While air pollution has taken prominence in political and public debates in India in the last few years, there has been a misnomer that the research on the subject is lagging and nascent. To put this notion to rest, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) –National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) launched India’s first web repository documenting air quality studies done in the last 60 years in the country. The Indian Air Quality Studies Interactive Repository or IndAIR has archived approximately 700 scanned materials from pre-internet era (1950-1999), 1215 research articles, 170 reports and case studies, 100 cases and over 2000 statutes, to provide the history of air pollution research and legislation in the country. Such a repository on the subject of air pollution is one of the first in the world.
Although air pollution control activities in India date back to 1900, a major thrust was given after 1981, wherein the Air Pollution Control Act was enacted by the Parliament. CPCB enacted the ambient air quality standard that year and the current National Clean Air Programme is an off shoot of the principles of the Air Act.Nidhi Khare, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change
Though air pollution is one of the most widely deliberated issues, little is known about it in India as far as the statistics or the history is concerned. The general belief has been that not much is being done to tackle the problem. We began IndAIR with the intent to document important milestones in the country and make them available to the public. Our hope is that it will not only help the academicians understand the issue better, but will also enable policy makers to frame legislations that encourage development.Dr Rakesh Kumar, Director NEERI