Air quality improves due to lockdown
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Environment
- The ongoing lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic has pushed pollution levels in Delhi to a 5-year low.
- Across India, the number of cities that recorded ‘good’ on the air quality index jumped from 6 to 30 within a fortnight, according to data from the Central Pollution Control Board.
- Level of particulate matter, PM 2.5 – the most dangerous pollutant – also reduced.
- Overall, up to 44% reduction in PM10 levels was observed in Delhi.
Important value additions:
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)
- It is a statutory organisation under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Mo.E.F.C).
- It was established in 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of pollution) Act, 1974.
- It is also entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
- It provides technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
- It Co-ordinates the activities of the State Pollution Control Boards by providing technical assistance and guidance and also resolves disputes among them.
- It is the apex organisation in country in the field of pollution control.
Air Quality Index (AQI)
- The AQI is an index for reporting daily air quality.
- It tells how clean or polluted the air is.
- The higher the AQI value, the greater the level of air pollution and the greater the health Concern.
- Research studies have attributed the key sources of PM2.5 in summer to be: dust and construction activities (35%), transport sector (20%) and industry (20%).
‘CARUNA’ initiative formed by Central Civil Services officers
- Associations representing officers of Central Civil Services, including IAS and IPS officers, have formed an initiative called ‘Caruna’ to support and supplement the government’s efforts in fighting coronavirus.
- The acronym ‘Caruna’ stands for Civil Services Associations Reach to Support in Natural Disasters.
- It represents a collaborative platform by civil servants, industry leaders, NGO professionals and IT professionals and many others.
Operation Sanjeevani: IAF airlifts essential medicines to Maldives
- An Indian Air Force (IAF) C-130J transport aircraft delivered essential medicines and hospital consumables to Maldives under Operation Sanjeevani.
- This is the first such assistance by India in fight against COVID.