India co-chairs Global Methane Initiative Steering Leadership Meeting

What is the News? India has co-chaired the Steering Leadership meeting of the Global Methane Initiative(GMI). What is the Global Methane Initiative(GMI)? GMI is an international public-private initiative launched in 2004. Aim: To achieve a global reduction in anthropogenic methane emission through a partnership among developed and developing countries having economies in transition. Members: It… Continue reading India co-chairs Global Methane Initiative Steering Leadership Meeting

Centre looking to use stubble as biofuel

What is the news? The Government of India has informed the Parliament that it is working on a plan to use stubble as a biofuel and manure as part of an effort to deal with stubble burning. What are the steps the Government of India is taking on stubble burning? Stubble burning has often been… Continue reading Centre looking to use stubble as biofuel

“Radioactive Pollution in water: A global concern for human health”

Context-Although Water pollution has been a concern since many decades .But, radioactive pollution of water is newly emerging threat. Recently, radioactive contamination and associated health impacts have been reported in many parts of the globe.  Radioactivity is the phenomenon of spontaneous emission of particles or waves from the unstable nuclei of some elements.   What causes… Continue reading “Radioactive Pollution in water: A global concern for human health”

Implement panel’s anti-pollution measures, SC tells Centre, Delhi Govt.

What is the News? The Supreme Court has approved the measures taken by the Commission for Air Quality Management(CAQM) to create an ‘Enforcement Task Force’ and flying squads to prevent and penalise polluters in Delhi NCR. What is the issue? The Commission for Air Quality Management(CAQM) has announced several emergency measures for Delhi-NCR to bring… Continue reading Implement panel’s anti-pollution measures, SC tells Centre, Delhi Govt.

Breathing fresh air into the NCR’s pollution control

News: Supreme Court questioned government and role of Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) for the lack of actual ground results in the fight against air-pollution in Delhi. At a hearing, the Court gave the Centre and Delhi government 24 hours to come out with suggestions to control air pollution. What is the problem with… Continue reading Breathing fresh air into the NCR’s pollution control

Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) holds crucial emergency meet in wake of deteriorating air quality of the Delhi-NCR region

What is the News? The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has convened a crucial emergency meeting in wake of deteriorating air quality of the Delhi-NCR region. During the meeting, it has asked States to be ready for implementing ‘Emergency Measures’ as listed under Graded Response Action Plan(GRAP). What are the reasons identified by the… Continue reading Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) holds crucial emergency meet in wake of deteriorating air quality of the Delhi-NCR region

IIT Kanpur develops web-based ‘green’ monitoring system for Ganga

What is the News? Indian Institute of Technology(IIT) Kanpur has developed an Aquatic Autonomous Observatory named Niracara Svayamsasita Vedh Shala(NSVS) to monitor the “health” of the River Ganga. This observatory has been developed with the help of the Department of Science and Technology, the Government of India, and the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF).… Continue reading IIT Kanpur develops web-based ‘green’ monitoring system for Ganga

Cleaning Yamuna will require improving sewerage networks, cooperation between Delhi and neighbouring states

News: A layer of froth was seen floating over parts of the Yamuna River in New Delhi. For the past three days, social media has been flooded with visuals of devotees taking a dip in the Yamuna River enveloped by the toxic foam. The formation of froth is a sign of an ecologically-dead river. What… Continue reading Cleaning Yamuna will require improving sewerage networks, cooperation between Delhi and neighbouring states

Can biomass co-firing offer a viable solution to coal shortage and stubble burning?

Synopsis: Co-firing policy floated by the government for the thermal plants is a win-win solution for farmers and environment. Introduction India’s economy is on the path to recovery since the second wave of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The first half of October saw a 4.9% increase in electricity consumption compared to September. However, coal… Continue reading Can biomass co-firing offer a viable solution to coal shortage and stubble burning?

Union Minister launches Air Quality Early Warning System to coincide with Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsava

What is the News? The Union Minister has launched a Decision Support System(DSS) that extends the ability of the existing Air Quality Early Warning System (AQEWS) to have decision-making capability for air quality management in Delhi-NCR. Background In 2018-19, the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology(IITM) had launched an ‘Air Quality Early Warning System’ (AQEWS) to… Continue reading Union Minister launches Air Quality Early Warning System to coincide with Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsava

Delhi company bags ‘Eco Oscar’ for clean-air technology

What is the News? Delhi-based company Takachar is one among five winners of the first-ever Earth shot Prize, also called “Eco Oscar”. They won the prize in the “Clean Our Air” category for their technology to create fuel, fertiliser and other speciality chemicals from agricultural waste. What is the Earth shot Prize? Earthshot Prize is… Continue reading Delhi company bags ‘Eco Oscar’ for clean-air technology

It’s not fossil fuel: Coal, biomass and degraded land are main contributors to India’s air pollution

Synopsis: Instead of announcing various schemes, there is a need to understand the root cause behind increasing pollution. Introduction As air pollution became more prominent in Delhi, various political parties have made commitments and release action plans to solve this problem. Recently, the Union road transport minister promised to make Delhi free of air, water, and… Continue reading It’s not fossil fuel: Coal, biomass and degraded land are main contributors to India’s air pollution

Govt announces Plastic Waste recycling targets

What is the news? Recently the Environment Ministry has issued draft guidelines for controlling the use of plastic. The notification was expected to come into force by December 6 and, as of now, was open to public feedback. What are the various categories under it? These divide the guidelines into three categories. Rigid plastics: These… Continue reading Govt announces Plastic Waste recycling targets

NITI Aayog – UNDP Launch Handbook on Sustainable Management of Plastic Waste for ULB’s

What is the News? NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman has launched the NITI Aayog – United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Handbook on Sustainable Urban Plastic Waste Management. What was the need for this handbook? Globally, only about 9% of the total plastic produced gets recycled, about 12% is incinerated and energy is recovered and the rest about… Continue reading NITI Aayog – UNDP Launch Handbook on Sustainable Management of Plastic Waste for ULB’s

How to get farmers to not burn crop residue

Synopsis: Steps to be taken to push famers away from resorting to stubble burning Introduction Farmers across northern India burn stubble to clear fields for the winter wheat sowing season. It is both a health and an environmental hazard that repeats every year. A 2018 Lancet study reported this as the number one reason for… Continue reading How to get farmers to not burn crop residue

Detoxing pilot project has brought a river back from dead: Meghalaya

What is the news?  Meghalaya government has claimed that a detoxing project through the use of phycoremediation has rejuvenated Lukha river. The project was funded by the “District Mineral Fund”.  What is the reason for contamination?  The Lukha River was considered toxic beyond redemption a decade ago. Meghalaya’s pollution control board in its report blamed drainage… Continue reading Detoxing pilot project has brought a river back from dead: Meghalaya

Clean, healthy and sustainable environment a universal right: UN Human Rights Council

What is the News? The United Nations Human Rights Council(UNHRC) has unanimously voted for recognising a clean, healthy and sustainable environment as a universal right. What is the Right to Clean the Environment? The idea of the Right to a clean environment is rooted in the “1972 Stockholm Declaration”. The right brings together the environmental… Continue reading Clean, healthy and sustainable environment a universal right: UN Human Rights Council

WHO’s stark message on air quality — and what India must do

Synopsis: Air pollution is worsening in India. We need to raise our air quality standards in line with recently released WHO guidelines and ensure strict compliance while transitioning to a cleaner energy model. Introduction  In its recent air quality guidelines (AQGs), the WHO said that the impact of poor air quality on public health is at… Continue reading WHO’s stark message on air quality — and what India must do

Dust Control & Management Cells set up in National Capital Region in pursuant to directions by Commission of Air Quality

What is the news? Earlier, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) had issued directions to the State Governments of Uttar Pradesh (U.P.), Rajasthan, Haryana and the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) to set up Dust Control & Management Cells in their respective states. So far, 17 such Cells have been set… Continue reading Dust Control & Management Cells set up in National Capital Region in pursuant to directions by Commission of Air Quality

Tarballs on India’s west coast: A tale of shifting responsibilities

Synopsis: Tarballs, how they are formed, their impact on environment and judicial & legal provisions dealing with such issues. Introduction Tarballs hit the news headlines recently when they started appearing on well-known beaches of Mumbai and Goa. These aquatic pollutants have flooded Anjuna, Morjim, Colva and Mandrem beaches in Goa as well as Juhu, Versova,… Continue reading Tarballs on India’s west coast: A tale of shifting responsibilities

Are Smog towers effective? – Explained, pointwise

For 7PM Editorial Archives click HERE → Introduction Two new smog towers have been recently inaugurated in Delhi. Bengaluru and Chandigarh have also installed smog towers this year. Further, Mumbai’s clean air plan also indicates a financial requirement of ₹25 crore for installing air filtration units at major traffic intersections in the city. While these efforts indicate that governments… Continue reading Are Smog towers effective? – Explained, pointwise

COVID-19: How bio-medical waste poses challenges to urban solid waste management system 

Synopsis: COVID-19 virus has increased the urban solid waste which is very infectious and risky. Some suggestions to deal with the situation.  Introduction  The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic tremendously affected the waste sector, with medical waste subjected to uncontrolled dumping and open burning. It is leading to public health risks.  Why it is important to… Continue reading COVID-19: How bio-medical waste poses challenges to urban solid waste management system 

Probe shows use of toxic material in firecrackers: SC

What is the News? The Supreme Court has said that a preliminary enquiry by the CBI into the firecracker industry, including in Tamil Nadu has revealed rampant violation of its ban on use of toxic ingredients like Barium and its salts. What is the issue? In 2020, the Supreme Court had ordered the CBI Joint… Continue reading Probe shows use of toxic material in firecrackers: SC

Bitcoin miners eye N-power as environmental criticism mounts

What is the news? Amid a heated debate over Bitcoin’s environmental impact, two companies say they have an answer on mitigating some of the negative effects: Nuclear energy. Two private companies are partnering to use advanced fission to the energy-intensive process of minting new coins. Why such a move? It’s an effort, the companies say,… Continue reading Bitcoin miners eye N-power as environmental criticism mounts

New Evidence Led To WHO’s New Air Quality Standard

What is the news? The World Health Organization(WHO) released the Global Air Quality Guidelines(AQGs) recently. Why was a higher standard necessary? Since the last global update in 2005, there has been a marked increase in quality and quantity of evidence that shows how air pollution affects different aspects of human health. The evidence also shows… Continue reading New Evidence Led To WHO’s New Air Quality Standard

Centre, States outline plans to stem pollution

What is the News? The Union Environment Ministry has convened a meeting with representatives from Delhi and neighbouring States that see pollution levels soar during winter. Background Delhi and other neighbouring States see pollution levels rise during winter. The reasons for the pollution levels rise include meteorological conditions that exacerbate pollution, emissions from vehicles, thermal… Continue reading Centre, States outline plans to stem pollution

WHO’s new air quality standards underline the health-pollution link. It’s time policies take a holistic approach

Synopsis: India’s air quality standards were way short of WHO norms even before. The new thresholds will sharpen these differences. Introduction The World Health Organization (WHO) has released the Global Air Quality Guidelines (AQGs). These guidelines are not legally binding but advise to policymakers to shape their policies by prioritizing the health of the people. Read… Continue reading WHO’s new air quality standards underline the health-pollution link. It’s time policies take a holistic approach

WHO says air pollution kills 7 million a year, toughens guidelines

What is the News? The World Health Organization(WHO) has released the Global Air Quality Guidelines(AQGs). What are Global Air Quality Guidelines(AQGs)? Global Air Quality Guidelines(AQGs) is an annual mean concentration guideline for particulate matter and other pollutants. The guidelines were last updated in 2005. Since then, there has been a marked increase of evidence that… Continue reading WHO says air pollution kills 7 million a year, toughens guidelines

IISc researchers find a way to substitute for single-use plastics

What is the News? Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru (IISc) have found a way to make a substitute for single-use plastic that can help mitigate the problem of accumulating plastic waste in the environment. What is the new material developed by IISc? Researchers have developed polymers using non-edible oil and cellulose extracted… Continue reading IISc researchers find a way to substitute for single-use plastics

Ozone layer recovery may take several lifetimes. But Montreal Protocol saved the Earth

  What is the news? Sep 16th is celebrated as World Ozone Day every year since 1994 to commemorate the date of the signing of the Montreal Protocol in 1987. It has been the most successful global environmental treaty so far and the only United Nations environmental agreement to be ratified by every country in… Continue reading Ozone layer recovery may take several lifetimes. But Montreal Protocol saved the Earth

Researchers develop super-hydrophobic cotton for oil-spill cleanup

What is the news?  Recently, researchers of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, have developed a new class of super-hydrophobic cotton composite with Metal-Organic Framework (MOF) that promise marine oil-spill clean-up in near future.  What are the features of the new cotton material developed?  First, this is a novel, highly porous and water-repellent super-hydrophobic cotton composite material containing… Continue reading Researchers develop super-hydrophobic cotton for oil-spill cleanup

How effective is CPCB in its management of e-waste?

Synopsis: In this article, we will discuss the e-waste generation in India, roles and responsibility of CPCB and actions needed by CPCB to manage it.   Introduction  Electronic waste (e-waste) is the fastest-growing stream of waste globally. As per the recent report of the United Nations, the world produced around 53.6 million tonnes of e-waste in 2019,… Continue reading How effective is CPCB in its management of e-waste?

Biden unveils plan to cut methane emissions

What is the News? The US President has announced the Global Methane Pledge at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate(MEF). What is the Global Methane Pledge? Global Methane Pledge is a joint US-European Union(EU) pledge to cut global methane emissions by nearly 30% in the next decade. The pledge will be formalized at… Continue reading Biden unveils plan to cut methane emissions

A new method developed to convert poultry feather & wool waste to animal feed & fertilizer

What is the News? Scientists from the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) have developed an innovative way to convert keratin waste into fertiliser and animal feeds. What is Keratin Waste? Keratin waste is generated from human hair, poultry feather waste and wool. India generates a huge amount of keratin waste each year.  These wastes… Continue reading A new method developed to convert poultry feather & wool waste to animal feed & fertilizer

Explained: What are the tarballs that have resurfaced on Mumbai’s beaches?

What is the News? Recently, black oil-emanating balls also called Tarballs were seen lying on the shore of Mumbai Beach. What are Tarballs? Tarballs are dark-coloured, sticky balls of oil that form when crude oil floats on the ocean surface. They are transported from the open sea to the shores by sea currents and waves.… Continue reading Explained: What are the tarballs that have resurfaced on Mumbai’s beaches?

NITI Aayog, RMI, and RMI India Launch ‘Shoonya’ Campaign

What is the News? NITI Aayog along with Rocky Mountain Institute(RMI), an independent non profit organization has launched Shoonya Initiative. About Shoonya Initiative Shoonya is an initiative to promote zero-pollution delivery vehicles by working with consumers and the industry.  Aim: To accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in the urban deliveries segment and create… Continue reading NITI Aayog, RMI, and RMI India Launch ‘Shoonya’ Campaign

Not just groundwater, fluoride has poisoned agricultural soil, crops in Bengal

What is the news? A new study has pointed out that crops and vegetables that use fluoride-contaminated groundwater have been contributing to an increase in consumption of fluoride among locals in Bengal. The study investigated the magnitude of fluoride contamination in agricultural land soil and food crops in two districts of Western Bihar, as well… Continue reading Not just groundwater, fluoride has poisoned agricultural soil, crops in Bengal

Centre should direct States to use bio-decomposer: CM

What is the News? Delhi Chief Minister has said that a third-party audit conducted by WAPCOS — a PSU under the Union Jal Shakti Ministry — has found the Pusa bio-decomposer, a microbial solution to turn crop stubble into manure is “highly effective”. Note: In 2020, the Delhi government had given Pusa bio-decompose for free… Continue reading Centre should direct States to use bio-decomposer: CM

Cleaning the Yamuna a story of missed deadlines

Synopsis: The Yamuna, as it passes through Delhi, becomes extremely polluted. Immediate steps are needed to check this sorry state of the river. News: Recently, the draft NCR Regional Plan-2041 was prepared by the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB). It has fixed 2026 as the new deadline to ensure ‘zero discharge of untreated sewage… Continue reading Cleaning the Yamuna a story of missed deadlines

PRANA portal for air pollution launched

What is the News? The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has launched ‘PRANA’ (prana.cpcb.gov.in) Portal. About PRANA Portal: Developed by: Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in partnership with Knowledge Lens (a B2B product company) Full Form: PRANA stands for Portal for Regulation of Air-pollution in Non-Attainment cities. Purpose: It is a portal for… Continue reading PRANA portal for air pollution launched

Indian Scientists Develop Noise Control Panels Inspired by Beehives

What is the News? An Indian researcher has fabricated paper honeycomb and stronger polymer honeycomb structure as sound-absorbing panels that dissipate acoustic energy to low-frequency ranges. Significance of this research: Many traditional materials have been found to be good at controlling higher frequencies, but not at lower frequency ranges. However, natural beehives have been found… Continue reading Indian Scientists Develop Noise Control Panels Inspired by Beehives

Rolling out the EV charging network

Synopsis: Steps taken by government to increase EV charging network in India. Introduction The Indian vehicle market is poised for a historic leap into electrification. On the rollout of a charging network for electric vehicles (EVs), India faces the classic chicken and egg problem—EVs require charging infrastructure and that requires EVs. According to the Society of Manufacturers… Continue reading Rolling out the EV charging network

Sukhet’s villagers trade waste for wellness, get free LPG refills

What is the news? The rising price of LPG cylinders was making life difficult for women in rural areas. The instalment of Sukhet model in the village has brought ease to the household. The program was lauded by Prime Minister Modi in his latest episode of ‘Mann ki Baat’. What is Sukhet’s model? It is… Continue reading Sukhet’s villagers trade waste for wellness, get free LPG refills

Scientists develop bio-methanation technology for integrated treatment of sewage, organic solid waste

What is the News? Indian Scientists have developed a high rate biomethanation technology for the integrated treatment of sewage and organic solid waste. What is Biomethanation Technology? Biomethanation is a process by which organic material is microbiologically converted under anaerobic conditions to biogas.  About High Rate Biomethanation Technology: High Rate Biomethanation Technology has been developed… Continue reading Scientists develop bio-methanation technology for integrated treatment of sewage, organic solid waste

Douse the farm fire – “Stubble burning Issue”

Synopsis: Despite various measures taken by both, state governments and central government, the issue of stubble burning continue to add to the air pollution in the North India and NCR region. It calls for a fresh relook at the issue. Introduction The stubble burning incidents are expected to increase this time compared to last year,… Continue reading Douse the farm fire – “Stubble burning Issue”

IIT Ropar’s startup company introduces World’s first ‘Plant based’ smart air-purifier “Ubreathe Life”

Source: This post is based on the article “IIT Ropar’s startup company introduces World’s first ‘Plant based’ smart air-purifier “Ubreathe Life”” published in PIB on 1st September 2021. What is the News? IIT Ropar’s startup company has developed a living plant-based air purifier, “Ubreathe Life” that amplifies the air purification process in indoor spaces. About… Continue reading IIT Ropar’s startup company introduces World’s first ‘Plant based’ smart air-purifier “Ubreathe Life”

Land, freshwater species in Asia-Pacific impacted by plastic pollution: UN Study

Source: This post is based on the article “Land, freshwater species in Asia-Pacific impacted by plastic pollution: “UN Study” published in Down to Earth on 1st September 2021. What is the news? Recently, a study titled “Impacts of Plastic Pollution on Freshwater Aquatic, Terrestrial and Avian Migratory Species in the Asia and Pacific Region” was… Continue reading Land, freshwater species in Asia-Pacific impacted by plastic pollution: UN Study

Dealing with the discarded: E-Waste management in India

Source: Down To Earth   Relevance: Managing the e-waste problem in India Synopsis: Technology plays a dominant role in our lives. But the increase in its use, coupled with extreme consumerist behaviour has come with some ill-effects on the environment, like generation of e-waste. Analysis of the e-waste issue, associated problems and measures needed. Context… Continue reading Dealing with the discarded: E-Waste management in India

Smog control: Another symbol over substance

Source: Livemint What is the news? Earlier this week, Delhi installed Anti-smog tower in the city to purify the polluted air in the city. The step has received both positive and negative responses. There are concerns surrounding the Anti-smog tower as an effective tool to address the air pollution. Must read: Delhi’s New Smog Tower:… Continue reading Smog control: Another symbol over substance

Switch it off!: How light pollution disorients ecosystems

Source: Down to Earth Relevance: Impact of light pollution Synopsis: Excessive use of light in urban areas has negative impact on human and animal life. Analysis of the impact and mitigation measures that can be taken. Context Watching the night sky, the stars and other astronomical objects is an absolute delight. While one may still… Continue reading Switch it off!: How light pollution disorients ecosystems