Air pollution in India: the challenge -- and a recent solution

By Dr. Srikanth Sola, Founder and CEO, Devic Earth
September 20, 2021: Air pollution has been one of the most discussed topics in India for years now. While air pollution levels have considerably worsened over the years, the awareness around air quality and the need to address air pollution have been gaining momentum as well. Air quality monitoring is set to enter Indian urban areas and become a commonplace feature across our cities.
The Indian government’s National Clean Air Programme prioritises clean air as one of its milestones. It has identified 122 non-attainment cities in India, to extend special focus towards. 
 How Serious is Air Pollution in India? 
A study in 2019 found that 21 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities were in India. The average concentration of particulate matter (PM2.5) in India was 5 times the level recommended by WHO. As of 2020, India’s air quality index (AQI) is 141, making it the third most polluted country in the world. Air pollution leads to serious health problems both long-term (respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, cancers, mental health disorders) and short-term (allergies, asthma, vision problems).
In 2020, India was the third most polluted country in the world, with levels of PM2.5 exceeding WHO recommendations by 5 times.
Air pollution in India is mostly attributed to industrial and vehicular emissions, burning fossil fuel for domestic or industrial purposes, and stubble burning. These release emissions of PM2.5, PM10, oxides of nitrogen, sulphur and carbon. Indian states and the central government have taken numerous initiatives to reduce air pollution, like a) conducting source apportionment studies to understand how different sectors contribute to air pollution, b) accelerating the shift to renewable energy, c) regulatory fines and closure of polluting industries, etc. In more recent times, smog towers have been erected across Delhi, Chandigarh and Bengaluru. There has been an increase in efforts to control air pollution control, but there is a great deal of work to be done. 
The Air Pollution Control Industry in India
Today, different kinds of consumer air purifiers are commonly available in the market, but most of these focus on indoor air quality in a single room. Further, these are effective only in controlled environments. Outdoor air purifiers - the kind that use fans to blow air across filters - don’t work well, and at best address an area the size of a tennis court. That’s not enough to make a dent in air quality for industries and cities. The market for air pollution control equipment is growing 12% year on year. The traditional drivers for growth include increasingly stringent government regulations, growing awareness about the hazards of air pollution, etc. The COVID pandemic has been a surprising driver for growth, since research has shown an association between increased air pollution and greater severity and fatality owing to COVID. An increasing number of industries are choosing sustainability measures and adopting large-scale air pollution control. 
Devic Earth, a green tech company, was launched in 2018 , after 10 years of research. Pure Skies, their flagship air cleaner, addresses air pollution in large areas. It works through a unique Pulsed WiFi technology. The device does not use filters and can address a radius of up to 3 kilometres. It is installed like Wi-Fi routers, around a property or industry, creating a point-to-point network across the entire premises. Pure Skies accelerates the natural process of the formation of particulate matter into dry deposition. It reduces PM2.5 and PM10 by 33-90% across industries. 
Since Pure Skies addresses large areas of coverage without the use of filters or other expensive equipment, it is a low-cost and convenient option.   It is  offered in subscription, as  the world’s first “Clean Air as A Service.” This lets the product be used at a nominal monthly charge, with zero hassle. 
Today’s technology has innovation and sustainability at its core to solve problems and transform lives. Whether it is hyperlocal monitoring of air pollution levels, or unique products that clean air over large areas, technological solutions can bring valuable information and interventions to problems of pollution. Technology can initiate not just an innovation in the air pollution control market. It marks a revolution in how cities and governments address the dilemma of heavy air pollution across cities and large spaces, in India and the world over. 
For a few days we carry a video on How PureSkies works in our Tech Video spot on the homepage.
Dr. Srikanth Sola founded Devic Earth, a green technology company offering scientifically tested solutions for environmental pollution in 2018. He pioneered the air-purifying revolution in India through radio waves technology. A cardiologist by profession, Dr. Sola developed pulse radio wave technology that was inspired by cardiac ultrasound. He shifted from the USA to India to make this technology available to society on a wider basis.
An alumni of Stanford University, he had also completed various aspects of his medical training at the University of Louisville, Harvard Medical School, Duke University, and Emory University.