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Recipe to cut car pollution - Bus corridors, diesel curbs to 10-fold parking fee hike
The Telegraph (Online), 13 November 2017

New Delhi: Suresh Jain has generated graphs and numbers on his desktop that outline what it will take for the National Capital Region, plagued by dangerous air pollution levels that peak each winter, to dramatically clean its air.

His calculations predict a possible 66 per cent drop in inhalable particulate matter (PM) from passenger vehicles and a 90 per cent fall in PM emissions from goods vehicles --- but only if the government pushes through policies that disruptively change transportation habits.

Such cuts in PM emissions could lead to vast improvements in air quality because multiple studies have suggested that vehicle tailpipe emissions make up over 30 per cent of PM over India's most polluted cities.

"The policies and the technologies needed for cleaner air are clear," said Jain, professor of air pollution and health at TERI University in New Delhi, who has spent over a decade trying to determine how government policies might help curb air pollution.

"But are we willing to pay the price to breathe cleaner air?"

Jain and other environmental experts are happy that one key policy measure is in the pipeline: the Centre last year announced new emission standards and fuel quality for all vehicles from 2020.

The Bharat Stage VI standards are expected to lower PM by 82 per cent from diesel cars and 67 per cent from heavy duty vehicles.

But experts caution about the hurdles facing other critically important policies, meant to encourage the use of public transport, nudge people away from personal diesel cars, phase out old vehicles and enforce on-road emission checks. Diesel vehicles have traditionally been more polluting than petrol vehicles. But the automobile industry and consumers across India have piggybacked on diesel's low cost, although the subsidy is intended to benefit the farmers who use it for tractors and water pumps.

The New Delhi-based non-government Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) says the proportion of diesel cars among the new cars sold nationwide rose from 4 per cent in 1998-99 to 16 per cent in 2003-04 and to 54 per cent in 2011-12. Activists campaigning against diesel vehicles have highlighted that the World Health Organisation has classified diesel exhaust as carcinogenic. A typical diesel car emits about 10 times the levels of oxides of nitrogen spouted by a petrol car. These compounds can trigger exacerbations of asthma and other health disorders.

"We're now seeing a backlash against diesel in many countries. Beijing has already banned diesel, and London and Paris are phasing out diesel cars," said Anumita Roychowdhury, CSE executive director.

Several expert panels have since the year 2000 advised the government to introduce high additional excise or an emission tax to offset the fuel price advantage and discourage private diesel cars.

"But we haven't seen willingness to do this, possibly because of automobile industry pressure and lack of understanding of the health risks of diesel," Roychowdhury said.

But some engineers argue that the problem with diesel vehicles comes from old engines and not new ones.

"Diesel has been unfairly demonised," said Avinash Aggarwal, professor of mechanical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

"If we instantly eliminate all diesel vehicles older than 15 years from India's roads, we'd cut emissions by over one-third. The real issue is effective enforcement of such bans."

But Roychowdhury and others cite tests that suggest that even modern diesel cars have failed to achieve their prescribed Euro VI emission standards when tested on road conditions.

The emissions study by Jain and his colleagues at TERI University predicts dramatic cuts in PM emissions if all vehicles meet the prescribed emission standards and goods vehicles are also fitted with diesel particulate filters.

The study predicts large PM emission cuts from passenger cars if local authorities augment public transport networks, increase parking fees by up to 10 times (from the current Rs 20 to Rs 200) and create dedicated bus corridors that allow buses to maintain speeds up to 25kmph.

"Our main finding (is that) we need multiple policy measures to significantly reduce vehicular emissions," Jain said.

Some environmental scientists assert that achieving cleaner air demands actions beyond vehicular emissions.

"Industrial stack emissions, waste burning in our cities, and natural sources -- they all need to be addressed," said Tirthankar Banerjee, assistant professor at the Banaras Hindu University, who earlier this year published a paper that quantified how much each of these sources contributes to air pollution.

LG encourages youths to travel, pursue dreams
Indian Express (Online), 10 November 2017

New Delhi, Nov 10 (PTI) Delhi Lt Governor (LG) Anil Baijal today at a convocation ceremony advised the youth to travel to understand global issues and gain new experiences and encouraged them to pursue their dreams.

The LG was speaking at the TERI University's Convocation here. Baijal asked students to pursue their dreams and also to travel to understand the global issues of sustainable development.

"You may even decide to take a break and consider all options. I would urge you to travel and and take on new experiences and drop on those when it comes to a decision that can shape your future," he said.

Eighteen students were conferred with doctoral degrees and 195 received master degrees from the TERI University.

TERI University hosts its 10th convocation
ANI News (Online), 10 November 2017

New Delhi [India], November 10 (ANI-NewsVoir): With the growing need for developing alternative methods through specialized education to create a sustainable living, TERI University graduates on Friday, at their convocation ceremony, dedicated themselves to the importance of environmental protection and the need to maintain equity, ecological security, and the wealth of natural resources.

TERI University held its 10th Convocation ceremony today in which 18 students were conferred with doctoral degrees and 195 received master's degree from the university.

Present on the occasion were Anil Baijal, Hon'able Lt. Governor, Delhi as the Chief Guest for the convocation and Monique Barbut, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) as the Guest of Honour, along with Ashok Chawla">Ashok Chawla the Chancellor, TERI University, Dr. Leena Srivastava, Vice Chancellor TERI University and Dr. Rajiv Seth, Pro-VC TERI University.

Advising the passing students to pursue their dreams in addition to travelling to understand the global issues of sustainable development, Anil Baijal, Lt. Governor, Delhi said, "The education pedagogy at TERI University has been a win-win model to create knowledge and capacity in various areas of sustainable development, a laudable at a time when the world is facing serious challenges of sustainability and climate change. It is gratifying to know that TERI University has partnerships with various state governments and global university's to develop an informed cadre of professionals well-equipped to tackle, beyond cultural boundries and sectoral divisions, the interwoven challenges of extreme poverty, disease, climate change and ecosystem vulnerability."

Commencing the convocation ceremony, Ashok Chawla">Ashok Chawla, Chancellor, TERI University, spoke about the growth of the TERI University, and brought out the importance of the unique programs offered by the University.

He said, "That issues of environment management and climate change cannot be handled solely by the government but has to be handled by all stakeholders including the younger generations such as the students. He urged the students to carry the mantle of environment protection and become active citizens in improving the environment as decision makers and leaders of the future."

Vice-Chancellor Dr. Leena Srivastava stressed on the role that TERI University can play to advance towards a sustainable living in a mega city like Delhi, which has its unique environmental and ecological challenges.

"TERI University and its students can play a significant role, in collaboration with the Government of Delhi-NCT, to find such climate friendly solutions to identified problems and also act as change agents to help with the implementation. Beyond air pollution, are a range of other sustainability challenges that would help with both mitigation and adaptation to climate change - water, waste and energy management, biodiversity conservation, mobility etc. - and lead to more sustainable development."

The Guest of Honour Barbut, UN Under Secretary General and the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, called on the new graduatesto be innovators, and challenged them to "Imagine what your villages of the future will look like."

She stressed that whereas knowledge is important, it is a tool to help us to imagine how to change the challenges we face. "In each new challenge, I apply what I have learned, but I also try to imagine an entirely different way to get things done. Because it takes at least one person, with imagination, to think something is possible before it can ever come to pass," she added.

Academicians, researchers and students at TERI University are already involved in the following areas with various Government departments of India:

• Water Resources, waste management and sanitation: Various projects such as Urban water metabolism, Landscape approach for water management in Gangetic planes, Water-energy nexus, and Urban water and sanitation, strengthens various flagship missions loudly promulgated by the Government of India viz. Skill Development, Smart cities and Swachh Bharat Mission. Our approach includes (i) basic research to guide policy with evidence, and (ii) strengthening the capacity of Institutions and Stakeholders.

• Energy and Emission Management: University has carried out projects on integrated energy-environment systems modelling and their implications on global and local environment and health. We worked on impact of various urban infrastructure schemes on mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions for COP-21 (for Ministry of Urban Development), sustainable mobility and strategic energy and environmental analysis for multi-modal transport system.

• School awareness programmes: School University Network (SUN) of TERI University is an initiative to trigger curiosity and creative thought processes in sustainability science amongst school children and to build communities for bringing positive change in local areas.

•Urban Development and Sustainable Buildings Management: Cities are engines of economic growth and can lead investments required for sustainable infrastructure. The urban approaches chosen, and the infrastructure decisions made will have severe consequences in climate change adaptation and mitigation; and Responsible Consumption and Production. TERI University has structured first-of-its-kind masters courses on 'Sustainable Consumption and Production' for mid-career policy makers and professionals.

TERI University is the only institution of advanced learning in the country established with the mission of contributing globally by serving society through formal education and research in fields like environment, sustainability, energy conservation, policy and management. At the Convocation, MA degrees were awarded in Public Policy & Sustainable Development (PPSD) and Sustainable Development Practices (SDP); MSc degrees in Environmental Studies and Resource Management (ESRM), Geoinformatics, Plant Biotechnology (PBT), Climate Science and Policy (CSP), Water Science and Governance (WSG), and Environmental and Resources Economics; MTech in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management (REEM) and Urban Development and Management (UDM), Water Science and Governance (WSG); and MBA in Business Sustainability and Master of Laws in Environment and Natural Resources Law, Infrastructure and Business Law.

In its more than decade old existence, the University has become a centre of research excellence in its field, producing over 1200 post graduates with high-level cross-specialisation skills in environment and sustainability fields as well as nearly 80 PhDs, who have gone on to contribute to society through engagements with corporate-driven CSR initiatives, leading NGOs, government agencies and statutory bodies working in the field and have even become social entrepreneurs. TERI University has partnerships with various universities and institutes across the world.

To walk-the-talk, the TERI University campus provides a setting which enhances learning and showcases the concept of modern green buildings. The campus is aesthetically designed with several features of passive solar design, energy-efficiency and water and waste management systems. TERI University students undergo training and internships with government, multilateral and multinational agencies during as a part of academic curriculum. The university has a placement cell, as employment is considered as an integral part of the system. The cell taps government agencies like Dept. of Environment (Govt. of NCT, Delhi), FAO, multinational companies like ACC, Tata Power, Reliance Energy Ltd. and multilateral organisations like WWF, Action Aid International etc. for internships and employment programmes.(ANI-NewsVoir)


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