A climate vulnerability index for India

Headline : A climate vulnerability index for India

Details :

News Summary

  • India will soon have a climate-vulnerability index which will be developed by Department of Science and Technology(DST).
  • It is being modeled on the basis of a similar climate-vulnerability assessment done on 12 Himalayan states in 2018.


Climate Vulnerability Index

  • The Climate Vulnerability Index will be developed on the basis of a study being carried out assessing the climate risks faced across all states.
  • The DST will also develop a Climate Portal that presents district-wise data relating to climate vulnerability.
  • Vulnerability would be a measure of the inherent risks a district faces, primarily by virtue of its geography and socio-economic situation.
  • The districts will be assigned a value between 0 to 1, 1 indicating the highest level of vulnerability.
  • Parameters: The index will be developed based on 8 key parameters
    • Percentage of area under forests
    • Yield variability of food grain
    • Population density
    • Female literacy rate
    • Infant mortality rate
    • Percentage of population below poverty line
    • Average man-days under MGNREGA
    • Area under slope greater than 30%.


Need for the vulnerability index

  • Climate variability in temperature and rainfall affect biophysical and socio-economic environment.
  • Climate variability exposes environment to the following adverse effects:
    • Land degradation
    • Deforestation
    • Proliferation of invasive species
    • Loss of biodiversity
    • Landslides
    • Invasion of commercial crops
    • Low productive agriculture
    • Changed livelihood patterns
    • Marginalization and consequent Migration



  • In the backdrop of COP-24 at Katowice Poland, India had had done a study to assess climate vulnerability of 12 Himalayan States.
  • The Himalayan states include Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, hill districts of West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir.


Importance of the study

  • Himalayan ecosystem is vital to the ecological security of the India due to following:
    • Plays a crucial role in providing forest cover
    • Feeds perennial rivers that are the source of drinking water, irrigation, and hydropower
    • Biodiversity conservation
    • Rich base for high-value agriculture
    • Sustainable tourism


Section : Environment & Ecology