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Northern Plains UPSC NOTE


  • The great plains  are the outcome of alluvial deposits brought from rivers originating in Himalayan and Peninsular regions.

  • These plains extend approximately 3,200 km from the east to the west.

  • The Great Plains are remarkably homogeneous with little variation in relief features of hundreds of kilometres.

Global Impact of PM2.5 Pollution

  • PM2.5 pollution refers to particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or smaller. 

  • These tiny particles are a significant component of air pollution and can have harmful effects on human health and the environment.

  • Failure to meet the World Health Organization (WHO)'s guidelines for reducing PM2.5 pollution to 5 g/m3 would result in a global reduction in life expectancy by 2.3 years

  • PM2.5 pollution is identified as the world's most significant external risk to human health.

  • South Asia's Crisis: South Asia is at the epicenter of this crisis, with a 9.7% increase in particulate pollution from 2013 to 2021, which is estimated to reduce the region's life expectancy by an additional six months.

  • Most Polluted Countries: Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, collectively housing 22.9% of the global population, are the most polluted countries in the world. 

  • In Bangladesh, the most polluted country in 2021, people potentially lost an average of 6.8 years of life due to air pollution not meeting WHO guidelines.

  • China's Pollution Reduction: China stands out for reducing pollution by 42.3% from 2013 to 2021, leading to an extension of the average life expectancy of its population by 2.2 years. 

  • This reduction is attributed to the country's pollution control policies implemented in 2014.

  • India's Particulate Pollution: India, the second-most polluted country in 2021, faces significant threats to human health from particulate pollution. 

  • PM2.5 pollution levels in India increased from 56.2 g/m3 in 2020 to 58.7 g/m3 in 2021, exceeding WHO guidelines by more than 10 times.

  • Life Expectancy Impact: The average Indian resident could lose 5.3 years of life expectancy if WHO guidelines for air pollution are not met. 

  • This impact is more substantial than the impact of cardiovascular diseases and child/maternal malnutrition.

  • Regional Impact in India: Delhi, the world's most polluted city, could see a potential loss of 11.9 years of life expectancy relative to WHO guidelines if current pollution levels persist.

  • Most Polluted Region in India: The northern plains, encompassing States and Union Territories such as Bihar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal, are the most polluted region in India. 

  • Residents there could lose about 8 years of life expectancy if pollution levels remain high.

  • Spread of Pollution: Pollution, once concentrated in the northern region of India, has spread to other parts of the country over the past two decades, with Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh experiencing significant increases in pollution levels.

  • Basis for Life Expectancy Calculations: The Air Quality Life Index's (AQLI) life expectancy calculations are based on peer-reviewed studies by Chen et al. (2013) and Ebenstein et al. (2017), which effectively isolate the impact of particulate air pollution from other health factors. 

  • These studies found that sustained exposure to an additional 10 g/m3 of PM2.5 reduces life expectancy by 0.98 years.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Northern Plains UPSC NOTE
Northern Plains UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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