Clarkson University, NY

Executive Summary

Air Pollution, Health, and Climate in India: Building Capacities for Health Research and Program Evaluation

Exposure to indoor and outdoor airborne pollutants is one of the leading risk factors contributing to burden of disease in India. The dependence of air quality on our choice of energy sources and on the state of the atmosphere makes it critical to understand the connection between climate and air quality. Policy and technology interventions that are required to address this health and climate issue requires personnel with inter-disciplinary expertise in air quality, health, and climate that is not commonly available in Indian Institutions.

Our proposed Indo-US Knowledge initiative proposal aims to address the above-mentioned national need through an Indo-US collaboration between Clarkson University (CU), USA and Sri Ramachandra University (SRU), India. As part of this initiative, SRU and CU will partner with the newly established National Institute for Environmental Health, Indian Council for Medical Research (NIREH, ICMR) to develop and deploy a suite of inter-disciplinary short courses on air quality, human health, and climate change, conduct multi-lateral visits between scientists of the three institutions, and initiate novel research programs at the three institutions concerning the development and validation of low-cost air quality sensors.

The modules will be available for inclusion in curricula of other university based programs as well as dissemination through ICT (information and communications technology) initiatives of the University Grants Commission, Govt. of India (such as the e-PG Pathshala programs and NPTEL). This initiative, involving more than 20 faculty and staff from SRU and CU, will result in the development of professional capacities for NIREH, ICMR, while also strengthening the institutional capacities to engage in collaborative global environmental health research.