Students from premier Indian and Australian Universities, including the Indian Institute of Technology - Madras have called for localised protocol is based on the principle of "think globally, plan regionally and act locally" to ensure a sustainable future for the world.
The "Australia India Sustainability Protocol" issued by 59 students who participated in the first Australia India Universities Youth Forum (AIUYF) on sustainability states : "Local protocols musy adhere to the four S - Sacrifice, Save, Sustain, and Survive. Solutions should be scientifically justifiable, economically viable and culturally aceptable."
Around 30 Indian Students from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Manipal University and the University of Pune were in Australia from June 28 to July 12, participating with counterparts from Australian universities in workshops and events held in Sydney, Canberra, outback Australia and Darwin.
"The AIUYF aims to develop links and foster understanding and dialogue between Australian and Indian Students. Participants were selected based on a demonstrated interest in sustainability, leadership ability and an outstanding academic background," said AIUYF steering committee chair John Ingleson.
An intiative of IDP Education Australia Ltd., an organisation owned by 38 Australian Universities undertaking activities to support international education, the AIUYF discussed problems including management and allocation of resources - Energy, Transport, Water, Waste, Town Planning, lack of awareness and motivation to make a positive change, and individual sustainability intiatives.
Rishu Shekhar Shandilya, who is pursuing a bachelors programme at JNU, wants to protect the environment and spread the message of sustainable consumption and production in India. Some of the solutions in the Australia India Sustainability Protocol focus on education, media, governance and individual commitment towards sustainable living.
The Protocol states that legislation and planning that obligates sustainable development and change is needed at all levels of government including the very top levels. For Australian students, used to long hot showers, it was difficult to contemplate that water consumption can be reduced by using a bucket and mug, a common practice in most of the developing world. It will be giving better future for Indian Students. Ind0-Australian University students work for a sustainable future.