Prof. Ajay Kumar Sood, Principal Scientific Adviser to Govt. of India, inaugurated a Brainstorming Workshop on 22nd June 2022 at India International Centre, New Delhi to kick start an ambitious National Mission on “National Air Quality Resource Framework of India (NARFI)” developed by the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru with the support from the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser (O/o PSA) to the Government of India. The framework will provide an all-inclusive guide to collecting air quality data, studying its impact and implementing science-based solutions.
Speaking at the event, Prof. Sood stressed the need to bring together all stakeholders from government, industry and citizens. “[Tackling pollution] is a complex and multi-dimensional problem which will require researchers, government officials and citizens to come-together. Solutions to the problem will require an integrated, multi-sectoral science and technology approach, while also addressing the social aspect of the problem” remarked Prof. Sood.
The inaugural function was also graced by Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Director, NIAS and former Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India, Dr. (Mrs.) Parvinder Maini, Scientific Secretary O/o PSA, Dr Randeep Guleria, Director AIIMS, New Delhi, Prof Gufran Beig and Dr. M. Mohanty the Project Coordinators of NARFI. The workshop saw participation of delegates from government and non-government agencies, scientists, industry and start-up representatives.
While presenting the overview of the mission, Prof Gufran Beig emphasized the absence of authenticated and integrated information on air quality in the country. To fulfil this vacuum, a science-based integrated air quality resource framework is needed. NARFI, supported by O/o PSA and implemented by NIAS is a timely step in the right direction. The NARFI is an information mechanism to help decision-makers in government, municipalities, start-ups and in the private sectors to address air pollution issues in different climatic zones of India. Research-based audited Information and industry-oriented solutions will be shared in an easy-to-understand format. The short-term basic training modules tailored for different groups such as active ground level staff in government establishments, implementers, media and policymakers, would be an integral part of the framework. All this can help enrich communication and enhance general awareness, leading to self-mitigation. The NARFI will evolve around the following five modules:
- THEME-1: Emission Inventory, Air Shed, and Mitigation
- THEME-2: Impacts on Human Health and Agriculture
- THEME-3: Integrated Monitoring, Forecasting and Advisory Framework
- THEME-4: Outreach, Social Dimension, Transition Strategy and Policy
- THEME-5: Solutions, Public-Industry Partnership, Stubble Burning & New Technologies.
It was stressed that there is a need to have close cooperation between researchers and industries in order to get faster solutions. Linking reduction of air pollution in the health and agriculture sectors is important for citizens to understand the gravity of the situation and solutions for the same.
“We are largely dependent on the models created in the west to tackle this problem. The NARFI will enable knowledge creation, developing infrastructure and industrial structures and studying its effects on human health in the country” remarked Prof. Shailesh Nayak about the goal of NARFI.
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