From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : CSIR, NPL
Mains level : Not Much
- The Union Environment Ministry has tasked the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)-National Physical Laboratory (NPL) with certifying air quality monitoring instruments.
- CSIR-NPL will develop necessary infrastructure, management system, testing and certification facilities conforming to international standards.
Why such move?
- This is in anticipation of a rising demand by States — against the backdrop of the National Clean Air Campaign — for low cost air quality monitoring instruments.
- The Centre in January launched a programme to reduce particulate matter (PM) pollution by 20%-30% in at least 102 cities by 2024.
- An edifice of this initiative is to have a vast monitoring network of sensors that can capture the rapid fluctuations of pollutants, necessary to ascertain how these gases and particles affected health.
- Currently, the machines employed by State and Central Pollution Control Boards (SPCB and CPCB) are imported and can cost up to ₹1 crore to install and about ₹50 lakh to maintain over five years.
- Several new sensors, which are far cheaper, are likely in the future, and it would be useful to have a creditable agency that can rate the quality of these devices.
- Still several monitoring units were poorly calibrated, that is, over time, they were susceptible to erroneous readings.
- The CSIR was established by the Government of India in September of 1942 as an autonomous body that has emerged as the largest research and development organisation in India.
- Although it is mainly funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, it operates as an autonomous body through the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
- The research and development activities of CSIR include aerospace engineering, structural engineering, ocean sciences, life sciences, metallurgy, chemicals, mining, food, petroleum, leather, and environmental science.
- The CSIR-NPL , situated in New Delhi, is the measurement standards laboratory of India.
- It maintains standards of SI units in India and calibrates the national standards of weights and measures.
- Each modernized country, including India has a National Metrological Institute (NMI), which maintains the standards of measurements. This responsibility has been given to the NPL.
- The NPL maintains standard units of measurement such as Metre, Kg, Seconds, Ampere, Kelvin, Candela, Mole and Radiation.