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  • 12 September, 2022

  • 9 Min Read

International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies 2022

International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies

To create awareness and encourage efforts to enhance air quality under the National Clean Air Programme, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&C) recently held the 3rd International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies called "Swachh Vayu Diwas ("Swachh Vayu Neel Gagan") today (NCAP).

20 of the 131 cities chosen for its National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) have surpassed their 2017 levels of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (60 micrograms per cubic metre) in 2021–2022.

Theme: "The Air We Share".

Major Points:

In order to implement mitigation policies and initiatives to combat air pollution more effectively, it emphasises the necessity of quick and strategic international and regional cooperation.


  • The United Nations General Assembly's 74th session approved a resolution designating December 19, 2019, as the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies.
  • The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was motivated by the resolution to organise the day's celebration in conjunction with other pertinent parties.
  • The Climate and Clean Air Coalition worked with UNEP and the Republic of Korea to promote the day prior to the resolution's passage.


Summits with member nations are held by the UN to recognise the International Day of Clear Air for Blue Skies.

Participants share their opinions and debate the statistics regarding the effects of air pollution and air quality around the world.

What conclusions has NCAP reached?

  • 95 of these 131 cities have seen an improvement in air quality.
  • Varanasi saw the most improvement in air quality, with a 53% increase.
  • In 2017, Varanasi had an average annual PM10 concentration of 244, which fell to 144 in 2021.
  • In comparison to 2017, PM10 air quality in Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad has significantly improved in 2021–22.
  • There have also been improvements in other significant cities, such as Noida, Chandigarh, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Guwahati, etc.
  • However, throughout the same time span, air quality in 27 cities showed a decline.
  • The district of Korba in Chhattisgarh, which is home to 10 thermal coal power stations, is one of them.
  • Madhya Pradesh has performed the worst among the states, with six of the seven cities from the state chosen by the Center for NCAP exhibiting a decline in air quality.
  • These cities include Gwalior, Bhopal, Dewas, Indore, Jabalpur, Sagar, and Ujjain.
  • Among other places, the air quality has been worse in Howrah and Durgapur in West Bengal, Aurangabad and Thane in Maharashtra, Gaya in Bihar, Rajkot and Vadodara in Gujarat, Bhubaneswar in Odisha, Patiala in Punjab, and Jammu.

National Clean Air Programme

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has been ordered by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to amend the National
  • The MoEFCC introduced it in January 2019.
  • It is the first time a national framework for air quality management has been created in the nation with a deadline for a decrease.
  • With 2017 as the base year for comparison, it aims to reduce the concentration of coarse (particulate matter with a diameter of 10 micrometres or less, or PM10) and fine (particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres or less, or PM2.5) particles by at least 20% over the course of the following five years.
  • The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) chose 102 non-attainment cities across 23 states and union territories for the plan using data on ambient air quality collected between 2011 and 2015.
  • Cities that haven't met the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for more than five years are considered non-attainment cities.

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Source: PIB

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