Mumbai: 120 institutes identified to form network to measures cities’ performance under NCAP
Around 120 scientific institutes have been identified across the country to form a National Knowledge Network (NKN) that will measure the performance of cities in achieving the goals under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP).
Institutes such as Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Indian Institutes of Science (IIScs) and labs of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have been identified as Institutes of Repute (IoRs) to aid and measure NCAP.
NCAP is a programme initiated by the Union ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) to reduce ambient air pollution levels. The programme identified 122 non-attainment cities with high pollution levels and directed them to submit an action plan to reduce their pollution levels by at least 20% by 2024. The national target is to reduce particulate matter (PM) 2.5 and 10 by 20%-30% at both rural and urban levels by 2024.
The objectives of NCAP are stringent implementation of mitigation measures for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution to augment air quality monitoring network across the country and to increase public awareness.
“The NKN will act as an advisory expert group to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). It will also have three independent experts along with nominated officers from CPCB and MoEF,” said Sachchida Nand Tripathi, national coordinator of NKN and professor and head of department of civil engineering, IIT-Kanpur.
IIT-Bombay, Delhi, Madras, Guwahati, Roorkee and Kanpur have been identified as nodal coordinating institutes.
Tripathi said IoRs will partner with state pollution control boards and urban local bodies to provide knowledge-based support for implementation of NCAP goals. “These institutes may undertake air quality monitoring work, data analysis, data utilisation, compilation and prepare reports. They will also check compliance verification for emission norms to provide input to policymakers,” he said during a webinar on ‘Pathway for India to achieve air pollution goals’ on Wednesday.
“The budget is an opportunity for India to show commitment towards its fight against pollution. We would demand focus on the following four areas — a) the finance commission grant for air quality improvement receives further support and the performance framework for receiving these grants is finalised at the earliest, b) budgets allocated under NCAP are sustained and increased substantially, c) that the budget provides clarity on how Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Standards (CAAQMS) will get funded by the Centre, and lastly d) further investments in clean household fuels and schemes like Ujjwala,” said Dr Santosh Harish, fellow at Centre for Policy Research.
With an aim to build transparency and accountability of efforts taken under NCAP, CarbonCopy and Respirer Living Sciences released a new dashboard at the webinar which presents a comprehensive one-stop platform to access CAAQMS being provided as part of CPCB’s nationwide real-time monitoring network.
The dashboard is designed to list the data and also allow viewers to draw comparisons between seasons, monthly and annual averages, and even examine hyper-local monitoring by zooming into specific cities and neighbourhoods to identify polluted pockets.
The dashboard has allowed transparency for not just PM2.5 and 10 data but also for harmful gases like Nitrogen Dioxide (NOx), Ozone (O3) and Carbon Monoxide (CO).
Reacting to the life sentence awarded to Yasin Malik on Wednesday, the wife of slain Squadron Leader Ravi Khanna, Shalini Khanna, said, “Though many people would have got relief today, but I am not at peace”. Squadron Leader Khanna was among four Indian Air Force officials shot dead by car-borne militants of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, allegedly including Yasin Malik, on outskirts of Srinagar in January 1990.
Deputy commissioner of police (outer north) Brijendra Kumar Yadav said that both the detained “sharpshooters” are minors. Yadav said, during questioning the two juvenile delinquents told the police that they were asked to avenge the killing of one Brahm Prakash, father of Kallu Khera alias Kapil who is a member of the Gogi gang. They said Prakash was killed on May 7 allegedly by members of Bawana’s gang, and senior members of their group told them to kill latter’s father.
Clashes erupted between supporters of Yasin Malik and security forces in Srinagar on Wednesday after a Delhi court sentenced the Kashmiri separatist leader to life imprisonment in a 2017 terror funding case. Protests against the court's verdict erupted in Maisuma – Malik's native place, a short distance from Lal Chowk – as his supporters and relatives arrived at his house and shouted slogans demanding his release.
In the new team, the Shimla district, particularly Rohru and Jubbal and Kotkhai assembly segments, has got more share than the other 66 assembly segments. Of the 41 newly appointed secretaries, seven are from the Rohru assembly segment and they all owe allegiance to Mandi Lok Sabha member Pratibha Singh and her legislator son Vikramaditya Singh, while of the 13 general secretaries, five are from Shimla district alone. Former councillor Mahender Chauhan has also been appointed as vice-president.
A bench of justices Siddharth Mridul and Rajnish Bhatnagar on Wednesday said that it will not hold a “mini-trial”, and look into the evidence and the statements without testing the authenticity of the material. “In so far as UAPA is concerned, we have to look at the material on the record without testing the veracity... You can’t say if the statement says three of them (accused) met, then we should test it by holding a mini-trial,” the bench said.