An IGNOU Initiative for our Sustainable Future

A collaborative programme of

M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation
Chair for Sustainable Development,
Indira Gandhi National Open University

More Details:

Our planet is now in an era of climate change and environmental decay.  The basic life support systems essential for sustainable advances in farm productivity are now facing threats because of the enlargement of the ecological foot print of human beings.  Therefore, it is essential for all concerned with both sustainable human security and the health of our environment to understand the relationships between human kind and nature.   Only then, living in harmony with nature will become possible.  It is only in this manner that we can ensure that all development programmes help not only the present generation but the generations yet to be born.  This is the purpose of sustainability science, which aims to provide the theoretical foundations and practical strategies for achieving the goal of concurrent progress in economic and ecological security.  IGNOU has therefore introduced this Appreciation Programme as part of its efforts to help our country to achieve the goal set by Mahatma Gandhi that we should live in a manner keeping in view that “nature provides for everybody’s need but not for everyone’s greed”.


Programme Objectives


·    The core objective of this programme is to build the capacity of policy makers, administrators, scientists and educators as well as the general public in the science and art of environmentally, economically and socially sustainable development.

·       The course will help the participants to develop an Agenda 21 Plan of Action for their respective village/town/city

·       To help those involved in agriculture to launch an era of ever-green revolution which can help to enhance productivity in perpetuity without ecological harm.



Special Features of the Programme


The special feature is conceptualization and development of excellent study material by the eminent experts in the country under the guidance of Prof. M.S. Swaminathan. The contributors to the programme include: Professor M,S.Swaninathan, Prof. P.C. Kesavan, Dr. K. Balasubramanian, Ms. Ganga Vidya , Dr. A.A. Nambi, Mr. P. Senthilkumaran , Dr. G.N. Hariharan , Dr. S.K. Chopra and Dr.Ajay Parida. The programme has been developed in collaboration with the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation.


The programme can be completed in a minimum period of one month and a maximum period of six month.

Medium of Instruction

  The Programme is offered in English.

Eligibility Requirements

The programme is open to the candidates who are Graduate in any discipline or its equivalent from any recognised University. The preference will be given to the post graduate scholars, scientists and policy makers working in the areas of agriculture, rural development, environmental science and sustainable development.



Credit System


The appreciation programme on sustainable science is of four credits. One credit involves 30 hours of study by the students. Thus, for completing this course a student has to put in 120 hours of study.


Programme Structure


The programme is of one month duration and consists of four blocks. The fourth block refers to Project work based on practical exercises and case studies/ field visits. In order to be eligible for the award of the certificate, a student has to complete the following four blocks.

  Block 1 - Introduction

  Block 2 – Evergreen Revolution

  Block 3 – Threats : Climate Change

  Block 4 – Project Work (Practical Exercises/Case studies/Field visits)

The detailed structure of appreciation programme on sustainability science is as follows:

  Block 1 - Introduction

  Unit 1 – Concept of Sustainability Science

  Unit 2 – Population and Unsustainable lifestyle

  Unit 3 - Finite sources

  Unit 4 - Ecological foundations of basic human needs

  Block 2 – Evergreen Revolution

  Unit 1 - Green to Evergreen Revolution

  Unit 2 - Pathways to EGR (cultivation)

  Unit 3 - Sustainable on-farm and non-farm livelihoods (consumption)

  Unit 4 - Equity and Market linkages (commerce)

  Block 3 – Threats : Climate Change

  Unit 1 – Introduction to the science of climate change

  Unit 2 – Climate change and natural resources system including energy

  Unit 3 – Human dimensions of climate change

  Unit 4 - Adaptation and Mitigation

  Block 4 – Project Work based on Practical Exercises and Case studies/Field visits

  Unit 1 – Toolkit for setting up Village Knowledge Centres

  Unit 2 – Toolkit for setting up Bio- villages

  Unit 3 – Tool kit for setting up Community-centric gene-seed-grain-water bank

  Unit 4 - Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development

Evaluation System

 This Programme adopts continuous evaluation system through assignments, practical work,  seminars and term-end examination.





Continuous assessment through assignments



Term End Examination



Project work

Satisfactory Report



There shall be around 10 -12 counselling sessions of one hour duration each.


Project Work

The purpose is to provide an opportunity to the students to apply the knowledge they have acquired in course of study on scientific principles and technological methods underpinning the concept and pathways of sustainable development. The students may take project work on any of the themes studied taking into account local field conditions. The Block four provides three toolkits as an exemplary and an Agenda 21 Plan of Action as base resource material. The project may be in form of design/ development/ analysis of village knowledge centres/ bio-village/ community gene seed grain water bank or any other innovative project related to sustainability science. The students may also develop a research/ policy paper or prepare a plan of action based on the recommendations of Agenda 21 Plan of Action.


Fee Structure

 1. Indian National :
The fee for the programme is Rs. 600/-

2.Foreign Student :

(a) Admission Fee

Foreign Student - US $40

Foreign National residing in India - US $40

(b) Examination Fee - US $10 for both categories.

Facility for online payment is available through the payment gateway (Axis Bank & Credit Card) being offered by the University for online programmes. Student can also pay through Demand Draft (in favour of IGNOU, NewDelhi).


About the Online Programme


The Sustainability Science Programme shall be available online on the SAVE (Sustainable Action and Virtual Education) Platform. It is a complete virtual learning environment suite covering all the activities from registration to certification. The following features shall be available to the registered students.
  1. Walk in admission: Admission will be available throughout the year. There shall be four cycles in an academic year i.e. January, April, July and October.The two months period between the two cycles shall be used for advertisement and registration of the students for the next cycle. Registration form shall be specially devised with the facility of uploading scanned certificates, other required documents and photograph. Registration will be confirmed only after verification of the certificates and payment of the required admission fee. Facility for online payment shall be available through the payment gateway (AXIS Bank) being offered by the University for online programmes.
  2. Integrated multimedia courseware once registered, learners will have access to personalized learning space (My Page). This includes self instructional material, related audio/ video, slides, self check exercises, etc. weaved in one platform.
  3. Online counselling and mentoring – web cast based counselling integrated with text based chatting facility shall be used for counselling purposes.
  4. 24×7 learner support: Asynchronous and synchronous modes of interaction will be used to provide just in time support to learners.
  5. Group based online Seminar: Blogs, chat rooms and discussion forums and web conferencing facility shall be used for group based seminars.
  6. Online Project platform: Templates shall be made available for synopsis submission, project uploading and evaluation. Viva voce will be conducted through web based video conferencing tool.
  7. Online Term End Examination- Online examinations will be conducted in specified centres for in proctored environment.