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Linking Air Pollution & Academic Achievement: Air Quality in Our Campus

People in our country (and many across the globe) are obsessed with the growth that China has achieved and is still sustaining. The mainstream media also focuses on the bright side of China's phenomenal growth.

While such growth is essential to lift millions of people out of poverty, we should not overlook the other side of the story.

In 2015, 4,000 people in China were dying every day due to heart, lung, and stroke problems.

Fast-forward to 2024, the air quality situation has not improved. In 2023, the country's average level of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 — solid/liquid droplets responsible for heart, lung, and various respiratory diseases — increased compared to the 2013 level, a year when China started the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan (APPCAP) to reduce pollution and improve air quality to WHO (World Health Organization) standards.

Exposure to low air quality also has an impact on the academic performance of students studying or living in the region.

Several studies have been conducted on the impact of bad air quality on the academic performance of students in China.

The findings of the studies consistently suggest a negative correlation between air pollution and cognitive function, absenteeism, and academic performance of the students.

Ambient Air Quality at APG University campus

Our tcampus is located amidst Chir pine (Pinus Roxburghii) forest, about 16 kilometres away from Shimla city.

The city's air quality index remains within the green range (0 to 50). Since our university campus is located on the outskirts of the city, the air quality is even better than in the city area.

We keep planting trees in and around the university campus to keep the air quality index in the green range.  In August 2022, we planted over 1000 trees in the region surrounding our university campus.

Moreover, to keep our carbon footprints low, we source 50 percent of the electricity from solar panels installed over the rooftops of the buildings located within the campus.