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1 million green jobs in air quality domain alone, says IIT professor

In 2020, the Union government launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) at a national level to tackle air pollution and reduce the concentration of particulate matter by 2024.

Developing and building these jobs, available within academia, tech and health sectors, can significantly help in taking the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) forward to its second phase, IIT professor S N Tripathi (centre), said. (Express photo)

Speaking at the India Clean Air Summit 2022 (ICAS 2022), a 4-day event on the theme of ‘Looking at Air Pollution through the Climate Lens’, organised by the Centre for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP) on August 25, Prof S N Tripathi, Senior Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Kanpur, said an estimated 1 million green jobs are available within the air quality domain alone.

“Developing and building these jobs, available within academia, tech and health sectors, can significantly help in taking the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) forward to its second phase,” he added.

In 2020, the Union government launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) at a national level to tackle air pollution and reduce the concentration of particulate matter by 2024.

Explaining further, he said, “There is an urgent need to significantly increase the scope of monitoring and the number of data points to enable better monitoring and management of air pollution levels. Currently we do not have a comprehensive air quality management programme, even our academics are not fully trained in the sole study of air quality.”

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He added, “Air quality management necessitates the development of such a standard, as well as the participation of health and economic experts. This programme, which is interdisciplinary, cannot be offered by a single department. I believe that in the next five years we will require at least 1,000 such professionals equipped with the right knowledge. This programme can even be extended to the bureaucrats.”

Tripathi said that with the deadline for the first phase of NCAP approaching, the second phase (NCAP 2.0) will need to look at how the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) can promote new technologies. “Drawing from the experience of other countries, we need to look at how we can deploy multiple technologies like low-cost sensors and satellite monitoring to ensure we have robust data that both informs policies and helps us develop targeted solutions,” he added.

Ashish Tiwari, Secretary, Department of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of Uttar Pradesh, highlighted the challenges in policy planning, knowledge, resources and governance, stressing on the need for virtual, multi-level monitoring.

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“We need to synergise action between various departments. Convergence of policies to reduce air pollution by aiming at specific sectors is needed. About 30,000 industries are air polluting in Uttar Pradesh. Human monitoring is not possible. Thus, virtual monitoring is needed. A 3-tier monitoring mechanism to observe city-level compliance is under development. Air pollution-sensitive sectoral schemes with targets prioritising polluted areas are the need of the hour,” Tiwari said.

Dr Pratima Singh, Head of the Centre for Air Pollution Studies (CAPS) at CSTEP, said, “Looking at air pollution using a climate lens can help us find a way to a secure and sustainable environment. Working in silos is no longer an option if we want implementable solutions. By bringing together different communities, we want to bridge gaps in knowledge and find solutions that work.”

First published on: 25-08-2022 at 07:25:04 pm
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