Pollution Current Affairs - 2020

GoI plans to reduce dependency for drug intermediates and APIs

The Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) has collaborated with LAXAI Life Sciences to produce Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients inside India. This will help to reduce dependence of pharmaceutical sector on Chinese imports.

Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients

The Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients are also known as bulk drugs. They are the main part of the drugs that produce intended effects

APIs in India

India is the third largest producer of API in the world. Around two-third of the API of India are imported from China according to the data presented in Lok Sabha by the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers.

India’s measures so far to reduce dependency

In March 2020, the Government of India had constituted a committee under chairmanship of CDSCO (Central Drugs Standard Control Organization) director Mr Eshwara Reddy. The committee had suggested a package to revive the API industry.

In 2013, Katoch committee was formed to reduce foreign dependence of API. The committee recommended establishment of exclusive parks for APIs.

Why is India lagging in API?

Indian manufacturers of APIs should control pollution economically and also be competitive at the same time. This is the main reason India is lagging behind China in API manufacturing.

Why is China leading in API?

China in 2015 allowed relaxation in environmental norms till 2015. This was the main reason for the API industry to boom in China. However, it created environmental disasters in the country that forced China to close around 150 API manufacturers between 2016 and 2018.

NASA: Air Pollution in India at 20 year low

On April 22, 2020, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) announced that Air Pollution in India has reached 20 year low.

Highlights

According to the data published by NASA, the Aerosol Optical Depth in 2020 has been the least as compared to the average of 2016 to 2019. Aerosol Optical Depth is absorption of light by airborne particles in the atmosphere. When the aerosols are near the surface, the optical depth of 1 or above indicate hazy conditions.

The AOD was 0.7 in 2016 and has now reached 0.1. The patterns were observed by the MODIS model. MODIS is Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer

Aerosol Optical Depth

The aerosols are particles in atmosphere released due to anthropogenic activities such as industries, vehicles and natural events such as dust storms, fires, etc. The presence of Aerosols in the atmosphere is also affected by particulate matter in the atmosphere.

The Aerosol Optical Depth is the quantitative measure of aerosols present in the atmosphere. It measures the extinction of light when it passes through the atmosphere. As AOD increases, the rate of extinction of light increases.