Environmental Conservation in the Himalayan Region

Abstract: The Himalayan region represents one of the most dynamic landscapes of the world. The hostile climatic conditions and land terrain makes it extremely vulnerable to even the slightest of disturbances. The Art of Living has initiated the Himalayan Unnati Mission – a movement to Preserve, Protect & Resurrect the biological, economic, cultural, and spiritual heritage of the Himalayas.

Author: Sanjam Kaur

Home > Articles > The Environmental Conservation in the Himalayan Region



Measures to combat environmental issues in Himalayan region have been undertaken for the past 50 years. These usually revolve around afforestation, rainwater harvesting and expansion of green cover. A wide range of research has been undertaken in this region to figure out sustainable ways of protecting the environment fostering the livelihoods.

On one end of the spectrum, certain measures are doing wonders and are creating positive tangible impacts whilst others have failed to run in the long run and have proved to be unsustainable. The Art of Living initiated the Himalayan Unnati Mission in this respect. It is a movement to Preserve, Protect & Resurrect the biological, economic, cultural, and spiritual heritage of the Himalayas.

The initiative blends policy level research for state and central government, with grassroots developmental projects in the Himalayan Region by working with Government, Quasi Government, Researchers, Individuals, Corporates & NGOs as knowledge partners, to create a cross exchange of best practices across the Himalayas.

The Earth does not belong to the man. 

The Man belongs to the Earth.

The Himalayan region represents one of the most dynamic landscapes of the world. The hostile climatic conditions and land terrain makes it extremely vulnerable to even the slightest of disturbances.

Various milestones that have been achieved under Himalayan Unnati Mission are as follows:
– Students getting free education: 9385+
– Farmers trained in natural farming: 5000+
– Solar electricians trained: 4100
– People benefitted by solar electrification: 165000
– Candidates trained in different skills: 4450

With an endeavour to maintain the pristine nature of the Himalayan region and bring in sustainable growth, considerable steps have been undertaken on Solar Electrification, which is one of the cleanest forms of energy leaving no carbon foot prints.
Further since 2013, thousands of our dedicated volunteers are striving to revive our drying and dying rivers.

It is our mission to bring our rivers back to life and keep them free flowing, thereby solving the water crisis and making a positive impact on climate change. Impact oriented scientific methodology and our team of experts are spearheading this mammoth task.

9.6 million Trees were planted by The Art of Living volunteers under the Mission Green Earth initiative.

The activity not only helps in rejuvenating water bodies but also helps to rejuvenate air and soil. So far, various water conservation measures have been undertaken and 4 states, 47 rivers, and 1000+ water bodies have been impacted positively.

– Scientific methods: Geospatial technology and remote sensing
– Inclusive Approach: All stakeholders are taken onboard from farmers to scientists.
– Restoring Ecosystem: We are trying to bring back the natural hydrological balance.

– 48 rivers and 100+ water bodies are being revived.
– 22562 recharge structures have been built.
– 7000000 people have been benefitted in about 6186 villages.

The agricultural and traditional practices are unique to this area, which is why any potential solution demands unique approach in terms of research and implementation. It represents the highest mountain system on Earth and extends more than 2400 km in length.

Extensive research has been conducted in this region.

The region is prone to severe monsoons and high intensity Earthquakes which makes it extremely challenging to sustain. To add fuel to the fire, anthropogenic pressures like deforestation and land use changes have further impacted the entire ecology of the region. We need to create an equilibrium between environment and economy. NITI Aayog considers Himalayan region as one of the five pillars for achieving sustainable development in the country. The urgency of the situation can be understood by the facts as mentioned below.
  • According to world wildlife fund, The Eastern Himalayans faces following issues: o Species loss o Infrastructure development. o Some 163 native species have already been considered as globally threatened.
  • Climate change is major factor which accelerates environmental degradation and glacier retreat. Reserves of fresh water are disappearing and it has dramatic impact on lives and livelihoods of people.
  • Conversion of forest into agricultural land and exploitation of forest cover is a major threat to the region.
  • Wood charcoal production
  • Intensive grazing
  • Poaching
  • Severe landslides.
  • Human-wildlife conflict is predominant in the region.
  • Killing of snow leopard for livestock and other reasons is yet another predicament.
  • Moreover, development of infrastructure demands energy. Eastern Himalayas mostly relies on hydroelectric power. Current projects are unsustainable in long run. Proper research needs to be undertaken rather than directly replicating scientific models.
  • Creation of dams without deliberate research and thoughtful thinking has put fish ecosystem in threatening condition.
  • Connectivity is yet another challenge. Roads are extremely important for development of any region. Roads are not properly constructed. This region hosts some of the world’s most dangerous roads which make it difficult for children to access schools and healthcare resources. Proper research must be undertaken rather than mere replication of western models.
  • The culture inherently present in this region needs to be preserved as well.
  • Geological evidence provides insights on great earthquakes which happen every few hundred years. The magnitude usually exceeds 8 on Richter scale and damage is severe.
  • According to a study conducted by Foster and Rosenweig (2003), the major problem in the regions of Uttaranchal and Himachal is degradation rather than deforestation. Tree branches are extremely fragile and have limiting foliage.
  • The same study mentions that 61% of forest areas sampled exhibited crown cover below ecologically sustainable threshold of 40%.
  • Average Basal Area exceeded the sustainability threshold of 40 square meters.
  • Firewood collection times have increased to 60% but walking time to forest increased only by 10%. This is due to decreasing quality of firewood.
  • With economic growth comes environmental consequences. Rising consumption levels (up to 95 percentile) result in increased firewood collection.
  • Certain demographic factors are also responsible here. Rising population levels and land use patterns aggravate the crisis.
  • On the other hand, household size is also shrinking day by day.
  • According to statistics, in a situation wherein productive assets are growing by 10% in Himalayan region, firewood grows by less than 0.2%.On the other hand, similar growth in population can increase the same by 9.9%.
  • Households also end up accumulating firewood in agricultural seasons.
  • Local inequality and income divide is yet another challenge.

Water Crisis

The region is also impacted severely by water crisis. Springs are disappearing and only 29% of Ganga water is from the glaciers. This is till when the sacred river reached Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh. NITI Aayog (the think tank of India) published a report on the revival of Himalayan Springs. According to the report, Himalayan springs play a core role in maintaining the flow of Mountain Rivers. Of 5 million springs that are present in the entire country, let alone 3 million springs find their homes in Himalayan region.

About 50% percent of the perennial springs dried up or have turned seasonal, which further aggravates the problem. This also has ramifications on river ecology and fish ecosystem. The flow of rivers is decreasing which in turn can be detrimental for farmers of Northern India.

The 5 major facets of the problem are:
  • Lack of sustainable sourcing of water
  • Failing models of water governance
  • Inequitable distribution of water
  • The ignored role of women in water governance
  • The increasing impact of climate change.
In Almora alone, the number of streams have reduced to 60 from the past 360 in mere 150 years. The drying of springs demands immediate attention because spring water is the only source of water for 50 million people in 60,000 villages that lie in the belt. Village people meet their water needs via stream drinking water.

About 60% of them are directly dependent on them. To understand the magnitude of the problem, we also need to understand that 64 percent of cultivable land is irrigated by streams. Such disappearing streams are a threat to lives and livelihoods of farmers.

Glacial ice and snow have been affected deeply too. Global warming and climate change has resulted in increased glacial melt. This also results in frequent glacial bursts like that of Uttrakhand region.

Mountain regions provide about 60-80% of world’s freshwater resources and 24% of the clean energy. Their utility is enormous. The entire country’s ecosystem is dependent on them. Himalayan region also fuels majority of rivers in the country. The threat is not only confined to this particular region, but to the entire world.

Warming in Himalayas has been much greater than the global average of 0.74 over the last 100 years. It has the potential to affect half a million people residing in the region. With current threshold of world poverty and food crisis, we cannot afford to let it increase anymore. 1 in every 3 children is at the threat of food insecurity. We might run out of water in a few decades if immediate action is not taken.


The infamous theory of Himalayan degradation stated that after the year 1950, Himalayan region has been exposed to an array of problems:
  • Increased demand of fuel wood.
  • Massive deforestation
  • Loss of lands
  • Frequent flooding
  • Soil erosion
This year has been deemed as the turning point for this region. Fast forward today, this region requires our immediate attention. Because of large scale and massive exploitation, many government laws and rules have been passed.

The challenge is to create a dynamic ecosystem which is sustainable in long run. The problem is that we are trying to integrate western solutions in Indian landscape. People need to understand the problem at the grassroots level and find viable solution.

We used to plant Peepal, Banyan, Tamarind, Mango (the trees which provided shade and fruits to the passersby). However, when we started planting and capitalizing on British aesthetic trees: Gulmohar, etc. this didn’t work out very well. They look gorgeous but add little to biodiversity.

The people residing in this region have in depth knowledge of the same. We need to address their concerns and then take a viable action.

Proposed Solutions

The key to problem solving in this region lies in understanding the problem better. For ages, governments and people have failed to deliberately take a thoughtful action that has been tremendously sustainable in long run.

Climate change is affecting Himalayan region more than any other place on this Earth. Collective action to curb carbon emissions are needed to be taken.

To keep a tab on climate change, international institutions need to come together. Entire world needs to unite together as a family to ensure that climate change is taken a lot more seriously. Not to mention how it is due to sheer courtesy of highly developed countries that contribute the maximum to climate change and underdeveloped and developing countries the bear the most brunt of global heating.

With increasing food insecurity and global climate crisis, people need to come together and take individual actions too. A major caveat here is that most of the people in Himalayan region are reluctant to acknowledge the fact that the climate change is real. Mere unacceptance of the issue becomes a major impediment in taking corrective action against the same. The clock is ticking and we must act now before it is too late.

71% of emissions coming from Himalayan region are contributed by Himachal Pradesh alone. A report published by WWF and TERI (The energy and resources institute) elucidate on 17 space heating solutions which can create an impact in the given region. The heating controls can help in prevention of degradation of forest cover, thereby saving the environment and ecology altogether. Mentioned below is a table showing the cost benefit analysis of a number of heating solutions which can be implemented in Himalayan region.

Currently, pine trees are being recklessly grown on the region. Not that they are not lucrative enough, but they are not compatible with the landscape that is present there. The cone of pine trees falls down and catches fire extremely easy. This makes this region extremely vulnerable to forest fires. Rather than blindly following western methods of forest conservation, we need to go back to our traditional roots and ensure that we grow trees that adapt to the diversity and terrain and spatial conditions of the region.

In terms of plants, here are certain recommendations:
Different trees can be grown in different regions. Bamboos can be grown on steep slopes, oaks and Indian chestnuts on the lithsol and alder trees along the watercourses on the steeper slopes. Deodar Cedar are highly values endemic species and they usually grow in western part of the range.

Further, we need to ensure that we are taking care of endangered species and medicinal plants. 14 Himalayan medicinal plants, which have to power to wade away diseases ranging from cancer to anorexia face very high risk of extinction. Certain critically endangered species include:
  • Aconitum chasmanthum: dried root used in Ayurvedic medicines
  • Gentiana kurroo: leaf powder, root and flower tops used in Ayurveda and Unani
  • Gymnocladus assamicus: pods harvested to make soap by indigenous communities
  • Lilium polyphyllum: white lily, used against respiratory disorders and in skincare
  • Saussurea costus: roots and oil used to treat worm infections, against asthma, cough and intestinal diseases amongst others.
Local communities are the major stakeholders no matter what plan of action is implemented. It is therefore important that we take their opinion into consideration and understand the indigenous practices which have helped them to sustain themselves for so long. Ecological conservation is an intricate process and needs to take all the factors into account.

Certain trees if planted, can have adverse impacts on local hydrology and have the capability of reducing water availability. Tree plantations can nevertheless help in recharging groundwater levels, if implemented thoughtfully.

Ministry of environment, forest and climate change has published a compendium of case studies pertain to Himalayan region. It includes the best practices and captures the very essence of what worked and didn’t work in that region. It is one document that can be referred to whilst framing policies and programs.

Energy lies at the core of sustainable development. In the HKH region, hydropower is one of the most promising environmentally friendly sources of energy. With a potential estimated to be 500,000 MW, the region has abundant opportunities for hydropower development. Energy security can open up opportunities for development and employment and contribute to the national GDP.

Old methods of harvesting like naulas and dharas can be leveraged to save water and use it for commercial and household purposes. Ancient wisdom has been so far extremely beneficial in guiding management of natural resources. We need to go back to our roots and integrate traditional measures with modern technology.
SOME PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVES: Mention below are some of the ongoing missions:
– National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMHS)
– National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE)
– Protecting Himalayan glaciers is another initiative by World Bank which aims at solving problems predominant in this region.
– Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a report lately which said that Himalayan glaciers have the propensity to disappear by the year 2035.
– Ministry of forest, environment and climate change
– National Centre for integrated mountain development

Sustainability and Monitoring

One aspect common in all unsustainable solutions is that they were implemented without much in depth research and study. For sustainable solutions, we need to monitor the impact at every stage of the entire process. We need to ensure that areas wherein strategies are implemented are first taken care of in terms of pilot projects and then expanded in terms of scale. We can learn from the case studies that have proved lucrative results and replicate those models.

MENTIONED BELOW IS ONGOING FRAMEWORK OF A MISSION CONDUCTED BY NMSHE (National Mission for sustaining Himalayan ecosystem)

Study References

  • https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fevo.2020.603422/full
  • https://wwf.panda.org/discover/knowledge_hub/where_we_work/eastern_himalaya/threats/#:~:text=The%20Eastern%20Himalayas%20faces%20a,%2C%20and%20infrastructure%20(development)
  • https://savehimalayas.org/
  • https://bioone.org/journals/mountain-research-and-development/volume-24/issue-4/0276-4741_2004_024_0312_FTADIT_2.0.CO_2/Fuelwood-Timber-and-Deforestation-in-the-Himalayas/10.1659/0276-4741(2004)024[0312:FTADIT]2.0.CO;2.full
  • A Foster and M. Rosenzweig (2003), “Economic Growth and the Rise of Forests”, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 118: 601-637.
  • https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/climate-change/desertification-in-india-where-are-himalayan-springs–66555
  • https://www.downtoearth.org.in/coverage/a-himalayan-plunder-29090
  • https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/climate/how-altitude-will-decide-himalayan-communities-survival/
  • https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/climate/thirsty-in-the-himalayas/
  • https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/nayakgiri-a-leader-within-an-individual/protecting-the-protector-of-india/
  • https://wwfin.awsassets.panda.org/downloads/sustainable_space_heating_solutions_in_the_himalayan_region.pdf
  • http://www.knowledgeportal-nmshe.in/
  • https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/112-medicinal-plants-in-himalayas-threatened-but-conservation-plans-in-place-for-just-5/articleshow/80279192.cms
  • https://www.farreachesfarm.com/Himalayas-Plants-s/2415.htm
  • https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/why-frenzied-tree-planting-is-no-answer-to-ecological-restoration/article35759379.ece
  • https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/protecting-the-himalayas/article2672059.ece
  • https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/sustainable-heating-can-cut-co2-by-30-in-himalayan-region/articleshow/76738397.cms
  • https://www.mountaininitiative.in/images/Report_Final_Correction_June_02_2021.pdf
  • https://reliefweb.int/report/india/changing-face-himalayas
  • https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/the-himalayan-waters-complex-challenges-and-regional-solutions-49113

The New Education Policy

Abstract: The National Education Policy of India 2020 (NEP 2020), lays down the vision for the reformation of education in the nation. The NEP 2020 has replaced the National Policy on Education, 1986. The NEP is a step towards making our educated population employable and technically sound.

Author: Sahil Dugar

Home > Articles > The New Education Policy

The National Education Policy of India 2020 (NEP 2020), lays down the vision for the reformation of education in the nation. The NEP 2020 has replaced the National Policy on Education, 1986. The NEP is a step towards making our educated population employable and technically sound.
Under the old system of education there were certain areas which required reforms:
  • The Education system in India has historically been associated with the terms rote learning, exam-centric, lack of provision of employable and technical skills and compartmentalisation of students into rigid streams after Grade 10.
  • To get into a prestigious college in India after schooling, a student’s board exam marks were decisive. No matter how hard the student has worked throughout their life, it all comes down to their performance on one single day and this single day can potentially shape their career. So if a student gets sick on the day of the examination or the student cannot reach the examination centre on time on the day of the examination due to any unforeseen circumstance the future prospects of college education may be altered drastically for the student.
  • The board exams of most education boards in India are primarily focussed on how much the student can recall and remember from their textbooks. This encourages students to adopt rote learning and not actually focussing on the essence of the topic at hand and actually understanding it.
  • No vocational training or employable skills are given to the students. So even after their schooling all they have to get jobs are theoretical definitions and formulas that they cannot apply to real life situations to earn a livelihood.
  • After completing Grade 10 in India students of most boards are required to choose between three mutually exclusive streams and have limited flexibility in mixing the subjects of these streams. The streams are- Science, Commerce and Humanities or Arts. Students having interests in diverse subjects such as accountancy, political science and physics for example cannot choose all these 3 subjects. Students are not exposed to all of these subjects earlier and this may lead them to make suboptimal decisions for themselves.
  • Students in their college education may have to drop out before completing the entire duration of the course and when decide to re-join later have to start the course all over again.
  • The Gross enrolment ratio in Indian schools in secondary education is 77.9 percent and in higher education is 51.4 percent. This implies that 35 percent of students drop out after secondary school.
These are the most crucial but just a few of the pain points that the Indian education system faced before the introduction of NEP 2020
The Government of India has proposed a 6% of our GDP to be spent on Education. This is an almost 100% increase from the current 3.1% (FY 2020-21)

Change in education structure:
The earlier pattern of 10+2 education is to be replaced by a more dynamic 5+3+3+4 structure.
This new structure lays emphasis on early education of children as ‘From birth to age 5, a child’s brain develops more than at any other time in life’ and to be specific about 90% of the development of a child’s brian happens before the age of 5. It has been recommended that education upto the age of 5 be done in the child’s mother tongue.

Right to Education
The Right To Education has been extended to ages 3-18 from the previous ages of 5-14. Due importance has been given to ‘Aanganwaadis’ in the educational reformation in our country.

The relative importance of the board exams have been reduced. For admission into Central universities students have to give the CUET(Central universities entrance test) which has subject wise tests for assessing the competence of students and for their admission into these central universities.






LANGUAGE (13* languages)











*The 13 languages covered are:
● English
● Tamil
● Telugu
● Hindi
● Marathi
● Urdu
● Kannada
● Malayalam
● Bengali
● Gujarathi
● Assamese
● Odia
● Punjabi

Each course in a Central university has a specific requirement of the sections of the test to be taken, so students only have to give those sections of tests required by the course they aspire to enrol in.

Two board examinations in a year:
The board exams will be conducted as two exams in a year after the end of each semester. This will reduce the impact of one bad day on the overall score of the student. The board exams will also be conducted in a manner wherein the questions asked are majorly based on understanding of concepts and their application. This will ensure that students divert more of their attention towards comprehending concepts and not rote-learning them.

Vocational training and internships:
Students in class 6-8 are required to undergo internships in vocational training in the fields of plumbing, electrical works, etc. There is a specific ‘10 day bagless period’ for the students in class 6-8 where they have to come to schools without their backpacks and get hands-on experience in vocational training. Students are also taught coding from class 6. All these measures secure a basic livelihood for students.

Flexibility in choosing subjects:
After completion of class 10 students can choose one language and any four electives in any combination provided it is being taught in the school. An additional sixth subject can also be offered and studied on their own as per prescribed syllabus, out of the subjects offered by the board
Multiple entry and exit points in college education:
Partial degrees are awarded to students after completion of each year.



End of 1st year 


End of 2nd year


End of 3rd year

Degree (B.A. , B.Sc, etc)

End of 4th year

Research Degree

Also the credits that a student earns during their college education is transferable so if a student wishes to drop out after year 1 and continue the same course after two years (example), then the student need not re-start the course and can continue from the 2nd year, these transferable credits can also be used when switching colleges.
International universities
Top 100 foreign universities have been given permission to set up their International Branch Campuses (IBCs) in our country.

Evaluation and PARAKH
The report cards given to students now constitute:
  • Teacher’s evaluation
  • Self-evaluation
  • Peer evaluation
Self-evaluation promotes critical thinking in students, at later junctures in life it is our own selves who evaluate where we stand and instilling this at an early age is crucial. With peer evaluation a student realises the importance of networking and maintaining good relations with others.

PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development) has been set up the Central Ministry) “as a standard-setting body to achieve the objectives of establishing norms, benchmarks, and recommendations for student assessment and evaluation to promote and enhance learning.” It will develop standards to achieve benchmarks to improve the quality of learning. It will also ensure that academic expectations remain consistent throughout all the school boards.

Focus on Entrepreneurship

The increased focus on vocational training along with project based learning and internships pave the path for students to think in terms of identifying problems and solving them. Students will also be trained in cybersecurity, data entry, and other skills that acquaint them with technological advancements.

Focus on Online and Digital Education

A major focus has also been placed on digital education and online education. ‘NEP 2020 emphasises the creation of virtual labs wherein students can practise their theoretical knowledge and make course content available in different languages. Online tools and platforms like DIKSHA (Digital Infrastructure for Knowledge Sharing.) and SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds) will be upgraded with new insight to training content, in-class resources, assessment aids, profiles, etc. that will allow seamless interaction.’

Areas of Improvement

Declined importance of English: The recommendation of children being taught in their mother tongue up to the age of 5 can lead to problems later if the student tries to switch to English as the base has been built in another language. Also, our population’s ability to understand and communicate in English is one of the very important factors that place us at an advantageous position in Asia to do business with the United States and Europe. Does not address under the table fees taken by schools: There is no mention of resolutions of schools taking donations or capitation fees for admission of children.

Undermining States’ power over education: Education is a concurrent matter as per our constitution but the NEP proposes a fixed teacher’s training programme and syllabus. This move may be a first towards centralisation of education.


The NEP 2020 is not just a policy but a vision- a vision for reformation of the most neglected sectors in our country. The policy can yield promising results and completely change the face of Indian education and the students that are a part of this system. However key challenges lie in terms of implementation of the policy- digital connectivity in rural areas, setting up and revamping of schools and several other problems but one of the most important problems to be addressed is the rigid mindset of our society. Occupations of carpentry, plumbing, etc are looked down upon in our society, so getting the society accustomed to the fact that their children would be learning these skills would not be an easy task. The success of the NEP would not only depend on the efforts of our government but also on the willingness of our population to transform our Nation into a developed Nation and NEP is the way to go.

Study References

The Prison Situation

Abstract: Inmates in prison frequently have little or no prospects for advancement in life. They frequently come from marginalised areas of society plagued by poverty and filthy living circumstances, with little access to educational opportunities. Efforts to improve the prison system must be made as part of an all-encompassing programme that addresses issues with the criminal justice system as a whole.

Author: Kartavya Jain

Home > Articles > The Prison Situation

Despite India’s comparatively low prison population in comparison to many other nations, there are certain fairly typical problems in its prisons. Inmates in prison frequently have little or no prospects for advancement in life. They frequently come from marginalised areas of society plagued by poverty and filthy living circumstances, with little access to educational opportunities. Some of them are in prison because of minor offences they committed due to unforeseen circumstances. Some of them are in prisons because of false accusations.

In India, the terms “prison” and “jail” are interchangeable; this may be a reflection of the fact that little effort is made to keep convicts and “undertrials,” as those who are awaiting trial are known, apart. A ruling by the Supreme Court of India mandates the separation of undertrials from convicts, although in reality, this ruling is frequently disregarded. All convicts, by a significant margin, are “undertrials.”

According to the most recent release by NCRB, there were 4.89 lakh inmates housed in 1,306 jails nationwide as of December 31, 2020. These prisons could hold 4.14 lakh people in total. In other words, there were 4.89 lakh inmates in the country’s prisons, compared to a maximum capacity of 4.14 lakh. Although the number of convicts in prisons fell by 22% in 2020, compared to the previous year, the number of undertrial inmates increased. The largest percentage of detainees awaiting trial was reported in Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir, with Bihar, Punjab, Odisha, and Maharashtra following. Many of these states reported jail occupancy rates that were significantly higher than 100%. The rates of deaths in detention climbed by 7% in 2020, according to Pratiksha Baxi, an associate professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Center for the Study of Law and Governance who has worked on prison reforms.

While there are still 33 percent of unfilled positions for prison officials overall, there are still roughly 36 percent of unfilled positions for supervising officers. In terms of a serious personnel shortage, the Tihar prison in Delhi is ranked third. The number of recruits from within this prison falls short of its real need by roughly 50%. Delhi, the capital of the country, has the most overcrowded jails with a severe shortage of senior supervisory staff and prison guards. The jails in states with the fewest guards, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand, have over 65 percent staff vacancies among jailers, prison guards, and supervisory levels. Living circumstances become unpleasant as a result of overcrowding. Unacceptable living circumstances persist in numerous prisons around the nation, despite the fact that several of the jail reforms mentioned previously concentrated on topics like diet, clothes, and sanitation. Not a single prison can claim that it has sufficient water for daily use as given in the prison manual. In the jails of Madikeri, Bidar, Gulbarga, Bellary, and Bangalore, approximately 75 convicts are required to use a single restroom on any given day due to inadequate facilities and levels of overcrowding. While the Model Prison Manual calls for one toilet to be used by every seven convicts, the majority of recently built prisons only have two toilets available for use by 60 inmates at night. Even the daytime restrooms outside the barracks are insufficient in some institutions. Despite having plenty of room, suitable restrooms are not built. The majority of jails have very limited access to both municipal and groundwater for drinking.

The possibility of health issues in jails is increased by overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, a lack of physical and mental stimulation, and a lack of adequate medical care. Prisons are “ideal venues for infectious disease screening and intervention, given the conditions of poverty and drug addiction,” according to Kazi and others.

Mohammad Ali Bhat was just 25 years old when a Delhi Police squad hustled him into a vehicle in Kathmandu, Nepal, in 1996. Bhat, who was born in Kashmir, was a shawl merchant in Nepal’s capital. From there, he was transported to Delhi and charged in the Lajpat Nagar bomb case, before being transferred to Rajasthan and charged in the Samlethi blast case. As a result, he spent years in jail in Delhi and Rajasthan. Bhat was ruled innocent by the Rajasthan High Court on July 22, 2019. Bhat, who was found “not guilty” at the age of 48, had spent 23 of his prime years in prison as a result of India’s sluggish judicial system. Mohammad Ali is not the only one to suffer from our sluggish system. According to a 2019 article by India Today, 68% of inmates in India have not been convicted of a crime by any court. Many of them must wait years before the trial court will even hear their cases. According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) figures, jails in India are largely crowded with young men and women who are illiterate or semi-literate and hail from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. More than 65 percent of undertrial detainees are from the SC, ST, or OBC groups. The majority of them are too impoverished to pay the bail.

The Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 spells out the paradigm for achieving Access to Justice by providing free legal services to the disadvantaged and the marginalised. Recognizing prisoners as disadvantaged, the Legal Services Act mandates to provide legal services to them. The government gives a lawyer free of charge to anyone who cannot afford to engage outside counsel through the legal aid system, which is critical to marginalised and backward populations, which account for more than half of India’s convicts. Despite the development of a powerful framework, there remain flaws in the provision of legal assistance. The plan has failed to recruit qualified attorneys, and there is no way for clients to challenge the scheme. The quality of legal assistance is a key source of concern. We need to pay lawyers more, if not market rate. Otherwise, as is commonly stated, bad legal help will continue to be poor legal aid. Article 22 of the Constitution provides an arrestee the right to a counsel, however there is no national plan for legal help in the police station, and no state has such a scheme. For the vast majority of persons arrested, having a lawyer at your side is your only hope behind prison.
There is a significant need to address prison related problems so that we can tap into the potential of the prisoners. In India, overcrowding has made the sanitary issue worse. The circumstances are horrendous in many prisons. Even the most basic facilities are not offered in the jails at the tehsil level. While every prisoner receives a medical checkup before starting their sentence, inmates in India are not even checked for certain infectious diseases. There have been no nationwide studies on the frequency of viral infections among prisoners. The prison guidelines in India call for isolating inmates who may have contagious ailments. A few prisons have made unofficial connections with health and social service providers to provide convicts with counselling and stop the spread of illnesses. There are various reasons why violence occurs in prisons. Conflicts between clans or gangs or ethnic animosities may be the root of conflicts. The cramped, frequently wildly overcrowded living circumstances also cause conflict between prisoners. The monotonous jail atmosphere, a lack of mental and physical stimulation, and plain old boredom cause frustration and anxiety to build up. This setting encourages high-risk behaviours like drug use and intersex between guys. Some people participate in these pursuits to beat boredom. Others, however, are coerced into participating in them in an effort to obtain power or money. If left uncontrolled, risky lifestyles can result in the spread of diseases from one prisoner to another, posing a major threat to public health.

Prisoners cannot fend for themselves in their situation of detention, and it is the responsibility of the state to provide for health services and a healthy environment. Human rights instruments call for prisoners to receive health care at least equivalent to that available for the outside population.

Overcrowding, low morale among prison staff which encourages corruption in prisoner management, and poorly crafted programs to change prisoners’ perspectives on crime and deviance are the three concerns that require high consideration. The first affects the other two parameters significantly. The root cause of the majority of the problems is overcrowding in prisons. It goes without saying that the population of those awaiting trial must be dramatically reduced if jail congestion is to be decreased. Of course, this requires cooperation between the police and the courts.

Irrespective of their status—convict, defendant, or detainee—prisoners retain their humanity. They also enjoy all the rights that a free person does, albeit with certain limitations. Their fundamental rights are not taken away from them just because they are in prison. He continues to exercise all of his fundamental rights while incarcerated. Prisoners continue to have access to their remaining constitutional rights even after being found guilty of a crime and having their freedom taken away in accordance with the legal process. Prisoners must be reminded that they are still citizens despite their status as inmates and must not be regarded as throwaway goods. To humanise the jail, it is necessary to address its fundamental issues.
  • Improvement in Infrastructure: The Indian prisons face three major long standing structural constraints. These are overcrowding, understaffing & understanding, and violent clashes. The emphasis should be on supplying jails with new security equipment in line with contemporary technologies and enhancing the jail security system with security equipment such as door frames, metal detectors, security poles, baggage scanners, frisking, search, jamming solutions, etc. There is a need to concentrate on the administration of corrections, which entails bringing about an attitude change in the mindset of prison staff members handling inmates through extensive training and by introducing suitable programmes for inmates’ skill development and rehabilitation, including engaging trained correctional experts, behavioural experts, psychologists, etc.
  • Improvement in quality of legal aid: As mentioned earlier almost half of the convicts and under trial prisoners can’t afford a personal attorney and hence depend on the legal aid provided by the government. However the scheme has failed to attract good quality lawyers. One of the main reasons is low remuneration. According to the study ‘Hope Behind Bars’ by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, there are 70,000 legal assistance attorneys in India, yet per capita legal aid spending is only Rs 0.75, one of the lowest in the world. According to the survey, per capita spending in Australia is $23 and in Argentina it is $17. Lawyers need to be paid much more otherwise the quality of legal aid won’t improve. There is also a need to have a separate department for under trial prisoners to speed up the process so that those who are innocent don’t have to waste their time in these prisons.
  • Digital Literacy and Skill Development Programs: These programs can go a long way in ensuring that we do not waste the huge amount of human resources that we have in prisons. One of the main reasons for them to commit crimes, especially non violent ones, was poverty. To ensure they don’t commit crimes once they are released we need to educate/upskill them so that they can be financially independent and support themselves and their families. The prisoners can also be provided training by firms who require more workforce to meet the increase in demand. Upon training they can be employed by these firms at a salary which is lower than market rates. This will have a dual fold impact as it will improve efficiency of these firms while the prisoners will be able to support their families from the prison.
  • Opportunities for Prisoners: As of 31st December, 2020, the maximum number of inmates (2,15,418, 44.1%) were belonging to the age group of 18-30 years followed by the age group of 30-50 years (2,09,400 inmates, 42.9%). These numbers further support the argument that such prisoners, if provided an opportunity, can create wonders. A system of upscaling and educating prisoners can ensure prevention of repetition of offence by them. It will also ensure that they are able to support their family financially and can realise their self worth.
  • Deradicalisation: Deradicalisation of minds of prisoners and juveniles can go a long way in ensuring that they do not repeat the offence. It will prepare them for reintegration into the society upon their release. It also aids to process trauma and painful emotions, bringing a long term change in attitude and behaviour. It will help them to improve their self esteem and realise their self worth. This can be achieved through Clay Art therapy, meditation and other techniques.


Efforts to improve the prison system must be made as part of an all-encompassing programme that addresses issues with the criminal justice system as a whole. It is clear from the foregoing study of the issues facing inmates that living inside is more than just an animal existence. You cannot deny that the same applies to the prisoners’ spirits. There is a huge amount of potential underlying in prisons. If used efficiently we will be able to scale new heights. At the end of the day they are also human beings who ended up on the wrong path. If shown the correct path they can achieve something in life. Every human deserves a chance to correct their mistakes. These solutions can solve some of the problems that we face. The goal is to “humanise” rather than making prisons a pleasant place to return to after being released, if only because you lack the resources or desire to truly live in society. Prisons should act as a rehabilitation centre rather than a punishment centre. According to the rehabilitation philosophy, people can improve their self-assurance, cooperation, and independence through a range of programmes. Of course, in order to remove inequality and prejudice, this system functions in conjunction with a thorough set of changes in other fields and industries. Correctional methods must put more of an emphasis on rehabilitation than on punishment. It will enable those who were formerly incarcerated to lead regular lives without turning to crime when accompanied with enough aid and support. Prisons have the potential to be either institutions for reformation or a breeding ground for violent, destructive ideas. An ineffective jail system poses a risk to society and wastes money by failing to turn offenders into law-abiding citizens.

Study References

Eco-Friendly Products and their Market

Abstract: Eco-friendly (or sustainable) products are those products that provide environmental, social and economic benefits while protecting public health and environment over their whole life cycle, from the extraction of raw materials until the final disposal.

Author: Kunal Agrawal

Home > Articles > Eco-Friendly Products

What are eco-friendly products?
• Eco-friendly (or sustainable) products are those products that provide environmental, social and economic benefits while protecting public health and environment over their whole life cycle, from the extraction of raw materials until the final disposal.
• Eco-friendly means earth-friendly or not harmful to the environment.
• This term most commonly refers to products that contribute to green living or practices that help conserve resources like water and energy.
• Eco-friendly products also prevent contributions to air, water and land pollution.

What makes a product eco-friendly?
• Making a truly eco-friendly product keeps both environmental and human safety in mind. At a minimum, the product is non-toxic.
• Other eco-friendly attributes include the use of sustainably grown or raised ingredients, produced in ways that do not deplete the ecosystem.
• Organic ingredients or materials are grown without toxic pesticides or herbicides.
• Products with “made from recycled materials” contain glass, wood, metal or plastic reclaimed from waste products and made into something new.
• Biodegradable products break down through natural decomposition, which is less taxing on landfills and the ecosystem as a whole.
To put things into perspective, here are some sobering facts on pollution:
• About 14 billion pounds of waste end up in our oceans every year, with most of it being plastics.
• 9 in 10 seabirds have ingested plastic and carry it in their stomachs.
• A plastic bottle needs 450-500 years to decompose while the nearly indestructible PET containers will never decompose. (Polyethylene terephthalate, also called PET, is the name of a type of clear, strong, lightweight and 100% recyclable plastic.)
• A plastic bag needs 100 years to biodegrade and less than 1% of the plastic bags we take home from stores are recycled; the rest pile up in landfills or end up in the ocean.
• After plastic is (finally) decomposed it morphs into toxic microplastics.
• The world recycles just 9% of the plastics it produces.
• Plastic bottle production requires 1.5 million barrels of oil every year; more oil is used to transport them around.
• Glass bottles never biodegrade, although they might in millions of years.
• It takes 500 years for a single-use diaper to biodegrade.
• An eco-friendly product is a product that is less harmful for the environment than their regular counterparts.
• If more people started buying eco-friendly products, pollution would not be so rampant, our plant would have a timeout to breathe and regenerate, and our families and communities would be healthier in the long term.
• Plus, eco-friendly products are not only great for the environment, they are also beneficial for the human health.
Benefits of eco-friendly products:
• They can make a real difference by enabling us to reduce our environmental footprint, namely the impact our lifestyle and activities have on the environment and global natural resources.
• They help reducing plastic waste; steering clear of single-use packaging and looking for environmentally friendly alternatives is one good place to start.
• They keep our carbon footprint to a minimum i.e., the amount of CO2 emissions released in the atmosphere as a result of our lifestyle choices and activities.
• They can be recycled/ re-used (e.g., stainless steel water bottles, reusable sandwich bags, upcycled handbags, etc.)
• They are compostable (e.g., non-petroleum products, like paper, cardboard, natural fibres)
• They are not resource-intensive: For their production, the water, energy, and resource consumption were kept to a minimum (e.g., organic cotton’s carbon footprint is 46% lower than that of conventional cotton and it requires 62% less energy to produce)
• No harmful pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers were used in their production.
• They are made to last: A durable product means that it will be used many times (and possibly by multiple users) before it gives up the ghost and ends up in a landfill.
Some examples of eco-friendly products: Clothing Made of Recycled Fabrics
• In 2012, 84% of outdated clothes were either dumped in a landfill or burned. The problem is that the waste produced by unwanted pieces of clothing is nearly incalculable. Fast fashion has turned the fashion industry into the world’s second biggest polluter.
• Several fashion brands have been trying to turn their business practices into more sustainable ones. One notable example is H&M, which launched a clothing recycling program 6 years ago. But even though the retail giant has collected over 20,000 tons of unwanted clothing ever since, its efforts are a drop in the ocean.
• So, a more sensible solution is for each of us to wear the clothes we currently own as much as we can or buy only from the brands that are genuinely interested in tackling waste.
• There are a lot of companies (such as Patagonia and Recover) that produce eco-friendly clothing. This clothing is typically made from recycled materials, which provide cost-efficient products to make an even better product. Most manufacturers also use the most environmentally sustainable manufacturing methods possible. They work hard to eliminate the use of dyes and minimize chemical, water, and energy use.


Stainless Steel Water Bottles
• A stainless-steel water container has numerous advantages over a plastic one. For one, it keeps water cool for hours if it is well insulated and has a large mouth opening for us to add ice cubes if needed. Also, it doesn’t develop a gross smell after a few uses. There’s no need for us to worry about BPA leaks into our liquids. (BPA, aka bisphenol A, is a chemical that has been used in plastic bottle and has health risks such as risk of hormone disruption, heart issues, diabetes, obesity, abnormal brain development in children, and possibly even cancer)
• It is highly reusable and helps minimize plastic waste as we will prevent countless plastic bottles from harming the environment. It is estimated that the beneficial effects on the climate start to show after our stainless-steel water bottle has managed to replace 50 regular water bottles.


House Decor
A lot of businesses are beginning to create eco-friendly home decor that encourage all natural decorations. Some of the most practical (and stylish) options for all-natural home decor are athangudi tiles, pottery, shower curtains, rugs, clocks, etc. Some other examples are: steel straw pipes, wooden brushes, eco-friendly cutlery, etc.

Recycled Toilet Paper
• It is estimated that an adult uses over 20,000 sheets of toilet paper over one year, and that is a huge amount of cut trees and wasted water. Recycled toilet tissue is made of recycled paper collected through various recycling programs, which means that the paper hasn’t reached the landfill first either.
• Recycled toilet paper is a great alternative to simply buying non-organic toilet paper. It is typically cheaper than the regular kind, and is available from most stores. Especially if there is a young person who tends to use a little too much toilet paper, this product is great to give back to the environment.


Beeswax Wrap
• The humble plastic wrap we use in our kitchens can take a heavy toll on the environment in the long run, just like plastic bags. If we need to cover a container in the fridge or wrap food, the eco-friendliest solution is either using tinfoil or an eco-friendly material that is all the rage now: beeswax wrap. Its manufacturers have striven to make the wrap as eco-friendly as it can be and they have succeeded.
• Beeswax wrap is made of 100% organic cotton or recycled paper, organic plant oils, tree resin, and eco-friendly beeswax. It is easy to use as we will only need to wrap up the item and let the warmth of your hands soften the wrap for a few seconds to make it stick. The beeswax wrap can be used many times, is low maintenance, has a nice smell (which unfortunately doesn’t last long), and is 100% compostable.
Reusable Shopping Bags
• Globally, 1 trillion plastic bags are used every year. It is harmful to the environment to produce a plastic bag and it is harmful to the environment to discard and not recycle a plastic bag. Some plastic bags can linger in the environment for hundreds of years.
• What’s more, plastic bags literally kill about 100 marine animals every year, and despite that a plastic bag gets used for just 10-12 minutes on average before being thrown away. So, it is critical to limit our plastic bag use. Whenever, offered a plastic bag think about the environmental impact of such a common item, despite its convenience.
• We can always replace your plastic bags with a reusable bag, jute bags or compostable bags.
• Another big advantage of reusable shopping bags is their customizability. You can personalize such bags by embroidery or printing however you wish. You could also turn them into unforgettable gifts for people that have it all or practical promotional bags for our business.
Green Marketing
• Green marketing is the practice of advertising and marketing strategy based on sustainability. These are companies that base their culture and campaigns on environmentally friendly products and services
• Some examples of green marketing could be a company that focuses their advertising on the fact that they use biodegradable packaging. Or, a company like Flashfood, which centres its entire culture around saving the environment (and your wallet) by reducing food waste.

Green marketing vs Greenwashing
• One thing that some companies have been caught practicing is something called greenwashing. Essentially, this is where a company claims they adopt green practices, but they actually don’t do anything different. They promote an idea, but never really follow their own advice, and absolutely zero environmental benefits come from it.
• Around certain times of the year, companies will use a new logo. There’s nothing different about this logo other than it’s green where it was previously another colour.

Points to remember in green marketing:
• Passion It should come as no surprise that we have to be passionate about something in order to really sell it. Green marketing is no different. We have to be passionate about changing the world one step at a time. Every snowstorm starts as a snowflake, every hurricane is brought forth by a single lightning bolt, and every movement starts with a single action. Be passionate about it.
• Purpose Passion is the start, but purpose drives our efforts forward. In order to market our sustainability, it has to serve a purpose. We all know about the people and restaurants that banned plastic straws. This was a green marketing effort that had a purpose: to prevent them from going into the ocean and harming marine life. If we don’t yet know the green-focused purpose of what we’re selling, it’s time to re-evaluate.
• Precision We definitely need to be precise in green marketing. We can’t be jumping all over the place. Finding our niche, and run with the idea. Be deliberate with our marketing strategy. For a lot of people, this really does matter tremendously.
Some green marketing ideas are:
Save paper, go digital
• In this day and age, marketing is done almost primarily online. Even the good old-fashioned retail catalogues are digital now.

Follow the 5Rs
• Refuse: Refuse to waste. Look for any and every way that we can reduce the amount of generated waste around the office.
• Reduce: In the ways that we can’t refuse, look for ways that can reduce the waste. Maybe you can’t eliminate paper cups, but you can eliminate plastic lips. It’s all about finding ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
• Reuse: In many offices, we’ll probably find single-use plastics. These are designed to be used only once and then sent off to a landfill. Definitely not ideal for green marketing.
• Repurpose: Repurposing has actually become a huge green trend. People are taking wooden pallets and making furniture and plastic bottles and making flower vases.
• Recycle: Finally, after we’ve tried everything else, then it’s a good idea to recycle. Many countries make it a priority to recycle as much as they can, but businesses are often the biggest contributor to waste simply because they have so many employees.

Create green selling points
• They should be real, tangible points that can be proved and easily recognizable. For example, maybe our company sells an environmentally friendly product that is very energy efficient. Or perhaps, it’s made using very little energy and resources. These are big selling points and most definitely contribute to a successful green marketing campaign.
• Remember, you only want to use the ones that actually make sense for your brand. If you promote something green about your company that’s not actually true, people will find out. No greenwashing! Make it real and genuine, and people will appreciate you even more.
Promote your green efforts through marketing
• Finally, after all of this is put into place, you have to lead by example. Use your green efforts by creating content around it, chipping in locally with environmental work, and showcase the steps that your business is taking to reduce waste.
• Doing all of this will hopefully encourage participation, giving others the initiative, they need to really make a difference themselves.
Market channels available to sell eco-friendly products
• Firstly, we could go with the conventional offline option, i.e. we go to a store, see a product and then buy it. • The place of purchase could be small and medium-sized stores, roadside vendors, exhibitions, etc.
• Basically, here the customer can touch and feel the product, negotiate the price and then buy it. S/He can come up to the store again in the future in case s/he faces any problem with the product.
• The biggest challenge here would be awareness: the consumer needs to be sold the knowledge and not the product. As soon as s/he will realise what harm is being caused to the environment when s/he is using the harmful products, s/he will start looking for alternatives. And for this to happen, proper marketing needs to be done The age of brick-and-mortar stores is coming to an end. Sure, they will always exist, but the internet has made way for more logical, purposeful, and effective marketing and selling.
Then there are the new age digital marketing methods which provide a plethora of ways to sell products online Many businesses planning to sell eco-friendly products online struggle with sales as well as growth. This mostly happens because they don’t take the right steps to start their eco-friendly products business. Below are some steps are crucial to building an online eco-friendly products business:
1) Selecting the niche Choosing the right niche for your online sustainable products store can be complicated as there are many verticals out there such as pottery, handmade bags, etc. Look at the market you want to cater to decide your niche. Also, look ‘inside’ to see what you are most passionate about.
2) Conducting market research Conduct a market survey to see what people for your focus region feel about eco-friendly products. This is super important if you plan to cater to a small region. A detailed market survey will also help you in finalizing products for your online store. Track your competitors to understand which products are in high demand and what’s propelling their growth. This will generate bonus insights for your sustainable products business.
3) Build your store The next step is to build an online store for your eco-friendly and sustainability business. Choose the right store builder to get a mobile-ready website that’s easy to scale in the future. In case you will be selling products in regions with unique language preferences, then, you should opt for a store builder that promises multi-lingual support.
4) Market your line-up After building your online store, it’s time to show your products to potential customers. Use social media, Google advertising, content, SEO, and even offline advertising options to reach your target audience. Marketing your store will help people learn about your online store and generate initial visitors. A lot of business owners spend most of their money on store development and save little money for marketing, which is not advised.

“One thing is apparent, more than ever businesses are going green, and eco-friendly marketing is coming along for the ride.”
Optimize your eCommerce shop
• For most brick-and-mortar businesses, it can be both costly and inefficient. At least, it’s not as cost-effective and sustainable as it could be. But the same can be said about shopping online
• For smaller stores, selling online reduces your carbon footprint in many ways. Shipping is more efficient than having hundreds or even thousands of people driving to your stores. Instead of having to open up another location every time you meet your growth goals, you can simply invest in advertising and meet the needs of your target audience through digital media.
• Encouraging small vendors in different cities to manufacture eco-friendly products; they can sell other products along with it. These small units will also provide income to these shop owners. It will enhance our supply chain & accessibility to eco-friendly products.
• But what about bigger stores? For an online retailer, the biggest impact will come from packaging, freight, and delivery. Optimizing these aspects and swapping to more eco-friendly packaging can lead to some surprising results.
• As we can see from this breakdown, this is where the biggest environmental impacts are made. From a business standpoint, we can see where the biggest room for improvement is in each category. For in-person shoppers, the biggest impact comes from customer transport. Businesses can’t do much about that. But for online shopping, whether the customer is in a rush or not, there are some areas where businesses can make a difference.
• In fact, larger eCommerce retailers like Walmart and Amazon produce 17% less emissions than smaller, brick-and-mortar stores. This is thanks to increased efficiency on a global scale.
Some other green marketing strategies are:
Finding the niche and sticking with it
• A brand that’s devoted to sustainable practices will base its products/services on a few solid selling principles that will genuinely resonate with the target audience.
• And it will carry them through every process from advertising and up until delivering and thanking the customer for the purchase.
• Evaluate what makes you different from your competitors and use that to market your offer. It can be that you operate on solar energy or that you use recyclable materials only.
• Whatever characterizes our product best, make it your company’s DNA and make sure to have proof of that.
• This way, we’ll be able to attract customers that share the same values and are more likely to stick around.

Switching to eco-conscious design
• If the product is green from the very beginning, there’s a good chance it won’t require any greenwashing in the future.
• Figure out what tangible materials or digital resources you have access to and use them when designing your products.

Setting price that reflects the green nature of the business
• To communicate the value of our offer so that your audience is ready to purchase without hesitation, we should share what went into setting the cost at a higher level than those of a competitor.
• No matter what justifies the pricing your company agrees on is reasonable, it must bring value to the customer and see that this purchase impacts his impact on the environment.

Replacing traditional marketing with digital marketing
• It’s not news that e-marketing is many steps ahead of offline marketing. It costs less, works faster, and lessens your environmental impact.
• Besides, it comes with a set of digital tools that make online advertising quick and easy.

Fostering sustainability-based work culture
• Significant changes start from within. Before shouting from the rooftops about how much your company cares about the environment, ensure the exterior – your actions – matches the work culture’s interior.
• Ensure that the suppliers the company is affiliated with use environmentally friendly packaging. The same applies to the type of vehicles the company uses and the way it disposes of waste.
• The internal processes have to be aligned with the company’s values for the staff to stay loyal and follow the lead.
• Along with encouraging personnel to bring their lunch, this will jumpstart the shift in their habits towards becoming more eco-friendly.
• Implementing sustainable practices at the office such as signing documents electronically or holding sustainability workshops via Zoom and urging to conserve energy by working near the window with natural light.

Providing social proof of our sustainability
• Once we optimize the internal processes, it’s time to let the rest of the world know what makes your brand sustainable (and the one to pick among the competitors).
• Do so carefully, and without resorting to greenwashing; this way, you’re more likely to acquire loyal customers that will stay with you through thick and thin.

Supporting local vendors and environmentally-focused organizations
• Don’t support the community of local vendors and organizations that focus on protecting the environment on the backburner.
• Even if it’s not directly helping you promote your brand, your input will result in greener surroundings and a better reputation, too.
• The other initiatives you can support are environmental NGOs and charitable organizations.
• Pick the organizations that align with the values and beliefs of your business and partner up with them for the better good of humanity.

To Wrap It Up

We can’t go wrong with eco-friendly products. They are more durable, reusable, less toxic, less resource-intensive, and safer for the environment, wildlife, and people. Plus, using eco-friendly products will not only help protect the planet and the health and well-being of our loved ones but also the future of our kids.

It is a win-win situation.

Study References

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_of_knowledge
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_products
  • https://totebagfactory.com/blogs/news/why-do-we-need-eco-friendlyproducts
  • https://justeco.in/importance-of-eco-friendly-product/
  • https://www.kangovou.com/the-importance-of-eco-friendly-products/
  • https://www.shopify.com/blog/eco-friendly-products
  • https://blog.flipsnack.com/green-marketing-ideas/
  • https://www.techosquare.com/ecommerce-playbook/sell-eco-friendlyproducts-
  • https://marketsplash.com/eco-friendly-marketing/

Waste to Energy

Abstract: Every year, about 5.5 crore (55 million) tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) and 3,800 crore (38 billion) litres of sewage are generated in the urban areas of India. It is expected to increase rapidly in the future as more people migrate to urban areas and as incomes increase, consumption levels are likely to rise, as are rates of waste generation. The need of the hour is to focus on reducing the waste production by reusing and recycling of existing waste.

Author: Rivisha Porwall

Home > Articles > Waste to Energy

Every year, about 5.5 crore (55 million) tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) and 3,800 crore (38 billion) litres of sewage are generated in the urban areas of India. generation in India is expected to increase rapidly in the future as more people migrate to urban areas and as incomes increase, consumption levels are likely to rise, as are rates of waste generation. The need of the hour is to focus on reducing the waste production by reusing and recycling of existing waste. Organic waste has significant portion in overall waste generation in industrial/urban/ agricultural sector and therefore it can be used for energy generation.
India has had a long involvement with waste to energy creation by using anaerobic digestion and biogas technologies. Waste water treatment plants in the country have been established which produce renewable energy from sewage gas. Also, wastes from the distillery sector are on some sites converted into biogas to run in a gas engine to generate onsite power.

INDIA world’s 3rd largest renewable energy producer with 38% of energy capacity installed in the year 2020 (136 GW of 373 GW) coming from renewable sources. Renewable energy generation in GW in 2019-2020 shows a significant contribution of biomass energy-

Large Hydro156
Small Hydro9.4
Bio mass13.9
Total utility power1,385
% Renewable power21.25%


Biomass is plant-based material used as fuel to produce heat or electricity. India has an ideal environment for biomass production with suitable tropical location, sunshine and rains

  • Sources of biomass-
    a. Municipal solid waste
    b. Forestry residuals
    c. Agricultural residuals
    d. Sewage
    e. Industrial residuals
    f. Animal residuals
Biogas is a biofuel which is produced from the decomposition of organism . The rejected organic solids from biogas plants can be used after Torrefaction in the existing coal fired plants to reduce coal consumption.



Synthetic methane (SNG) generated using electricity from carbon neutral renewable power or Bio CNG can be used to produce protein rich feed for cattle, poultry and fish economically by cultivating a bacteria culture with tiny land and water foot print. The carbon dioxide gas produced as a by product from these bio protein plants can be recycled in the generation of SNG. Similarly, oxygen gas produced as by product from the electrolysis of water and the methanation process can be consumed in the cultivation of bacteria culture.  

Waste Management

Currently, more than 100 million tonnes of solid waste have generated from various sectors in India. The collection, transport, treatment and disposal of waste, together with its monitoring and regulation is taken under waste management to reduce the dangerous effects of such waste on the environment and human health.

1.1. Industrial Waste
1.2. Commercial Waste
1.3. Domestic Waste
1.4. Agricultural Waste

2.1 Inorganic waste: All waste from non-biological origin (plastic, rubber).

2.2 Organic waste: All waste of biological origin (plant, animal).
2.2.1 Biodegradable organic waste can be broken down in simpler molecules by microorganism. It comprises of argo-residue, food processing rejections, municipal solid waste, waste from poultry farms, cattle farm slaughter houses, dairy, sugar, distillery, paper, oil extraction plant, starch processing and leather industries.
2.2.2 Non-Biodegradable organic Waste have a very low degradation rate. This primarily includes woody plants, Cardboard, cartons, containers, wrappings, pouches, discarded clothing, wooden furniture, agricultural dry waste, bagasse, rice husk.



Waste to Energy (WTE)

State-wise potential for power generation from MSW-

Before proceeding to waste to energy techniques, we need to consider processing of waste under two waste handling processes to make the WTE techniques more efficient. These processes are –
1. Waste segregation
2. Recycling

Conventionally, it is the separation of wet waste and dry waste. The purpose is to recycle dry waste easily and to use wet waste as compost. Importantly, waste segregation should be based on the type of waste and the most appropriate treatment and disposal, ideally divided into dry waste, wet waste, plastic waste, e-waste, domestic sanitary waste, and domestic hazardous waste.

1. Waste that gets landfilled reduces considerably
2. Lower levels of air and water pollution
3. Easier to apply different processes to the waste, like composting, recycling and incineration.
4. Cheaper to dispose of because it does not require as much manual sorting as mixed waste
5. Fulfilment of legal obligations
6. Protection of human health and the environment

1. One way to practice waste segregation is to ensure there is awareness and proper explanation of the process of the same.
2. Institutions should make it as easy as possible for their staff to correctly segregate their waste by proving labelled accessible bins.
3. Municipal corporations should ensure source segregation of garbage at door-to-door level.

Recycling of waste product helps in processing waste or used products into useful or new products. Examples-

1. Biodegradable waste can be decomposed and converted into organic matter with the help of Composting (action of bacteria and fungi) and Vermicomposting (action of red worms). This manure is known as vermicompost.
2. Plastic waste is being converted into smaller polymer for pyrolysis and cement bricks for construction.
3. Non-recyclable waste uses in the construction of road and sidewalks.

1. Recycling helps in controlling air, water, and land pollution.
2. It also uses less energy.
3. Recycling helps in conserving natural resources and energy.

To recover the energy from the waste in the form of Electricity and Biogas/Syngas, here are the technologies to use:
1. Bio methanation
2. Incineration
3. Gasification
4. Pyrolysis



Bio methanation is anaerobic digestion of organic materials (kitchens, canteens, institutions, hotels, and slaughter houses and vegetables markets) which is converted into biogas containing mostly methane (~60%), carbon dioxide (~40%) and other gases.

1. It gives biogas
2. It also gives manure

1. The biogas can be burned to produce heat for thermal application industries and cooking
2. The biogas can be burnt in a gas engine to produce electricity
3. The biogas can be cleaned to produce BioCNG used as a vehicle fuel.

20-25kgs of Cattle dung can generate about 1m3 of biogas and further 1m3 of Biogas has potential to generate 2 units of electricity or 0.4kgs of BioCNG.

Incineration technology is complete combustion of waste (Municipal Solid Waste or Refuse derived fuel) with the recovery of heat to produce steam.

1. Steam can be used to produces power through steam turbines.
2. The resultant ash from incineration of solid waste can be used as construction material.

1. The flue gases produced in the boilers have to be treated by an elaborate air pollution control system to reduce gaseous pollutants
2. The residue need to be disposed off in a landfill.



Gasification works by feeding Biomass, agro-residues, Segregated MSW and RDF into a unit a pot, where it goes through the process fluidization (heat, oxygen, steam) which converts the waste into a mixture of hydrogen, methane, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, also called syngas.

1. Syngas can be used to generate thermal or power.

1. Sustainable technology
2. Cuts utility expenses for heating or electricity
3. Significantly reduce dependency on landfills
4. Lowers the operating budget for solid waste management services

Pyrolysis uses heat to break down combustible materials like plastic in the absence of oxygen, producing a mixture of combustible gases (methane, complex hydrocarbons, hydrogen, and carbon monoxide), liquids and solid residues.

1. The gas can be used in boilers to provide heat
2. It can be cleaned up and used in combustion turbine generators
3. Plastic waste can be converted to diesel

1. Minimize emissions of gases
2. Maximize the gain

From one kilogram of waste plastic, we can either produce 850 ml of diesel or 700 ml of petrol or 500 ml of aromatic products.

Reasons for failure of waste to energy plants in India

1. India’s Waste Has Lower Calorific Value
Calorific value is the amount of heat or energy produced when waste is burnt. The ideal calorific value for WTE plants is 1,900-3800 kcal/kg. However, India’s waste calorific value is 1,411–2,150 kcal/kg. Our waste composition has significant amount of biodegradable and organic waste with 70-80 per cent of water in it. Now, to burn it one will need more fuel, which will be impacting the environment more as it will be creating more emissions.

2. To Be Effective, WTE Plants Required Only Segregated Waste
WTE plants should get the waste that is segregated into non-biodegradable, non-reactive and non-recyclable. The mixed waste requires an additional fuel to burn the waste, which makes the plants economically very unviable.

3. Electricity Produced by WTE Plants Is Negligible
Incineration seems an easy option to get rid of waste but the electricity that it produces is very negligible. These are very expensive plants with very less ROI and they need a lot of monitoring and are required to meet environment norms.

4. WTE Plants Impacting Health Of The Environment And Residents
Ideally for WTE plants the bottom ash shouldn’t be more than 20 percent but plants in INDIA have as high as 40 percent. Adding to this, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) norms states that such plants should be located no nearer than 300 meters from residences and industries to minimise impact of explosion

Case Studies

1.INDORE – Cleanest city since 2017
  • Indore is undertaking an initiative to convert waste into energy with an aim to deal with wet waste and at the same time reduce the city’s dependence on fossil fuel which causes air pollution. The Waste-to-Energy plant installed by IMC converts wet waste into 95 per cent pure biogas called Methane which is further converted into CNG (Compressed Natural Gas).
  • There are various technologies for processing dry and wet waste like composting, bio-methanation, RDE, pyrolysis, gasification and waste to energy etc.
  • Plastic waste from the city is successfully collected and is being sent to the plastic waste treatment facility where it is converted into diesel.

2.ART OF LIVING: Scaling up the projects
Initiative I – Recycling solid waste and Preventing water pollution
A composting machine set up in Dakshin Eshwar Kali temple in West Bengal that could handle 500 kg waste takes only 7 days to decompose. Process-
1. Segregation of collected waste
2. Waste treatment of floral/wet waste in the composting unit
3. Selling The organic compost
4. Sustainability Sales of compost used to make the project sustainable

Initiative II – Manage kitchen waste and save cost on labour and transport.
Swachh Composting Plant has been set up in a residential colony- NDMC Nursery Raja Bazaar, Sector-4, Gole Market New Delhi. The plant will dispose of 1000 kg waste every day and produce 300 kg of organic compost without using any chemical treatment.

  • Plastic waste takes years to decompose and harms the environment severely. For this purpose, A plant in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh has been set up to take 2 quintals of plastic waste and convert it to 1,200 litres of fuel.
  • A plant to convert plastic to diesel is set up in Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP) of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. The right combination of catalysts helped in turning these molecules into hydrocarbons like diesel and petrol. The final products in liquid form, which is gasoline or diesel or aromatics.

Study References