Home   »   UPSC Syllabus 2024   »   Air Pollution and NCAP

Air Pollution and NCAP

In News: It has been four years since the Centre launched the National Clean Air Campaign (NCAP), and analysts have found that progress has been slow.

Air Pollution

  • Air pollution is contamination of the indoor or outdoor environment by any chemical, physical or biological agent that modifies the natural characteristics of the atmosphere.
  • According to the World Air Quality Report of 2021, India ranked fifth among the most polluted countries in the world.

About NCAP

  • The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) was launched by the Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) in 2019 as a long-term, time-bound, national level strategy making determined effort to deal with the air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner.
  • Objective: The objective of the NCAP is comprehensive mitigation actions for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution.
  • Target: The aim envisaged to achieve targets of 20 to 30 % reduction in Particulate Matter (PM) concentration by 2024 across the country.
    • A new updated target of 40% reduction in particulate matter concentration in cities covered under the (NCAP) by 2026 has been set.
  • Coverage: NCAP covers 124 Non-Attainment Cities (NACSs) wherein National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) exceeded for 5 consecutive years, along with 8 other million plus cities of Fifteenth Finance Commission- Million Plus Cities Challenge Fund are covered.
  • Plans: Under NCAP, city-specific action plans have been prepared which include measures for strengthening the air quality monitoring network, reducing vehicular and industrial emissions, increasing public awareness, etc.
Air Pollution and NCAP
Air Pollution and NCAP

Issues with NCAP

    • Lack of comprehensive mechanism to govern air quality management at the city, district, state and regional level/airshed level.
    • Lack of any substantive emission load reduction-based approach as no action plan speaks of a cap on the consumption of fossil fuels and its reduced usage, especially in the power and transport sector.
    • Lack of transparent data availability on air quality levels across the country in the absence of an adequate air quality monitoring infrastructure, lack of integration of already existing infrastructure.
    • Lack of transparency in sharing action plan status reports by cities, states and ministries.

Way Forward

  • Airsheds identification: A future roadmap for NCAP will need to expedite the identification of airsheds in the country to formulate and implement airshed-based air quality management.
  • Emission database: A National Emissions Database quantifying the emission reduction targets at district/state and national levels, based on emission load should be set up
  • Transparent data availability: Data transparency in terms of integration of progress across sectors into the NCAP portal is crucial for public outreach, accountability, and information.
  • Penalties: Failure to abide by timelines for conducting various research studies by stakeholders should be penalised.

Sharing is caring!


According to the World Air Quality Report of 2021 India rank at which possition?

India ranked fifth among the most polluted countries in the world.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *