National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 stresses upon appropriate integration of environmental awareness and sensitivity towards its conservation and sustainable development in school curricula. Some of the recommendations of NEP 2020, to make environmental education an integral part of school curricula, are the inclusion of environmental awareness including water and resource conservation; introduction of environmental education as a contemporary subject at relevant stages; incorporation of traditional Indian knowledge systems and India’s future aspirations about the environment; the inculcation of respect for the environment; appropriate integration of environmental awareness and sensitivity towards its conservation and sustainable development in all B.Ed programs.
NCERT has initiated the development process of National Curriculum Frameworks where inputs are invited from various stakeholders, including ministries/Departments, States, and UTs drawing from grass root levels.
In a reply in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Education, Smt. Annapurna Devi mentioned “Mission Life (Lifestyle for Environment) has been launched, which focuses on mindful and deliberate utilization of resources and its philosophy is to promote sustainable lifestyles. As part of the activities undertaken in this Mission, CBSE and NCERT are organizing various activities such as quiz competitions, webinars, exhibitions, poster/painting contests, rallies, seminars, workshops, and expert talks celebrating various important events such as International Day of Forest, World Water Day, Earth Day, International Day for Biodiversity, World Environment Day, etc. Sessions on LiFE also include as part of the Live telecast in various PM e-Vidya channels.”
She stated that the concerns, concepts, and issues related to water and its conservation have already been infused into the existing school curriculum. As such, the curricular materials prepared by NCERT incorporate such concerns adequately across all subjects at all stages of school education. Some chapters in Science textbooks from classes VI–XII relate to environmental concerns, concepts, and issues. Social Science and Language textbooks also integrate concerns related to environment. NCERT has also prepared supplementary materials for students and teachers related to environmental education.