Used to be China at one point, but now? ‘India is the most polluted country in the world, with more than 480 million people or about 40% of its population living in the Indo-Gangetic plains in the north where pollution levels regularly exceed those found anywhere else in the world by an order of magnitude, stated the University of Chicago’s Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) report.’
The key question is why are Indian politicians and bureaucrats unable to save their own kith and kin from early pollution-related deaths? A simple one-line answer is, the whole system of governance and its various mechanisms are now oriented towards short-term results, and as a consequence, the knowledgeable and the skilled technocracy has disappeared from the government. They have the field open for consultants and advisors, who like their new bosses, also have a very short-sighted approach. Want to clean up India? Build institutions, not smog towers.