Monday, 22 September 2014

Becoming a youth leader in the field of environment and sustaining the leadership

I was invited to talk with 45 shortlisted environment youth leaders , from different districts of Uttar Pradesh (India) on September21,2014(Sunday).Please find below a gist of what I spoke:
                                            The process of becoming a leader has three assumptions:
1.A person with a vision can achieve great things.
2.People can be  motivated by and will follow a person who has a passion, who inspires them , and injects them with energy and enthusiasm.
3.Teams can work and give results.
Have a vision , a dream .Share it with your group.Convert it into a shared vision  by incorporating suggestions of the other members of group.Finalize and communicate the shared vision to every one.
Have passion and dedication , a sense of belonging for the cause.Live the change you want to see.Make it a part of your daily life.Work together as a team.Practise three things:
3.Collaboration .
These are three ways of team building in the order of increasing intensity.
                       I believe in the five disciplines  listed by Peter Senge:
1.Personal Mastery/ Discipline.
2.Mental Models /Paradigms.
3.Building Shared Vision .
4.Team learning/team building.
5.Systems Thinking.

In addition , you need to have ethical and moral standards, positive attitudes,decisiveness and sticking  to decisions, focus, selling /marketing, communicating, listening,humility, connectedness with followers, ability to resolve conflicts , ability to manage change and value continuous improvements. Some of the other personal qualities you need are social awareness.You should have the ability to cope with shocks and rebuffs.You should be able to innovate.You need to have flexibility. 
                       Youth leadership has three issues and challenges:
1.Youth versus adult leadership.
2.Leadership with out authority.
3.Sustainability of youth leadership.

         How to sustain the youth leadership journey into adulthood?
1.Keep connected with the experts in the field of environment.
2.Join good organizations which support youth leadership.
3.Teachers must act as mentors.
4.Be the change you want to see.
5.Branding of the Award/programme by the Promoters.
6.Measure the outcomes of the programme.
7.Track development over time.
How to go about your project?
1.Examine your context.
2.Assess your resources and needs.
3.Focus on quality over quantity.
4.Identify goals and outcomes.
5.Create awareness.
Persist , Sustain.Never under-estimate your self.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Youth Environment Leader Summit

Today(September 20,2014;Saturday) I attended the inaugural session of 5 day long workshop  called Yuva Paryavaran Leader Summit , as chief guest.The workshop was organised jointly by  CEE(Centre for Environment Education, an NGO of repute) and UPPCB(UP Pollution Control Board).The audience were potential  youth leaders on environment ,aged between 13 years and 17 years and there teachers.These young boys and girls , 45 in number ,had been selected from all over Uttar Pradesh as environment leaders.They were young , energetic , full of zeal , enthusiasm and dynamism .What I spoke to them , is as below:
                      This workshop is not just a programme on environment education .It is to build and provide leadership  skills and qualities among the selected students and teachers , with a view to create sustainable development and clean ,green environment in our state.In Latin , to educate means to lead.We want to build a cadre  of students who will not only work towards environment conservation now , but will provide leadership 15 years from now ,that is in  the year 2029.(When the youngest among you will be 28 years and the oldest will be 32 years.)
                    I congratulate  all the 45 students present here , and also their teachers and parents.You have been selected after three rounds of tests , beginning with Quiz Test , Essay and Project Action Plan and interview.This summit workshop is the fourth round.The fifth round will be the implementation of Action Project.The state government appreciates the fact that you  have been shortlisted at the state level.After the fifth round , we hope to select 10 best Paryavaran leaders, 5 best teachers and 5 best supporter schools.
                                         We call this workshop a summit.Summit is the mountain , the pinnacle , the top.It is the most important  stage in the development of leadership for environment.It is an opportunity to delve deep into the state of environment and ,the role students can play  as Paryavaran leaders.You will be helped to work on Action Project.You will get guidance from experts.Your group will generate innovative ideas.
                                         The role of teachers is crucial.Best teachers are also the best students.We need teachers who volunteer to create youth leaders for environment.I am sure they will never lag behind.The same is true of school managements.
                                        A lot of research has been  done in the university of Michigan, on the benefits of student participation in community issues.Becoming volunteers in community issues benefits students the most, apart from benefiting community, schools and agencies like UPPCB and the CEE.Here are the findings of research done at Michigan University:
1.It motivates and increases educational competence.It improves performance in examinations and results in higher grades.
2.It enhances self esteem , self efficacy and improves mental health.It decreases mental depression and stress.
3.It improves inter personal skills and social networks.
4.It inculcates the values of treating each other with kindness, care and help.
5.It increases communication skills.
6.!5 years from participation, students are more likely to be  engaged in community organization and to vote.
7.It increases problem solving skills and critical thinking skills.
8.It helps building low trust individuals into  a high trust ones.
9.It increases understanding of what community and life is all about.
10.It gives opportunity to share experiences.
11.Participants learn about effect of policies on community and environment.
12It gives exposure to diversity, multi culturalism and different ways of thinking.
13.It teaches taking responsibilities for decision making.
14.It offers new directions , new perspectives and positive life choices.
                        Action projects could relate to energy conservation ,greening , water conservation, sanitation , waste management,dying river systems, plastics, reducing pollution,improving environment.These projects will build public opinion and sensitise local community and develop green social networks.
                        We wish and hope that after this summit , you will be the change agents, leaders for green action and ambassadors for nature and environment .We have confidence that you will truly be the leaders for Sustainable Development.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Agriculture policies , research and Education

The 22nd meeting of Regional Committee IV ( , involving the states of  Uttar Pradesh,Bihar and Jharkhand ,) of Indian Council of Agricultural Research(ICAR)  was inaugurated in Lucknow on September5,2014 (Friday) in Lucknow.Agriculture Minister of Bihar , Sri  Narendra Singh was the chief guest .Secretary , Department of Agriculture Research and Education(DARE)  and Director General , ICAR,Dr. Ayappan chaired the inaugural session .I  represented  Uttar Pradesh as Agriculture Production Commissioner of the state.It was attended by eminent agriculture scientists, Vice Chancellors of  Agriculture Universities,Director General  , UP Council of Agriculture Research , Principal Secretary of Agriculture,UP and many senior government officials from the three states.The session was useful and informative.It made us think about the need for more efficiency , speed and innovation in policies and research related to agriculture.