An unintended but welcome consequence of the lockdown to contain the coronavirus has been improved air quality, according to a presentation of ALTAIR, a team of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) students led by first year MBBS student Ayesha Samdani, which won the the ‘Judges Choice Award’ in the International NASA Space App Challenge-2020 for presenting a solution in response to NASA’s challenge, ‘One Health Approach’.
Ayesha and her team members, Mohd Zakir Husain (MBBS), Aman Ahmad Khan (MBBS), Faisal Jamil (BTech) and Abdullah Samdani (BA LLB) gave an analysis on air quality of the pre and post lockdown periods in the Indo Gangetic region of northern India. Their study gave details about how an improvement in the air quality benefited the health of the people.
For the presentation, the ALTAIR members also coded an Air Quality Index (AQI) calculator to measure AQI of a certain region, which is helpful in giving health and cautionary statements and providing guidance to common people on pollution-related health issues.
Congratulating the students on the achievement, Shahid Ali Siddiqui, Principal, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College (JNMC) of the university, and Shakeel Samdani, Dean, Faculty of Law, said that the work of the students is formative as it provides a clear comparison of average concentration levels during the months before the lockdown and the time period during the lockdown restrictions, showing a reduction in SO2 level.
The event was judged by ISRO and NASA scientists.