Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) _ UPSC

Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) | UPSC


Air pollution can cut 8 yrs off lives of 250 mln north Indians: Report

      WHY IN NEWS:

Air pollution shortened the average life expectancy by 5.2 years in India, according to the report

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:AQI : Report : CPCB : Pollution


For PRELIMS it is important to understand the key pollution emitters and the significance of this report . Your can also check the calculation methodology on the website given below .

For MAINS collect some key points to enrich your answers on Life expectancy .


Nearly 250 million residents of north India are on track to lose more than eight years of life expectancy if air pollution levels are not reduced drastically



The Air Quality Life Index


Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC)


The Air Quality Life Index data in the report was averaged across women, men and children globally, and covers period between 1998 and 2018.


The Air Quality Life Index, or AQLI, converts air pollution concentrations into their impact on life expectancy.

  • This is helpful for public and policymakers alike can determine the benefits of air pollution policies in perhaps the most important measure that exists: longer lives.


AQLI is based on the causal relationship between human exposure to air pollution and reduced life expectancy.

  • Combining this analysis with highly localized pollution measurements yields unprecedented insight into the true cost of air pollution in communities around the world.
  • The report focuses on how much longer they could live if their community complied with World Health Organization guidelines or national standards.
  • It makes evident that policies that reduce fossil fuel use can allow people to live longer and healthier lives today.


  • India, the world’s second-most polluted country (first is Bangladesh), air pollution shortened the average life expectancy by 5.2 years.

Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) | UPSC

  • Some regions in India fared much worse than the average, with air pollution shortening lives by 9.4 years in the national capital Delhi
  • The highest loss of life expectancy in India was in UP’s capital city Lucknow.
  • Lucknow has the highest pollution level in the country — 11 times greater than the WHO guideline .
  • Its residents stand to lose 10.3 years of life expectancy if the same pollution levels persist.

Since 1998, average annual particulate pollution increased 42 per cent in India.


  • Particulate pollution has been on the rise in South Asia and shortens lives more than anywhere else in the world.

India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan — which account for nearly a quarter of the world’s population — are also among the most polluted.

  • The average resident of these four countries is exposed to particulate pollution levels that are 44 per cent higher than two decades ago.


  • It added that electricity generation from fossil fuels tripled from 1998 to 2017 in these four countries combined.

In terms of national average, Bangladesh ranked as the most polluted country in the world.

  • People in Bangladesh could live 6.2 years longer if pollution levels met the WHO guideline.
  • EPIC’s robust team in India works hand-in-hand with government leaders to implement large-scale, pioneering projects .

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The increase is not surprising.

  • Over the course of the last 20 years, industrialisation, economic development and population growth have led to skyrocketing energy demand in these countries.

In India the number of vehicles on the road has increased about four-fold since the early 2000s.

  • Throughout history, countries all over the world have experienced intense air pollution during periods of rapid industrialization.
  • These countries have largely been successful in confronting their pollution challenge thanks to a demand for change from their citizens and subsequent strong policies.
  • The AQLI provides a metric to determine the benefits of these policies in terms of extended lives.
     SOURCES:DownToEarth | Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) | UPSC


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