Central Pollution Control Board: Role, Functions of CPCB | CPCB UPSC Notes

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is responsible for monitoring India’s Air and Water Quality and pollution-related issues. The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change is responsible for the Central Pollution Control Board of India, a statutory body. CPCB began a nationwide initiative called the National Air Quality Monitoring Program to keep an eye on ambient air quality (NAMP).

Central Pollution Control Board is one of the most important government bodies. CPCB finds its relevance under the Environment & Ecology section of the UPSC Syllabus. For the candidate’s ease, we have covered the powers, structure, and crucial facts related to the Central Pollution Control Board.

Central Pollution Control Board [CPCB]

CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) is a statutory organization that was established in September 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control Pollution) Act 1974. After that, CPCB was entrusted with the functions and powers of the Air (Prevention and Control Pollution) Act 1981.

Central Pollution Control Board in India serves as a field formation and also offers technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. CPCB aims to enhance air quality and prevent abate or control air pollution in India.

Power and Functions of CPCB

The major function of the CPCB is to promote the cleanliness of the wells and streams in various areas of states by controlling, preventing, and abatement of water pollution. The powers and functions of the Central Pollution Control Board include:

  • Advise the central government on matters concerning the control and prevention of water and air pollution and enhancement of air and water quality.
  • The responsibility of the Central Pollution Control Board includes planning training programs for people involved in the activities for improvement, prevention, and control of water and air pollution.
  • CPCB provides technical support and guidance to the state boards and carries out sponsor research and investigation related to the problems of air and water pollution and for their control, prevention, and abatement.
  • CPCB organizes mass awareness programs on controlling and preventing air and water pollution.
  • Preparing guidelines, manuals, and codes for treating sewage, trade effluents, and stack gas cleaning devices.
  • Another responsibility of the Central Pollution Control Board includes collecting statistical and annual Water & Air pollution reports. This report helps to take preventive measures to reduce and control pollution.
  • Central Pollution Control Board also performs other functions as prescribed by the Indian Government.

Role of CPCB

By generating pertinent data, offering scientific information, providing technical inputs for the creation of national policies and programs, training and developing manpower, and organizing activities for spreading awareness at various levels of the Government and the public, the Central Pollution Control Board contributes to the reduction and control of pollution in the nation.


The implementation of laws pertaining to the prevention and control of environmental pollution is the responsibility of the CPCB, along with its equivalents, the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs).

Central Pollution Control Board and NAMP

Central Pollution Control Board launched a nationwide program called National Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP) to track India’s Air Quality Index (AQI). The objectives of NAMP are:

  • To find out the trends and status of ambient air quality
  • To figure out whether the prescribed air quality standards are violated
  • To locate the non-attainment cities and control the air pollution in those cities
  • To get enough understanding and knowledge required for developing corrective and preventive measures.
  • To understand the cleansing process undergoing in the environment.
  • NAMP regularly measures the SO2, NO2, RSPM / PM10

CPCB and National Water Quality Monitoring Program

Water is an essential and limited resource for human existence. CPCB collects technical and statistical data related to water pollution and also takes various measures to control water pollution. The Central Pollution Control Board, in association with State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) / Pollution Control Committees (PPCs), monitors the water quality across the country under the NWMP.

  • The water quality monitoring network- 28 states and eight union territories have a total of 4111 stations
  • Groundwater is monitored on a half-year basis
  • Surface water bodies are monitored quarterly or monthly
  • Micropollutants- monitored twice a year( Before or after monsoon)

Central Pollution Control Board – Organizational Structure

Central Pollution Control Board is led by its chairman, member secretary, and other members. Various tasks are performed by CPCB through the following nine project heads.

  • R&D and laboratory management.
  • Pollution assessment (survey and monitoring).
  • Information database management and library
  • Pollution control enforcement
  • Hazard waste management
  • Mass awareness and publications
  • Training
  • Development of standards and guidelines for industry-specific emissions and effluent standards
  • Pollution control technology

Short Notes of CPCB

CPCB celebrated its 46th Foundation Day in 2020. As per the Central Pollution Control Board, 128 sites in India are contaminated by hazardous and toxic substances. West Bengal topped the list with 27 sites, followed by Odish at 23.

The reasons for contamination include:

  • leakage of underground oil pipelines of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited in Tamil Nadu.
  • Mercury contamination of the soil at Kodaikanal, Ganjam, Tamil Nadu, Odisha
  • Heavy metal and pesticide contamination in creeks at Eloor, Kerala.
  • Electronic waste on the banks of fiver Moradabad, Ramganga.
  • Chromium contamination at Ranipet, Tamil Nadu, Rania, and Loguanagar, Uttar Pradesh.


The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change is the statutory organization of the Central Pollution Control Board. By offering advice and technical support, CPCB directs the State Pollution Control Boards’ actions and mediates conflicts between them.

Central Pollution Control Board is an important government organization covered under the UPSC Syllabus. Majorly covered through Current Affairs; the topic is crucial from the UPSC Exam perspective. Applicants can also solve UPSC Previous Year Question Papers to better understand the kinds of questions asked.

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