GS Paper - 3 (Space Technology)

According to a new analysis by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), fires in Punjab and Haryana have begun showing up on NASA's VIIRS satellite, repeating patterns of stubble fires from before. Since 1 September, over 200 farm fires have been recorded in Punjab's Majha region. Towards the end of September, every year, stubble fires show up on satellite imagery, increasing all the way until the month of October.


  1. New data suggest close to 66 fires were recorded in Punjab on 29 September, while 23 were recorded in Haryana.
  2. Satellite-derived fire event data over the last few years indicates a recurring pattern of early stubble burning in the region that commences in the last week of September, CEEW said.
  3. As for crop residue management, according to the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), Punjab and the states in the NCR have prepared action plans to combat stubble burning, with a bio-decomposer solution - developed by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute - which is to be sprayed over six lakh acres in Haryana, one lakh acres in Haryana and 7,413 acres in Punjab.
  4. Each state has also been asked to adopt a standard protocol developed by ISRO to monitor farm fire counts this season.