Air Pollution

New system to measure air quality


Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: SAFAR, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)

Mains level: Initiatives being taken to tackle air pollution

International tie-up

  1. India is tying up with the United States and Finland to develop a pollution-forecast system
  2. It will help anticipate particulate matter (PM) levels at least two days in advance and at a greater resolution than what is possible now
  3. A key focus would be to develop forecasts around the “stubble-burning season” that adds to Delhi’s pollution woes in the winter

Present system

  1. Currently, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) serves as the apex forecaster of pollution trends in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, and Ahmedabad
  2. It generates a likely air quality profile, a day in advance, for these cities
  3. It is run out of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune
  4. IITM is an organization under the MoES

NCAP draft

  1. The Union Environment Ministry has released a draft of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) that aims to improve air quality monitoring in India
  2. It proposes increasing the number of pollution monitoring stations and, incorporating it into a pollution forecast system


System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR)

  1. Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Govt. of India, has introduced a major national initiative “SAFAR” for greater metropolitan cities of India to provide location-specific information on air quality in near real time and its forecast 1-3 days in advance for the first time in India
  2. It was started under the plan scheme “Metropolitan Advisories for Cities for Sports, Tourism (Metropolitan Air Quality and Weather Services)
  3. It has been combined with the early warning system on weather parameters
  4. The SAFAR system is developed by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, along with ESSO partner institutions namely India Meteorological Department (IMD) and National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF)
  5. The implementation of SAFAR is done with an active collaboration with local municipal corporations and various local educational institutions and governmental agencies in that Metro city
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