Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living, which is under NGT scrutiny, to train Environment Ministry staff

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New Delhi | Published: October 27, 2017 9:18:06 AM

The Art of the Living Foundation Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will train Indian Forest Service officers of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on ‘Building Competencies for Personal Excellence’ at a ‘one-week compulsory training course’.

sri sri ravi shankar, art of living, aol, aol world culture festival, environetn minister, NGT, Art of Living Foundation, Indian Forest Service, Environment Ministry, Climate Change, National Green Tribunal, Art of Living fine, World Culture Festival, yamuna river, yamuna flood plainsThe Art of the Living Foundation Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will train Indian Forest Service officers of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on ‘Building Competencies for Personal Excellence’ at a ‘one-week compulsory training course’. (IE image)

The Art of the Living Foundation Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will train Indian Forest Service officers of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on ‘Building Competencies for Personal Excellence’ at a ‘one-week compulsory training course’. It will be held at the foundation’s international headquarters in Bengaluru this December.

The foundation, empanelled under the DoPT’s ‘In-Service Training Scheme’ since 2016, conducted three similar training programmes commissioned by the department for all wings of the all-India services since November 2016, where the participants were mostly IAS officers. “The December 18-22 programme will be our first for forest officers alone. But I cannot share the details of this or previous training programmes as these are private contracts between us and the government,” said Pushp Dant, national director (government programmes) of Art of Living.

Asked about the decision to send forest officers for training to an organisation embroiled in a legal battle with the National Green Tribunal (NGT), Siddhanta Das, Director General, Environment Ministry, said the two issues were unrelated. In the case, Art of Living has refused to pay an initial fine of Rs 5 crore to compensate the alleged damage caused to the flood plains of Yamuna because of construction activities during its World Culture Festival. The Environment Ministry was also pulled up by the NGT in the case for submitting that temporary constructions on the flood plains did not

require any environmental clearance, which contradicted its earlier affidavit that any kind of construction on the flood plains was illegal.

Earlier in March 3, spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had said the Art of Living is giving stress on organic farming. “We are focusing upon organic farming. People are being trained,” he said. In an informal talk with a select group of journalists, Ravi Shankar said a big change would come if every pillar, including non-governmental organizations and political parties jointly, work jointly.

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