UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities 2022: Telangana’s Warangal, Kerala’s Thrissur & Nilambur Become 1st Indian Entrants

UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities 2022: In a matter of pride for the entire country, three Indian Cities namely – Telangana’s Warangal, Kerala’s Thrissur & Nilambur have been inducted into the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities 2022 List. The Three Indian Cities were part of the 77 cities from 44 countries, which were recently inducted into the UNESCO GNLC List. In total, the list consists of 294 cities from across the world, which have been bestowed with this distinct honour.

According to the details available on the UN Agency’s website, the UNESCO GNLC – Global Network of Learning Cities, is an international network of cities that promote “lifelong learning across their communities.” These cities are known to share inspiration, know-how and best practices to promote lifelong learning for the cities. Other notable cities which have been featured on UNESCO GNLC include Ukrainian capital Kyiv, Durban in South Africa and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates among others.

Three Indian Cities Inducted into UNESCO GNLC

As reported earlier, three Indian cities in total have been inducted into the UNESCO GNLC List 2022. Warangal based in Telangana and Thrissur & Nilambur based in Kerala are the first entrants to the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities 2022 list from India.

  • Warangal: After its capital Hyderabad, Warangal is the largest urban centre in the state. It houses several school-level and higher education institutions which promote learning excellence in the citizens. In 2021, the 13th-century Great Ramappa Temple in Mulugu districthas also been bestowed the honour of a World Heritage Site by UNESCO; making this a second significant achievement for the city.
  • Nilambur: Known for its eco-tourism sites, Nilambur houses a diverse mix of urban and rural populations and is home to several regular and executive learning institutions. The city is most renowned for its healthcare facility development. In addition to this, the city is also trying to fulfil its commitment to UN SDG 2of “zero hunger”.
  • Thrissur: Know as the Cultural Capital of Kerala, Thrissur is home to India’s most renowned academic and research institutes. The city is also known for its gold and jewellery sectors.

What is a Learning City?

According to the information available on the UN Agency’s website, a city is given the tag of a Learning City and is inducted as part of the Global Network if it promotes:

  • Inclusive learning from basic to higher education
  • Learning at the family and community level
  • Learning at workplace
  • Use of Modern Learning Technologies
  • Quality and Excellence in Learning
  • Culture of Learning for life-long

UNESCO considers a strong commitment from local authorities and city mayor to promote good practices and policy initiatives to promote lifelong learning as a prerequisite for a city to be inducted into UNESCO GNLC.

About UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC)

The UNESCO GNLC was launched in 2013 by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning. The key objective of UNESCO GNLC was to promote social cohesion, economic development and sustainability in urban areas. As part of this, the institute recognizes cities which promote lifelong learning among local communities and connects them with each other for knowledgetransfer.

In 2019, UNESCO made Sustainable Development Goals part of its core policy framework and it was adopted as one of the key ingredients of UNESCO GNLC. In line with this, the cities that are identified and inducted under Learning Network also have to comply with all 17 SDGs, especially SDG 4 (‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’) and SDG 11 (‘Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’).

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