The Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, Government of India, launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) in January 2019 as a comprehensive, long-term, time-bound strategy to tackle air pollution across the country.

The NCAP aims to reduce PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations by 20% to 30% by 2024, with 2017 as the base year for comparison.
Recently, the Centre revised this target to a 40% reduction in particulate matter concentrations by 2026 for cities covered under the NCAP.


Objectives of NCAP:

Stringent Implementation:

  • Enforce strict measures for the prevention, control, and abatement of air pollution.
  • Example: Implementing stricter emission norms for industries and vehicles.

Enhanced Air Quality Monitoring:

  • Develop an extensive and efficient ambient air quality monitoring network nationwide to ensure a comprehensive and reliable database.
  • Example: Setting up additional Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS) in major cities.

Public Awareness and Capacity Building:

  • Promote public awareness and enhance capacity-building measures, including data dissemination and public outreach programs to foster inclusive public participation.
  • Example: Conducting awareness campaigns on the health impacts of air pollution and the importance of reducing emissions.


The acceptable annual standard for PM2.5 is 40 micrograms per cubic meter. PM2.5 particles are fine inhalable particles, generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller, posing significant health risks.

Under NCAP, city-specific action plans have been formulated, incorporating measures such as strengthening the air quality monitoring network, reducing vehicular and industrial emissions, and increasing public awareness.

The NCAP emphasizes a collaborative and participatory approach, involving coordination between relevant Central ministries, state governments, local bodies, and other stakeholders to address all sources of pollution effectively.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish June 13, 2024