Vijaybhoomi University striving for SDG goals

New Delhi  : Vijaybhoomi University has joined the global quest for a sustainable environment by undertaking several landmark initiatives through a redesigned campus framework. India’s first liberal university, Vijaybhoomi University is known for its time-tested commitment to the cause of social responsibilities and holistic individual development.

Pledging its support to the Goa Declaration for achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations in 2015, the University is working in the right earnest to impact at least 11 SDGs in a meaningful manner. The Goa Declaration was released at the three-day PACT2030 (Pledge, Act, Change, Transform) conclave, held in Goa in March, 2022, and is the first of its kind academic declaration in India towards achieving the UN’s SDG goals.

Even though institutes of higher education are under no obligation to adopt the SDGs, Vijaybhoomi University has chosen to provide a platform that will help students develop a well-rounded understanding of how global challenges need to be addressed.

Speaking on the initiatives, Mr. Sanjay Padode, President, Vijaybhoomi University, said, “Vijaybhoomi University is where we believe in practicing what we preach. Being an education institute, it is our primary responsibility to make our students socially and environmentally conscious. The initiatives that we are talking about today have been a major part of our goals since the very inception of the university. The PACT2030 only reinsures that we are moving in the right direction. The University is very proud of its efforts in contributing towards the SDG agenda and will continue to do so.

Vijaybhoomi University has committed itself to adopting these SDGs the in following ways:

Sustainable Campus {#SDG9, #SDG11, #SDG12 and #SDG15}

The university campus, during its construction, made limited use of cement to make the buildings more sustainable. The campus was designed on a multiple axis system as each corridor and passageway or window frames offer views of the mountain range that serves as a backdrop to this beautiful site. This also helps create light wind tunnels that bring in cross ventilation to every part of the campus, minimising the need for air-conditioning systems. When it came to materials, 90% was sourced locally. All the rock that was excavated during the construction was used in a gabion retaining wall system along the hillsides. Brick was sourced from local kilns within a 50km radius. Local stones were also used in paving. Brick and concrete were left exposed albeit with a transparent waterproof coating to shelter from the heavy rains during the monsoon period. This was done to lend a natural look that would seamlessly blend into the natural surroundings, making it seem like the buildings were always there.

Plastic-free Campus {#SDG11, #SDG12 and #SDG13}

The university campus has been declared plastic-free. Students, faculty and staff make recurring efforts to collect plastic waste and put them in a landfill. The collected waste is then deposited with Karjat Municipal Corporation which recycles the plastic in making of roads etc.

Using Water Responsibly {#SDG6, #SDG11 and #SDG12}

The university has invested into double plumbing leading to the reuse of STP (Sewage Treatment Plant) water for flushing and gardening. Efficient use of water has not only resulted in water economy but also greater green coverage of the campus.

Eco-friendly Mobility {#SDG7, #SDG11 and #SDG12}

The Vijaybhoomi Campus is a combustible fuel-free area. Mobility for humans and goods within the campus is facilitated by e-vehicles. This further augments the Air Quality Index (AQI) of Vijaybhoomi. The AQI data evidently shows the marked difference in the quality of air at Vijaybhoomi and metros.

Protecting the micro-ecosystem {#SDG7, #SDG11 and #SDG12}

The landscape, plants and trees were also very carefully chosen to ensure the campus continued with its approach to protect the local flora. More than 60,000 trees have been planted on the Vijaybhoomi campus.

Solar powered {#SDG7}

To meet the power supply challenge, the university has installed a 100-KW solar plant on the campus. The solar plant is connected with an electricity-grid. This renewable power supply makes Vijaybhoomi an SDG-friendly campus.

Supporting the cause of girl-child {#SDG2, #SDG3, #SDG4 and #SDG17}

Vijaybhoomi University is part of Kanyathon, a mega-marathon to support the cause of the girl child. The 11th edition of the marathon drew 7000 runners in 2022. Kanyathon received a Global Award from the prestigious AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate School of Business) for its social impact in the category ‘Innovations that Inspire’. The funds raised will assist in improving the lives of girls and women by empowering them in areas such as education and health. A shining example of the use of Kanyathon funds is the donation to the Government School in Jamrung for setting up the Kanyathon Shiksha Kendra.

As a university, Vijaybhoomi feels that leadership, research, teaching, learning, campus operations, and the quality of service are the most important aspects that every institution must emphasize to make a larger contribution to the SDG agenda.