A high-level panel discussion titled “Making Sustainability a Reality: from Policy to Successful Practice” was hosted at our own Amrita University’s Amritapuri campus, attended by Dr. Thomas Isaac, Finance Minister, Kerala, and Sunita Sanghi, Advisor, NITI Aayog, among others.
Said Dr. Thomas Issac: “The idea that development means only increasing GDP and per capita income has come into question due to its heavy toll on nature. Rapid growth based on finite resources is bound to hit a road block. It is not sufficient just to have maximum output. Many economic processes today are unsustainable and present path of global development cannot be sustained. Climate change has emerged as a huge challenge, and by 2050 we may be looking at an environmental disaster. Policy-makers have to search for sustainable path to development. There is a lot to learn from Kerala in sustainability. Kerala’s HDI index remains higher than warranted by its per capita income. It has shown a possible way in improving the quality of life in a manner that is sustainable.”
Dr. Isaac complimented Amrita University for leading the sustainability initiatives in various forums and facilitating such events.
Added Smt. Sunita Sanghi: “India has a 500 million-strong workforce but 93% of it works in the informal sector. These workers are vulnerable and keep floating in and out of poverty. It is important for economic growth to be sustainable and enhance their capacity to earn. Our goal is to ensure decent employment for all men and women by 2030. The Govt. of India has taken many initiatives for job creation. There are 58 million micro-sector enterprises operations in India. About 76% of those in the labour force work in enterprises which employ less than 5 people. Only 2.5% of enterprises in India employ more than 10 workers. These people don’t have any safety net and no employer-employee relationship. The Make in India program of Government of India is a step forward in increasing employment opportunities and earning potential of Indian workers further. It has identified 25 sectors with large employment potential and is scouting for FDI all over the world.”
Earlier, Smt. Sanghi stated that she was particularly impressed with the wide variety of work done by Amrita University in the area of Women Empowerment, and said she was happy to learn about the numerous initiatives that Amrita was undertaking to facilitate impoverished women to learn relevant skills they can utilize in their own homes, creating empowerment through employment. She expressed confidence that institutions like Amrita could go a long way in these noble missions.
Dr. Isaac presented trophies to Amrita University students who are championing the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in at Amrita campuses.