bringing change from within, our students are everywhere. We have been constantly experimenting, and successfully, with different innovations.”
Dr Rajiv Seth, Dean (Admn) & Registrar, TERI University, said: “2014 has been a great year for the TERI University in many ways. The campus has acquired colours of a different hue, bringing a youthful and energetic feeling in all of us. Apart from enhancing our learning, we have expanded modern green building concepts such as passive solar design, energy efficiency and water and waste management systems. This year we have set up a new department of regional water studies to respond to the challenges of water management, both at the national and regional levels.”
Accepting the doctorate, Cricketer V V S Laxman, said: “I am happy because I wanted to become a doctor, but realized my dream to play for the country. This is the right time for the youth to realize their personal aspirations and bring glory to the nation.”
Set up in 1998, the TERI University was conceived to cater to the need of disseminating the vast reservoir of knowledge created by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) – a not for profit, independent research institute recognized globally for its contribution to scientific and policy research in the realms of energy, environment, and sustainable development. The TERI University was granted deemed-to-be-university status by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in 1999. Today, the University offers not just world-class education, but also an environment that enables its students to develop fresh perspectives on their subjects of study. This includes regular interactions with researchers, scientists, practitioners and academicians.
TERI University over the years…
The TERI University's first convocation was held on October 16, 2006, where eight doctoral and 36 master's degrees were awarded. Over the years, the University has added value to its educational programmes. For instance, this year, a Department of Regional Water Studies was set up to examine water issues in an interdisciplinary framework, bringing in cultural, educational and scientific factors as well as religious, ethical, social, political, legal, institutional and economic dimensions for a better and holistic approach in water management.
In 2009, scholarships were set up in various programmes, funded by Sindicatum Climate Change Foundation, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Open Society Foundation, benefiting 67 students till now. In 2007, the University launched an academic exchange programme with
Yale University (School of Forestry and Environmental Studies) with the support of the V K Rasmussen Foundation. In 2008, the University launched another academic exchange programme with Freie University of Berlin, Germany, with the support of DAAD (The German Academic Exchange Service).
From launching the first doctoral programme in 2001 with 13 students and master's programmes in 2003 with 19 students, the University has awarded 48 doctoral students and 974 master's students till now. TERI University thus has become a benchmark for excellence and quality within a remarkably short span of time. It now offers a wide range of academic programmes related to sustainable development.
The University transcends traditional teaching, and its courses attract students from various fields like sciences, economics, geography and engineering, inculcating various perspectives into the curriculum. One of the very few universities worldwide devoted to specialized areas related to sustainable development, the University has partnered with several leading universities in USA, the UK and Australia, thereby creating a fertile ground for the exchange of ideas, knowledge and research for both faculty and students. Keeping the environmental challenges of the 21st century in mind, the University today offers 13 master's level programmes, 6 MSc, 2 MA, 3 M Tech and 2 MBA, besides its prestigious doctoral programmes.