The Government recently announced the Bharat Stage-IV  (BS-IV) grade transportation fuel all across India. This move is to keep a check on the CO2 emissions. Not very long before this, the Supreme Court imposed a ban on the sales and registration of BS-III engined vehicles from the 1st of April.
Bharat Standards are the  standards instituted by the Government of India to normalize the productivity of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment. The standards and the timeline for implementation are set by the Central Pollution Control Board under the Ministry of Environment & Forests and Climate Change. Bharat Stage norms are based on European regulations.
Watch the video on Bharat Stage Emission Standards
Basically, emission standards are requirements that set specific limits to the amount of pollutants that can be released by automobiles and other powered vehicles, but they can also regulate emissions from industry, power plants, small equipment such as lawn mowers and diesel generators.
The first emission norms were introduced in India in 1991 for petrol and 1992 for diesel vehicles.  Each stage specifies a certain limit on the pollutants released, which is controlled by the type of fuel made by the oil companies and the upgradations and modifications made by the auto firms to their vehicles to control the pollutants released from the vehicle.
Bharat Stage Emission Standards:

  • BS emission standards are emission standards instituted by the Union Government to regulate output of air pollutants from internal combustion engines and spark ignition engines equipment, including motor vehicles.
  • The standards and the timeline for implementation are set by the Central Pollution Control Board under the Union Ministry of Environment & Forests and climate change (MoEFCC).
  • The standards, based on European regulations were first introduced in 2000. Since then, various stages Bharat Stage compatible fuel and ungraded and modified vehicles were introduced throughout the country.
  • Each stage specifies a certain limit on the pollutants released. Higher the Bharat Stage goes lesser it emits pollutants. BS-I, BS-II and BS-III stages were launched in  2000, 2005 and 2010 respectively The harmful emissions that are identified for regulations in different Bharat Stages (BS) are carbon monoxide (CO), unburnt hydrocarbons (HC), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and Particulate matter.

Although the implementation of such strict norms may seem reasonable, there are issues surrounding it. It takes a while for automobile companies to develop newer types of engines or to modify the existing ones. Post research comes up the setting up production. All these factors increase the prices of vehicles considerably. There is also the requirement of clean fuel to run these vehicles.
The Central Government is at loggerheads with the automobile companies over the deadline of 1st April. The companies fear huge losses, courtesy of this move. The aim remains to implement BS-VI emission standards by 2020. India is making efforts to meet international standards, which will benefit us in general, but may be pricey individually.

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Akshay Palande

Akshay Palande is a passionate teacher helping hundreds of students in their UPSC preparation. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and double masters in Public Administration and Economics, he has experience of teaching UPSC aspirants for 5 years. His subject of expertise are Geography, Polity, Economics and Environment and Ecology.

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