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Water management followed closely by waste management was the top priority for most of the schools at the Annual Green Schools Programme (GSP) awards 2013, instituted by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

These awards were presented recently to school students and teachers from across India, who drive change through various green practices in their school compounds and outside.

“Students from all over the nation are doing exemplary work in environmental conservation by minimising water consumption and harvesting water, optimising their energy use, shifting to mass transport modes, and catering to biodiversity conservation in their school compound. Their efforts are laudable and we have some very motivated green soldiers present here today,” said Sunita Narain, director general, CSE referring to the 36 schools that received their Green School Awards.

These awards are conferred every year by CSE to recognise schools in India that excel in their natural resource management. These schools carry out rigorous self-audit on environmental practices within their own premises, following a set of guidelines issued by CSE (for details, please visit the CSE website).

Among this year’s key winners are Father Agnel School, Gautam Nagar, New Delhi; DAV Public School, Gurgaon, Haryana; and Motilal Nehru School of Sports, Sonipat, Haryana. Schools competing for the first time for the awards were also lauded for their work.

“The number of schools participating in the programme has gone up to 21,000 from 15,000 in the past two years. The programme has been extended to Sri Lanka, and two schools from there have been awarded for their work in waste management here today,” said Sumita Dasgupta, programme director of CSE’s Environment Education Unit which manages this initiative.

The awards are divided into two main categories – national and state. The 20 national awards are further sub-divided into two segments of 10 awards each– the New Schools (those which have done the audit for the first time and have excelled) and Changemakers (those which have already done the audit once before and continue to excel).

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