The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) would start a new course on environmental law from July 2010, a varsity official said Friday.
The post graduate diploma course would be run by IGNOU in association with the World Wide Fund's (WWF-India) Centre for Environmental Law (CEL).
V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai, the IGNOU vice chancellor, said: "Real development will happen only if the environment is sustained. I hope that the new programme will present the right perspective of development to the students."
He added that IGNOU is also interested in introducing programmes in conservation of species and biodiversity. IGNOU may also offer these programmes to other universities.
Ravi Singh, secretary general and CEO of WWF-India, said the new course would hopefully spread knowledge and awareness about enviro-legal matters to a wider audience.
"The main issue facing environmentalists today is the dearth of knowledge among the common people about the repercussions of climate change and dwindling number of species," Singh said.
The CEL is already offering an online diploma in environment law and has so far trained 500 students.
The collaboration with IGNOU is expected to increase the reach of the programme to a wider section of society, Pillai said.
A masters programme in environmental law is also on the anvil, he said.