The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) on 17 October 2014 launched the National Air Quality Index (AQI) in New Delhi. The National Air Quality Index is an initiative under Swachh Bharat Mission envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to introduce the culture of cleanliness.
AQI will act as a One Number- One Colour-One Description to judge the Air Quality for Common Man. The earlier measuring index was limited to three indicators, while this index has been made quite comprehensive by the addition of five additional parameters.
The proposed AQI will consider eight parameters (PM10, PM2.5, NO2, SO2, CO, O3, NH3, and Pb) for which short-term National Ambient Air Quality Standards are prescribed.
Air pollution has been a matter of environmental and health concerns particularly in urban areas. Central Pollution Control Board along with State Pollution Control Boards has been operating National Air Monitoring Program (NAMP) covering 240 cities of the country.
In addition, continuous monitoring systems that provide data on near real-time basis were also installed in a few cities.
Traditionally, air quality status was reported through voluminous data. Thus, it was important that information on air quality is put up in public domain in simple linguistic terms that is easily understood by a common person through AQI.
Air Quality Index (AQI)
• Air Quality Index (AQI) is one such tool for effective dissemination of air quality information to people that entails the system to account for pollutants which have short-term impacts.
• This index was developed by an expert group comprising medical professionals, air quality experts, academia, NGOs, and state
• There are six AQI categories namely Good, Satisfactory, Moderately polluted, Poor, Very Poor, and Severe with colour coding ranging from green to dark red.
• This index transforms various air pollution levels into a single number for a simple description of air quality to citizens.
• The AQI will prompt the local authorities to take quick action to improve air quality and is aimed at attracting people's participation in the process.
When: 17 October 2014