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Daily News Analysis


22nd March, 2024 Environment

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Picture Courtesy: https://www.forbesindia.com/article/news/the-(dangerous)-air-india-breathes/92139/1

Context: The World Air Quality Report 2023 by IQAir identifies Delhi as the capital with the poorest air quality and Bihar's Begusarai as the most polluted urban region globally, highlighting India's serious air pollution situation and its health consequences.

Key Findings of the Report

  • Delhi has been categorised as the capital city with the highest levels of pollution, and Begusarai in Bihar has emerged as the world's most polluted urban area.
  • In 2023, India had the third poorest air quality out of 134 countries, with an average annual PM2.5 concentration of 54.4 micrograms per cubic metre, behind only Bangladesh and Pakistan.
  • Delhi's PM2.5 results rose from 89.1 micrograms per cubic metre in 2022 to 92.7 micrograms per cubic metre in 2023, retaining its status as the most polluted capital city for the fourth consecutive year.
  • According to the report, 1.36 billion individuals in India are exposed to PM2.5 concentrations that exceed the WHO's recommended yearly guideline level, with 1.33 billion facing more than seven times the standard.
  • More than 66% of Indian cities had an annual average PM2.5 concentration of more than 35 micrograms per cubic metre, indicating widespread air pollution throughout the country.

Data Collection Methodology

●IQAir aggregated data from over 30,000 regulatory air quality monitoring stations and low-cost air quality sensors worldwide.

●These stations and sensors, operated by various entities including research institutions, governmental bodies, and private companies, provided comprehensive data on air quality levels.

●Compared to the 2022 report, the 2023 report expanded its coverage to include 7,821 locations in 134 countries, regions, and territories, allowing for a more detailed analysis of global air quality trends

Impact on Human Health

  • Air pollution endangers human health, accounting for 1 out of every 9 deaths worldwide.
  • Exposure to PM2.5 pollution may cause or worsen a variety of health problems, including asthma, cancer, stroke, and lung disease.
  • Children are particularly vulnerable to the negative impacts of air pollution, which may affect their intellectual growth and mental health, and intensify pre-existing disorders like diabetes.


  • The World Air Quality Report 2023 highlights the urgent need for coordinated efforts to address air pollution and its negative impact on human health. Policymakers can protect citizens' health and create healthier environments for future generations by prioritising air quality enhancement measures.

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AIR POLLUTION INDIA: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/air-pollution-india#:~:text=Air%20pollution%20and%20extreme%20climatic,the%20penetration%20of%20ultraviolet%20rays.


Q. Air pollution doesn't respect borders. Dust storms from neighbouring countries and emissions from ships in international waters can significantly impact Indian air quality. How can India effectively collaborate with regional partners to develop solutions that address these transboundary sources of pollution?