Center of Excellence for Research on Clean Air

IIT Delhi sets up Center of Excellence for Research on Clean Air (CERCA) to take up research to study air pollution issues in Delhi and NCR region.

In an effort to promote scientific research on clean air issues and provide sustainable solutions to the problem of air pollution, a Center of Excellence for Research in Clean Air(CERCA) was inaugurated at IIT Delhi on February 16.

The Center that was formally inaugurated by the Lt Governor of Delhi Mr Anil Baijal, has been set up with the help of Mr Arun Duggal, an alumnus of IIT Delhi who has agreed to extend a generous financial assistance for research programme of the CERCA.

The Center will be a platform for undertaking multidisciplinary research projects by the faculty of IIT Delhi especially focused to study and resolve clear air issues in Delhi and NCR region. Besides providing scientific information to policy makers this will also give feedback on the effectiveness of various pollution management programmes.

Aimed at enhancing public understanding and participation in promoting clean air initiatives the Center will help spruce collaborations with industry on clean air equipment and emission reduction initiatives. The initial research activities will focus on assessment and prediction of the air quality using dynamically downscaled high resolution data from numerical models. Emphasis will also be to study the air pollution reduction programmes, governance and its implementation issues in China, US, UK, Japan and South Korea.

Acknowledging that providing clean air for Delhi had been a major struggle Mr Baijal gave an insight into the efforts made to address the pollution problems that had gripped the city over the years. “All the solutions and the answers need a holistic reflection coupled with an approach that has a strong community participation. We are being inundated with all kinds of solutions from zero waste to ozone based technologies but they have to be sustainable. We are trying to get pilot projects that are diversified and localized. I am hopeful that the Center will help in finding solutions to the mounds of garbage at the landfill sites of Delhi, enumerate viable tech solution for zero waste in a decentralized manner and management of silt that gets segregated from the silt waste.”

Speaking on the occasion Mr Duggal said that IIT Delhi had an opportunity, indeed an obligation to play an important role in this effort. “It is located in Delhi where the problem is most severe. Its faculty and student body is most talented and capable of addressing any scientific problem. It is my belief that CERCA will become a leading scientific center for addressing the air pollution issues not only in India but also in the world.”

Earlier institute Director Prof V Ramgopal Rao said this was a momentous occasion for everyone and underlined the scientific efforts being made in the research labs for mitigating the pollution problems.

Dean Research and Development Prof B R Mehta that this was the 4th Center to have come up in the institute in just a few months. A total of 15 research proposals had been received of which 4 had been shortlisted.