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The quality of the environment has been deteriorating steadily over the past few decades as a result of rapid industrialisation and parallel growth in urbanisation. Ambient standards of air, water and soil pollution are routinely exceeded with potentially disastrous consequences. India being a developing country, this problem tends to become more severe everyday with the ever increasing number of industries. In India, as in the rest of the world, the past two decades have witnessed a dramatic rise in environmental concern.

The Government of India has adopted various measures for conservation, upgradation and protection of the environment. India is an original signatory to the solemn declaration of the United Nations conference held in Stockholm on 'Human Environment' in the year 1972. This 'Declaration' acts as an eye-opener to mankind and the people of the world on the essential and imperative need to protect the environment. The issue of protection of the environment and sustainable use of natural resources has received due attention in our planning process in the early seventies. The Fourth Five Year Plan (1968-73) gave explicit recognition for integrating environmental dimensions into the planning and development processes.

A full-fledged Ministry of Environment & Forests was constituted in 1985 to oversee these functions at the National level. The steps taken up by the Government to curb the pollution problem in India have been discussed in this section.

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