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Air Quality Index and Safar

Published: 25th Nov, 2019

Delhi air quality to deteriorate to severe category, pollution talks in Lok Sabha


Delhi air quality to deteriorate to severe category, pollution talks in Lok Sabha

About Air Quality Index

  • The AQI is an index for reporting daily air quality.
  • It tells you how clean or polluted your air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for you.
  • The AQI focuses on health affects you may experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air.
  • AQI is calculated for eight major air pollutants: Ground-level ozone, PM10, PM2.5, Carbon monoxide, Sulphur dioxide, Nitrogen dioxide, Ammonia, Lead.
  • There are six AQI categories, namely Good + Satisfactory, Moderately polluted, Poor, Very Poor, and Severe.


  • The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) is an initiative introduced by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)
  • The system is indigenously developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and is operationalized by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
  • The giant true colour LED display gives out real-time air quality index on 24x7 basis with colour coding along with 72-hour advance forecast.
  • The system will be an integral part of India’s first Air Quality Early Warning System operational in Delhi.
  • SAFAR will accelerate public awareness and preparedness of air pollution and weather extremes.
  • It will also lead to better understanding of linkages among emissions, weather, pollution and climate. It will monitor all weather parameters like temperature, rainfall, humidity, and wind speed and wind direction.
  • In addition to regular air quality parameters like PM2.5, PM10, Sulphur Dioxide, Ozone, Nitrogen Oxides, Carbon Monoxide, the system will also monitor the existence of Benzene, Toluene and Xylene.
  • SAFAR system would benefit cost savings to several other sectors like agriculture, aviation, infrastructure, disaster management skill, tourism and many others, which directly or indirectly get affected by air quality and weather.

    About India Meteorological Department (IMD)

    • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India.
    • It is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology.
    • IMD is headquartered in Delhi and operates hundreds of observation stations across India and Antarctica.
    • Regional offices are at Mumbai, Kolkata, Nagpur and Pune.
    • It has the responsibility for forecasting, naming and distribution of warnings for tropical cyclones in the Northern Indian Ocean region, including the Malacca Straits, the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf.

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