Environmental regulation in India has a history of being extremely opaque, characterized by limited data and low transparency for all stakeholders. Even in the case of regulated plants, although their own performance on environmental audits is made available, their relative performance is not. The study aims to measure the impact of disclosing industrial emissions on regulatory action and pollution levels. Based on a dataset compiled using historic emissions, plants are assigned performance ratings, which are made publicly available through this website, which was launched by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra in June 2017.

This project builds upon a recent history of legal reform in India that has strengthened the public right to information. The Right to Information Act (2005) enables citizens to access several types data from the state, including – in theory – data on plant emissions. However, it is time-consuming and tedious for the public to access this data. For this reason, in the absence of explicit public disclosure, the performance of industrial plants has remained opaque. In launching the scheme alone, this project has engendered a fundamental shift in how legally actionable regulatory data is treated in India.

This project is a joint research initiative between EPIC-India, J-PAL South Asia, EPoD – India and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board.

The Energy Policy Institute gratefully acknowledges generous research support provided by the International Growth Centre (IGC), Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries (PEDL), The Tata Centre for Development at UChicago (TCD) and The United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Project Partners

Maharashtra Pollution Control Board

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Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) is implementing various environmental legislations in the state of Maharashtra, mainly including Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, Water (Cess) Act, 1977 and some of the provisions under Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986 and the rules framed there under like, Biomedical Waste (M&H) Rules, 1998, Hazardous Waste (M&H) Rules, 2000, Municipal Solid Waste Rules, 2000 etc. MPCB is functioning under the administrative control of Environment Department of Government of Maharashtra.

Tata Centre for Development at UChicago

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The Tata Centre for Development at UChicago develops innovative, integrated approaches to tackling some of India’s most pressing development issues. With generous support from the Tata Trusts, the Tata Centre combines implementation, research and executive education to execute ambitious pilots, evaluate new solutions, and spread insights to key decision-makers who can translate research findings and successful pilots into wider impact. The Centre is housed at the Harris School of Public Policy in Chicago and the University of Chicago Trust in India.

Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at Harvard Kennedy School

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Evidence for Policy Design (EPoDat Harvard Kennedy School is a research program that brings data and economic insights to the design and implementation of public policies in countries around the world. Led by a team of research faculty, EPoD conducts research with policymakers – frequently at scale – to build a direct road to impact.

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)

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The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) was established in 2003 as a research center at MIT’s Department of Economics. Since then, it has built a global network of 113 affiliated professors and regional offices in Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. J-PAL’s mission is to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. It does this by working with governments, non-profits, foundations and other development organizations to conduct rigorous impact evaluations in the field, policy outreach to widely disseminate the lessons from research, and building the capacity of practitioners to generate and use evidence. Over 200 million people have been reached by the scale-up of programs evaluated by J-PAL and found to be effective. Find J-PAL on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.