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  10/18/2014 Print Release 1/3 Press Information Bureau Government of IndiaMinistry of Environment and Forests 17-October-2014 17:38 IST National Air Quality Index (AQI) launched by the Environment Minister AQI is a hugeinitiative under ‘Swachh Bharat’ AQI to act as ‘One Number- One Colour-One Description’ to judge the Air Quality forCommon Man: Shri PrakashJavadekar The Minister for Environment, Forests & Climate Change Shri Prakash Javadekar todaylaunched ‘The National Air Quality Index’ (AQI) in New Delhi.Speaking on the occasion, ShriJavadekar outlined the AQI, as ‘One Number- One Colour-One Description’ for the common man to judge the air quality within his vicinity. The formulation of the index was a continuation of theinitiatives under Swachh Bharat Mission envisioned by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri NarendraModi. Elaborating further, the Minister stated that the index constituted part of the Government’smission to introduce the culture of cleanliness. Institutional and infrastructural measures were beingundertaken in order to ensure that the mandate of cleanliness was fulfilled across the country. As a part of the process, he mentioned that clean air would be a part of Peoples’ campaignto take up theissue in a mission mode. In order to widen the ambit of the culture of cleanliness, the Ministry proposed to discuss the issues concerned regarding quality of air with the Ministry of HumanResource Development in order to include this issue as part of the sensitizationprogramme in thecourse curriculum. Under the new measurement process, Shri Javadekar stated that an effort had been made toinclude a comprehensive set of parameters. While the earlier measuring index was limited to threeindicators, the current measurement index had been made quite comprehensive by the addition of fiveadditional parameters. Under the current measurement of air quality, 8 parameters. The initiativesundertaken by the Ministry recently aimed at balancing environment and conservation anddevelopment. Air pollution has been a matter of environmental and health concerns,particularly in urbanareas. 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, continuousmonitoring systems that provide data on near real-time basis are also installed in a few cities. Traditionally, air quality status has been reported through voluminous data. Thus, it wasimportant that information on air quality is put up in public domain in simple linguistic terms that iseasily understood by a common person. Air Quality Index (AQI) is one such tool for effectivedissemination of air quality information to people. An Expert Group comprising medical professionals, air quality experts, academia, advocacy groups, and SPCBs was constitutedand atechnical study was awarded to IIT Kanpur. IIT Kanpur and the Expert Group recommended an AQIscheme. There are six AQI categories, namely Good, Satisfactory, Moderately polluted, Poor, VeryPoor, and Severe. The proposed AQI will consider eight pollutants (PM 10 , PM 2.5 , NO 2 , SO 2 , CO,O 3 , NH 3 , and Pb) for which short-term (up to 24-hourly averaging period) National Ambient Air Quality Standards are prescribed.  10/18/2014 Print Release 2/3  Based on the measured ambient concentrations, corresponding standards and likely healthimpact, a sub-index is calculated for each of these pollutants. The worst sub-index reflects overallAQI. Associated likely health impacts for different AQI categories and pollutants have been also beensuggested, with primary inputs from the medical expert members of the group. The AQI values andcorresponding ambient concentrations (health breakpoints) as well as associated likely health impactsfor the identified eight pollutants are as follows: AQI Category, Pollutants and Health BreakpointsAQICategory(Range)PM24-hrPM24-hrNO24-hrO8-hrCO8-hr(mg/m)SO24-hrNH24-hrPb24-hrGood (0-50)0-500-300-400-500-1.00-400-2000-0.5Satisfactory(51-100)51-10031-6041-8051-1001.1-2.041-80201-4000.5 – 1.0Moderatelypolluted(101-200)101-25061-9081-180101-1682.1- 1081-380401-8001.1-2.0Poor(201-300)251-35091-120181-280169-20810-17381-800801-12002.1-3.0Very poor(301-400)351-430121-250281-400209-748*17-34801-16001200-18003.1-3.5Severe(401-500)430 +250+400+748+*34+1600+1800+3.5+ *One hourly monitoring (for mathematical calculations only)   AQIAssociated Health Impacts Good(0–50)Minimal ImpactSatisfactory(51–100)May cause minor breathing discomfort to sensitive people. 102.523323  10/18/2014 Print Release 3/3 Moderately polluted(101–200)May cause breathing discomfort to people with lung disease such asasthma, and discomfort to people with heart disease, children and older adults.Poor (201–300)May cause breathing discomfort to people on prolonged exposure, anddiscomfort to people with heart diseaseVery Poor (301–400)May cause respiratory illness to the people on prolonged exposure. Effectmay be more pronounced in people with lung and heart diseases.Severe(401-500)May cause respiratory impact even on healthy people, and serious healthimpacts on people with lung/heart disease. The health impacts may beexperienced even during light physical activity.   The report will also be available on CPCB’s website ( for 45 daysfor seeking public views/comments. Thereafter, AQI scheme will be finalized after evaluating the commentsreceived and incorporating changes if any in the scheme. CP/GV ****
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