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Sustainable growth goes beyond GDP, market values: Hamid Ansari

PTI 09 Jun 2015, 17:29:43 IST

Shimla:  Vice President Hamid Ansari today called for re-examining the meaning of sustainable growth while stressing on embracing the Gandhian philosophy of "good of all, including the weakest".

Speaking at the 22nd convocation of Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) here, Ansari asked his audience to look beyond GDP and other market values while measuring development.

"There is a clear need to go beyond GDP and market values while measuring development as human well-being and quality of life are important additional values.

"The approaches to sustainability governance, based merely on economic values are not only insufficient but partly the cause of unsustainable development," he said.

The Vice President also talked spiritedly about the need of ecological conservation in a hilly state like Himachal Pradesh that is susceptible to many natural disasters due to its geographical location.

Himalayas are endowed with fragile and vulnerable ecosystem and recent happenings have reminded us that human excesses extract a cost and emphasised on "a re-look at the questions relating to management of environmental and community resilience".

The active nature of geological forces in these mountains and their geographic location make them susceptible to a range of natural hazards that get magnified to the level of disasters when they are coupled with activities like human habitations, road building, agriculture, deforestation, mining and dam building, he observed.

Ansari noted that as the impact of environmental changes is felt most by those living on ground zero because their livelihoods, habitation and sustenance is linked to the environment.

"The poor, weaker and weakest segments of the society are more vulnerable to risks from natural and man-made environmental hazards," he said.