State of India's Environment Report

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 7, 2023, 0:12

India is a diverse country with several ecological niches. As a fast-growing nation, India faces several challenges related to development and growth. India needs to choose paths that lead to sustainable growth that brings development without affecting the health and environment of the ecological systems.

With the growing concern of climate change, increasing pollution, and events of illegal deforestation, the Ministry of Environment, Forest, & Climate Change, Government of India provides the actual status of the environment through this comprehensive report. The State of India's Environment Report includes data on the environmental status of the habitat, forest, air pollution, water quality, biodiversity, rural development, poverty, education, and climate change. It is issued by the Center for Science and Environment (CSE), which is an organization working on public interest research.

The State of India's Environment Report 2021 dropped India's rank by two places. India was at 115 positions in 2020 and is now at 117th position among the 193 countries based on the adopted Sustainable Development Goals assessment. The total SDG score of India is 61.9 in 2021.

Important Points From State of India's Environment Report 2021

The slip in two positions was attributed to SDG goals related to hunger management, gender equality, industry, innovation, and infrastructure. Furthermore, India is positioned at 168 ranks out of 180 in the Environment Performance Index, which is calculated based on 32 performance indicators in 11 different categories related to health, climate, pollution, biodiversity, and sanitation.

The assessment of 2021 was keeping in mind the current Covid-19 pandemic. The impact of the pandemic on India could also result in poor health and education levels.

Land and Agriculture:- Increased use of chemical pesticides and deforestation are the major causes of land deterioration in India. A study conducted by the University of Michigan revealed that a rapid depletion in underground water could be expected in Punjab and Haryana, which would further impact agriculture and crop production.

The increased pressure on the agriculture sector, including government policies and climate change, has also resulted in increased cases of farmer suicide. Around 5957 farmer's suicide were reported in 2019.

Air Quality:- Research has shown that India and Pakistan struggle to perform well due to their poor air quality. India is placed in the 179th position in the evaluation of air quality. Out of the total 6.67 million deaths in 2019 due to air pollution, around 1.67 million were reported from India. The increased deaths due to air pollution were majorly attributed to five states: West Bengal, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh. Several industries in these states are the primary cause of increased air pollution and poor air quality.

Water:-The 2020 report from the Water Sources and Challenges in India shows around 80 per cent of surface water bodies are polluted due to waste dumping and mixing of sewage water. The major rivers of India are constantly being polluted despite several steps taken by the government. For example, the Central Pollution Control Board report showed that the water quality of the Ganga river has deteriorated due to the discharge of polluted sewage water.

Biodiversity:- India is known for its rich culture and biodiversity. However, due to increased urbanization and population requirements, several habitats are being destroyed gradually. The increased exploitation of forest resources has resulted in poor forest health. Increasing temperatures have resulted in forest fires and loss of species.

Energy:-India has made several efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels and adopt renewable sources for energy production. It has managed to meet 55 per cent of the target of installing renewable capacity by 2022. However, it will miss the target due to several other biomass and hydro projects. India is also lagging in the wind and solar energy targets.

Several suggestions to India from the State of Environment Report 2021 indicate the implementation of stringent policies in place of lenient versions of the earlier policies related to the environment. Adoption of Dr Binesh Desai's Eco Brick model can be adopted for constructions. Emphasis on timely completion of targets related to sustainable development goals.

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FAQs on State of India's Environment Report

Q.1) What is India's SDG score in 2021?

SDG stands for Sustainable Development Goals, and India's score was 61.9 in 2021.

Q.2) Where does India stand in the State of India's Environment Report 2021?

India's rank in the State of India's Environment Report 2021 has slipped two positions to 117th position.

Q.3) In which SDG categories does India perform poorly?

India scored poorly in SDG goals related to hunger management, gender equality, industry, innovation, and infrastructure.