The Fact Maker

Evolving a roadmap to balance decarbonisation, degrowth and true circular economy for attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at SUSTAINITI 2024, MAHE

Bengaluru: Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), in partnership with the ISEC Bengaluru and IIPA Karnataka Regional Branch (IIPA-KRB) organised ‘SUSTAINITI’ 2024, a National Seminar on Sustainable Development in an Unequal World – Public Policy Paths 2024 on the 5th and 6th of June 2024 at the MAHE Bengaluru Campus (MAHE-B’LURU), Yelahanka, Bengaluru. The focus of the seminar were on the roles of public policy in sustainable development keeping in mind the challenges to socio-economic and environmental sustainability posed by urbanisation.

While welcoming the delegates, dignitaries and participants to the seminar, Dr. Harini Santhanam, Head, Department of Public Policy, MAHE highlighted the existing need to recognise the importance of a trans-disciplinary platform to discuss the new-age challenges to sustainable development. The seminar was inaugurated by Prof. Madhu Veeraraghavan, Pro-Vice Chancellor, MAHE-B’LURU who emphasised on the roles of policymaking and policymakers in ensuring that climate change adaptation must be planned hand-in-hand with the human development. Quoting the dedication to campus-wide efforts at MAHE B’LURU, Prof. Madhu provided examples of efforts such as planting drives, water and waste management, conservation of biotic communities in the campus as committed contributions to the achievement of the SDG Goals.

Senior policymaker and visionary administrator, Shri. A. Ramanathan, IAS (Retd.) launched the website of IIPA-KRB in the presence of Shri. T.M. Vijay Bhaskar, IAS (Retd.), Chairperson IIPA-KRB, Prof. M.V. Nadkarni, Emeritus professor and economist, ISEC, Prof. D. Rajasekhar, Director – ISEC among other distinguished guests and administrators who graced the occasions. Three books authored by Dr. Annapoorna Ravichander, Ex- Executive Director, PAF; Prof. V. Anil Kumar, Head, CPIGD, ISEC and Prof. Jeevan Kumar, Secretary, IIPA-KRB were released as part of the event. Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) for the collaboration between MAHE, IIPA-KRB and ISEC Bengaluru were also exchanged. In his keynote address, Prof. M.V. Nadkarni, heavily stressed on the need to reconsider the development as not an outcome of only economic growth but as the social impacts for communities. He also emphasised the significance for policymakers to contribute to circular economy initiatives through strong policy pathways.

Two important panel discussions – one focussing on the multiple dimensions of rural, urban and environmental sustainability and the other on the roles of public policy communications for acheiving sustainable development provided very important insights. Speaking on rural and urban sustainability, Prof. Rajasekhar and Dr. Krishna Raj, ISEC highlighted the need to assess the rural-urban links closely. Dr. Siddhartha Krishnan, Director, ATREE presented a unique perspective to balance decarbonisation and degrowth from reformist versus radical angles. Speaking on the roles of reliable data on environment and climate change, Dr. Indu Murthy, CSTEP highlighted need to strengthen national and regional initiatives that are aligned to global frameworks to help achieve India’s climate goals. r. Annapoorna Ravichander stressed on the role of media and effective communication in influencing policy making decisions, especially using data, based on her long-term experiences in training academicians, students, CSOs and Government officers to name a few.

About 30 selected papers were presented with the research conducted by researchers, students and faculty members and discussed for their value-addition to proactive policymaking for sustainable development. Chairpersons of various sessions including, Dr. Pranab J Patar, Assam Science Society (New Delhi and NCR); Dr. Dhanasree Jayaram & Dr. Vivek Pandi, MAHE Manipal and Dr. Deepta Sateesh, SMI, MAHE-B’LURU stressed on the need for enhancing methodological and data reliability to plan policies. More deliberations on Day 2 focussed on the roles of socio-economic factors in producing effective policymaking chaired by Dr. R. Manjula, Dr. Vilas Jadhav, Dr. Akshata Nayak, Dr. V. Karthick, Dr. Indrajit Bairagya and Dr. K.C. Smitha from ISEC.

Speaking at the Valedictory session, Prof. Raghavendra Prabhu, Deputy Registrar, MAHE-B’LURU spoke on the need to a reliable platform for addressing the strategic alliances in building partnerships in the domain of public policymaking. The major outcome of the event was that the deliberations successfully provided a strong roadmap to plan decentralisation and localisation of SDGs at urban and state levels in order to acheive desired ground-level social impacts. These plans and roadmap were taken into cognisance by senior policymakers who participated in the event, making this a unique event contributing to the knowledge-base on balancing implementing decarbonisation and degrowth, SDGs, public policies and their challenges.