NIHIL ULTRA: Nothing Beyond

Department of Environmental Science

Xavier Savarimuthu, SJ M.Sc., Ph.D.
Head of the Department

It was indeed a matter of great honour for me to receive the headship from able hands of Dr. A. K. Mitra. From the very first day of inception of the department, I had a clear set of goals, which were an integral part of my vision. As the subject has been made compulsory for students of all the departments of the College, the department of E.V.S. does indeed have the largest number of students under it. The numbers did make the job all the more difficult at times. However, we, the faculty members approached the students with the idea that the subject must be taught to them in such a way that they come to the classrooms not just for the sake of attendance, but also with an unquenchable thirst of knowing the important issues of the ecological and environmental issues in the world. Whether matters related to Copenhagen or Cancun, Le Ladak flashflood or Amazon forest fires, Eli Nino or La Nina, Aila or Laila a Xaverian student will stand par with a scientist or an environmentalist to discuss and debate on any matters related to environmental science, irrespective of the science or arts or commerce stream he/she belongs to. The subject syllabi, curriculum and teaching were set up in such a way to create an interest for the subject within the student community.

Apart from the aforesaid, we have always tried to engage the students in classroom discussions. Also, the examination papers are set in a manner that the students have to keep abreast of all the latest happenings around the world that concern environmental issues. This is done with a view to help students in their future endeavours where entrance examinations to various institutions require the students to have an avid knowledge of the current affairs. Thus, the students are imparted with a sense of awareness regarding the serious environmental crisis that is confronting the human race at the present moment.

The higher motive, however, is that the students become environmentally more conscious and implement the learning into their own daily lives. As the adage goes that charity begins at home, the smallest of activities carried out in the campus such as classroom and campus cleanliness, health and hygiene practices like prohibition of smoking within the premises, use of recyclable cups and paper plates that are easily disposable and do not cause any pollution, saving of energy by switching off lights and fans while leaving the classrooms have already created the future eco-warriors to save the resources for the future generations. For we have not inherited the earth from our forefathers, rather we have borrowed it from our future generations. The success of the course lies in bringing these attitudinal changes in the hearts of the student community.

To conclude, I should like to mention, in brief, a few plans that the EVS department intends to carry out in the near future. The very first of these would be the creation of a 'Nature Club' that shall undertake all activities concerning environmental issues within the college premises. Secondly, to organize industrial visits for the students, thirdly, to send student representations to various national and international conferences on environmental issues. The department plans to organise a two day international conference with the theme "A Sustainable Earth, Nihil Ultra (Nothing Beyond)". I strongly believe that with the co-operation from the students, teachers and our very respected Fr. Principal, the department will be able to achieve the visions of the department, for as Xaverians we believe in the motto of 'Nihil Ultra' which means 'nothing is beyond our reach'.