August 2012                                                                   

Days Coming Up

CBSE to implement Pre-Announced Test (PAT) in Std X, XII
The CBSE has decided to introduce the ‘open book exam’ concept for its board exams (Std X, XII) from academic session 2013-14. It won’t literally be an open book exam. It will be called the ‘Pre-Announced Test’ (PAT) and will be applicable for all Std X subjects and some major ones of Std XII.
PAT functions like the Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) system that some education boards, including Maharashtra, are implementing. The Chairman, CBSE informed the new system will test "higher order thinking skills of students rather than their current reliance on a rote-based methodology’.
The announcement has evoked mixed responses from various sections of the society. What do you think? Share your views at the Green Teacher Discussion Forum.


Western Ghats added to UNESCO World Heritage List 


Older than the Himalaya mountains, the mountain chain of the Western Ghats represents geomorphic features of immense importance with unique biophysical and ecological processes. The site’s high montane forest ecosystems influence the Indian monsoon weather pattern. Moderating the tropical climate of the region, it presents one of the best examples of the monsoon system in the planet. The site also has an exceptionally high level of biological diversity and endemism. It is recognized as one of the world’s eight “hottest hotspots” of biological diversity. The forests of the site include some of the best representatives of non-equatorial tropical evergreen forests anywhere and are home to at least 325 globally threatened flora, fauna, bird, amphibian, reptile and fish species.

Read more and access the detailed text of the Decision


ENVIS Newsletter on EE - Annual issue
Education for Change, Vol 17, 2011-12
"Environmental information is a critical input to decision makers, policy planners, scientists and engineers, research workers, teachers and citizens of this country. ENVIS caters to the needs of stake holder by disseminating information in printed or numerical form. CEE, the ENVIS centre for Environmental Education would be of great value to all stake holders including teachers and learners! I appreciate CEE’s ENVIS work and wish it success.”
Dr Nilkanth Ghosh
Statistical Advisor, ENVIS Focal Point, Ministry of Environment and Forests
Changes are taking place in the School EE scenario in the country. In Dec 2010, the matter of the writ petition no 860 filed by Shri MC Mehta in 1991 was deemed to have been put to rest by the Supreme Court. In response to the writ petition, the Supreme Court had directed in Nov 1991 that EE should be compulsory at all levels of education. The latest decision, which is an acceptance of an Affidavit submitted by NCERT, now directs all school boards to follow the infusion approach for EE. However, concerns have been raised by the Minister of State, Environment and Forests about the need to strengthen infusion processes and to provide exclusive time and space for EE in the time table. How the infusion approach will play out in the curricula of various state boards also remains to be seen.
This issue of Education for Change brings you a few different perspectives on school EE, from the points of view of policy makers, as well as practitioners.

New from BNHS

Wild Life of the Himalayas and the Terai region

A collector’s item with rare old paintings and photos of wildlife and articles from the British period on the wildlife of the Himalayan region. Edited by Dr Ashok S. Kothari and Dr BF Chhapgar, the book will be released by Dr Karan Singh, MP, in New Delhi on 28th March 2012 and launched in Mumbai on 29th March 2012 by Shri Pravin Pardeshi, Principal Secretary (Forests), Govt of Maharashtra. More at

Dear Mr. UN Secretary-General …

As part of the lead-up to the Rio+20 Earth Summit in Brazil in June 2012, The Living Rainforest has launched an International Schools Essay Competition to hear what children think governments and world leaders should be doing to build a more sustainable future on planet Earth. The competition and debate are aimed at primary students (ages 7-11) and secondary students (ages 11-16) and their teachers, whether in formal or home schools.

The top prize winner across both categories will be invited to attend the Rio+20 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro on 20-22 June 2012, along with a teacher champion and parental guardian. The top 15 winning primary and secondary schools will be invited to participate in the annual Schools Debate at The Living Rainforest on 16-17 May 2012, and the prize-winning essays will be presented to the UN Secretary-General.

Ministry of Environment and Forests - New Funding Scheme for Environmental Awareness
  • Awareness cum action programs in and around the protected area, in wildlife corridors, biodiversity hotspots, rivers and wetlands.
  • Awareness programs which focus on communities that are critical to conservation of forests/wildlife/environment.
  • Activities like nature camps, Marathons/ walkathons/ Yatras/Quiz Competitions/Green Haats
Proposals may be sent to: Additional Director (Environmental Education)
Ministry of Environment & Forests
Paryavaran Bhavan, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road
New Delhi - 110 003
Photos by PM Nalawade, Assistant Professor, PG Dept of Environmental Science, KTHM College, Nasik

Honey comb with larvae                                        

Brahminy Kite hunting for fish, Kanniyakumari


University of Oxford
Postgraduate Certificate in Ecological Survey Techniques
1 year, part-time, modular, mostly online, Course starts in September 2012
The Certificate offers a chance for students to create a learning package that best meets their needs: a selection of core and optional study modules will be available: Vegetation; Mammals & Reptiles; Invertebrates; Birds, Fish and Amphibians; and a module covering Data Analysis in Ecology. This course as well as short standalone modules are designed for international audiences. For more information
For other questions contact the team by emailing

2012 is the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All
Energy services have a profound effect on productivity, health, education, climate change, food and water security, and communication services. Lack of access to clean, affordable and reliable energy hinders human, social and economic development and is a major impediment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. More ... 

Project Parampara invites your contributions
Project Parampara is an effort to gather information about India’s Intangible Cultural Heritage and individuals, communities and institutions involved in its continuity and conservation. A website has been launched to collate information on institutions, experts, government sponsored schemes, research projects, status reports, audio/video, web materials and specific conservation programmes relating to the Intangible Cultural Heritage of India. Contributions are invited in the forms of write-ups, audio/video material/ etc. about the different kind of living traditions (ICH) that are found in India, and are being/ need to be conserved. The website is especially looking for information relating to those cultural traditions that strongly reflect environmentally sustainable character and which can be established or promoted as livelihood alternatives. Read more ...

Ramblings of a Nature Educator by Sanjay Sondhi
Will the children green their hill slopes?
Wide-eyed, apprehensive, yet eager, the twenty young children stared back at us in the classroom. I was in the Thatyud district, near Mussoorie in Uttarakhand, in a school in the village of Kyarsi. Read on ...

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