Commission for Air Quality Management

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In view of this sudden spike in the overall AQI of Delhi, the Sub-Committee for invoking actions under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) of the CAQM held an emergency meeting recently.

Why in the News?

Delhi’s overall Air Quality Index (AQI) clocked 410 recently as per the AQI Bulletin provided by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

What is GRAP?

  • It is a set of emergency measures that kick in to prevent further deterioration of air quality once it reaches a certain threshold.
  • The GRAP was first notified in January 2017 by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  • Stage 1 of GRAP is activated when the AQI is in the ‘poor’ category (201 to 300).The second, third and fourth stages will be activated three days ahead of the AQI reaching the ‘very poor’ category (301 to 400), ‘severe’ category(401 to 450) and ‘severe +’ category (above 450)

What is CAQM?

The Commission is a statutory body which was first formed by an ordinance in October 2020.


  • Chairperson:To be chaired by a government official of the rank of Secretary or Chief Secretary. He will hold the post for three years or until s/he attains the age of 70 years.
  • It will also have five ex officio members who are either Chief Secretaries or Secretaries in charge of the department dealing with environment protection in the States of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Three full time technical members.
  • Three members from non-government organisations.
  • Technical members from CPCB, Indian Space Research Organisation, and NITI Aayog

Powers and functions:

  • Restricting activities influencing air quality.
  • Investigating and conducting research related to environmental pollution impacting air quality, preparing codes and guidelines to prevent and control air pollution,
  • Issuing directions on matters including inspections, or regulation which will be binding on the concerned person or authority.


Q1) When was the Central Pollution Control Board of India established?

The CPCB was established on September 23, 1974 under The Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 as a technical arm of the Central Government for environmental research, monitoring, regulation and enforcement in the country.

Source: PIB