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Conservation and Sustainable Land Management Initiatives 

The “Utkal Krishi Mela” 2 day event organized in 10-11 March, 2022 by the M.S. Swaminathan School of Agriculture had a strong alignment with Sustainable Development Goal 15 (SDG 15) – Life on Land. The event was themed “Exploring the Unexplored Affluent Agri Odisha,” brought together over 2000 farmers, entrepreneurs, students, and faculty members.

The event kicked off with an inauguration program, followed by a technical session that fostered interactions between farmers and Subject Matter Specialists. This session delved into scientific farming practices and solutions to the challenges faced by farmers in Odisha. Over 2000 farmers actively participated in these discussions, contributing to the promotion of sustainable agriculture practices.

The second day of the event showcased cutting-edge technologies in agriculture, such as the use of drones, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), hydroponics, hi-tech agriculture, aquaponics, and recirculatory aquaculture systems. Faculty members and students engaged with visitors at stalls, explaining these technologies through models and posters. These stalls were set up by a variety of organizations, including government departments like the State Department of Agriculture and the State Department of Horticulture, private multinational companies, agricultural implement manufacturers, other agricultural universities, the School of Fisheries, and CUTM. The distribution of pamphlets further disseminated knowledge about sustainable agriculture practices.

Moreover, the event recognized and celebrated the achievements of progressive farmers from the Gajapati district. This recognition incentivized sustainable farming practices and contributed to the goals of SDG 15 by promoting the responsible management of land and ecosystems.

In addition to the technical and informative aspects, the event also featured a cultural program, highlighting the importance of cultural heritage and traditions in rural communities. This holistic approach, integrating knowledge sharing, technology dissemination, and cultural appreciation, aligns with the spirit of SDG 15, which aims to protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems.

Centurion University has extensive and well-planned campuses in Bhubaneswar, Parlakhemundi, Rayagada and Balangir, with 25% of the land area dedicated to green spaces. It has fostered renewable energy use and water conservation measures so as to reduce its carbon footprints. It has robust infrastructure in terms of quality and capacity to ensure that each student has access to the relevant facilities and a conducive environment for realizing the planned learning outcomes. A number of initiatives have been taken for the protection of the environment such as a tobacco and alcohol-free campus, Plastic-free campus, Conversion of biodegradable waste into biofertilizer, Plantation of trees, Regular cleanliness drive, Soil Conservation through plantation and contour development, Rain water harvesting, Energy Management practices, Regular awareness drive and competitions organized by Green Club, Erection of Grid interactive solar power plant, Waste water recycling through gardening, Annual census of floral and faunal resources, etc.