There are many environmental issues in India. Air pollution, water pollution, garbage and pollution of the natural environment are all challenges for India. Nature is also causing some drastic effects on India. The situation was worse between 1947 through 1995. According to data collection and environment assessment studies of World Bank experts, between 1995 through 2010, India has made some of the fastest progress in addressing its environmental issues and improving its environmental quality in the world. Still, India has a long way to go to reach environmental quality similar to those enjoyed in developed economies. Pollution remains a major challenge and opportunity for India. Environmental issues are one of the primary causes of disease, health issues and long term livelihood impact for India.
Deforestation; soil erosion; overgrazing; desertification; air pollution from industrial effluents and vehicle emissions; water pollution from raw sewage and runoff of agricultural pesticides; tap water is not potable throughout the country; huge and growing population is overstraining natural resources. For the environment of India to be sustainable in the long run, it should be broad-based and inclusive of a large part of the region's labour force.
India is vulnerable to various natural hazards, particularly cyclones and annual monsoon floods, and various combinations of poverty, population growth, increasing individual consumption, industrialization, infrastructural development, poor agricultural practices, and resource misdistribution have led to substantial human transformation of India’s natural environment. An estimated 60 percent of cultivated land suffers from soil erosion, waterlogging, and salinity. It is also estimated that between 4.7 and 12 billion tons of topsoil are lost annually from soil erosion. From 1947 to 2002, average annual per capita water availability declined by almost 70 percent to 1,822 cubic meters, and overexploitation of groundwater is problematic in the states of Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh. Forest area covers 19.4 percent of India’s geographic area (63.7 million hectares). Nearly half of the country’s forest cover is found in the state of Madhya Pradesh (20.7 percent) and the seven states of the northeast (25.7 percent); the latter is experiencing net forest loss. Forest cover is declining because of harvesting for fuel wood and the expansion of agricultural land.
Some have cited economic development as the cause regarding the environmental issues. It is suggested that India's growing population is the primary cause of India's environmental degradation. Systematic studies challenge this theory. Empirical evidence from countries such as Japan, England and Singapore, each with population density similar to or higher than that of India, yet each enjoying environmental quality vastly superior to India's, suggests population density may not be the only factor affecting India's issues.
This area is newer to SRU but due to perceived upcoming burden on quality of life, organization has adopted this theme and trying to build its capacities in social and behavioural contexts.