PUNE: In an effort to make the air quality research available to everyone, the Council of Scientific Industrial Research (CSIR)’s National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), on Wednesday, November 6, launched IndAIR (Indian Air quality studies Interactive Repository), India’s first interactive online repository.
To provide the history of air pollution and legislation in the country, the newly launched repository has archived approximately 700 scanned documents from 1950 to 1999, the pre-Internet era, 1,215 research articles, 170 reports and case studies, 100 cases and over 2,000 statutes to provide the history of air pollution research and legislation in the country. This includes all major legislation in the country dating back to 1905.
The process for creating the repository involved 22 professionals and it took nearly 11 months to complete it and make it ready for other researchers, media personnel, academicians and other interested people to view or study it. The complete process included procuring archived data available outside the internet domain, developing website and interviewing subject experts across India to comprehend the potential of the history and the project.
The initiative saw some of the prominent bodies to partner with CSIR-NEERI, like The Energy Resource Institute (TERI), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Various reputed institutions such as National Archives of India (NAI), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and National Institute of Science, Communication and Information Resources (NISCAR) supported the initiative by CSIR-NEERI.
This is the first comprehensive effort to record and list down surviving Indian research and analysis on the subject of air pollution, its causes and effects and make these studies available and easily accessible in web format for the media, researchers and academics.
Dr Rakesh Kumar, Director, CSIR-NEERI said, “Several documents related to the research on air pollution were not in the public domain. We have digitised them,” Kumar said.
Earlier, it was difficult to import anything and therefore, instruments to monitor air quality were fabricated and designed indigenously. Kumar said, “Now we are getting sensors which are perhaps not tested and getting all kind of numbers related to air quality. We are creating a hotchpotch situation and need to be responsible when we are looking at numbers”.