In news: For the first time, ‘Geochemical Baseline Atlas of India’ developed by CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) for use by policy makers to assess environmental damage was released.

  1. The atlas consisting of 45 maps of metals, oxides and elements present in top and bottom soils across India will serve as a reference.
  2. Atlas was started in 2007. To develop the maps, the globe was divided into 5,000 cells of 160 km by 160 km each. Of it, India has 122 cells. 


About CSIR

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research was established by the Government of India in September 1942 as an autonomous body that has emerged as the largest research and development organisation in India.


Significance of the Atlas

  • Future generations would be able to assess the chemical compositional changes on Earth’s surface.
  • These maps will help in assessing contamination by industries or other polluting sources.
  • It will be easier to know regions with high concentrations of metal.
  • This map will form the backbone for environment management. It will help in finding out future contaminations due to industries across the country. 
  • Government and policymakers can leverage it in planning the land use accordingly.
  • Mineral elements are necessary for crop growth. The map will also support in choosing the right soil that’s rich in certain micronutrient elements required for each plant growth.