In the light of globalization, liberalization and privatisation and free trade, industrial sector in India has been undergoing rapid changes. With the result, now the stress is more on standards, quality, and efficiency as never before. Environmental compliance is increasingly being stressed upon, specially in the case of exports. Competition from foreign companies, big industries and multinational companies complicates this situation further.
Consequently, small and medium scale industries are in a crisis. Largely speaking, industrial pollution is associated with large manufacturing units, a perception that is reinforced whenever there is a major environmental accident involving a major industry. Interestingly, the last five years have witnessed a shift of focus in understanding the impact of pollution generated by SMEs all over the world.
Large scale manufacturers provide a relatively easy target for the authorities in terms of regulating and controlling emissions and discharges. The Small and Medium Units, however, on account of their large number, variety of manufacturing activities, wide dispersal, and lack of funds for research and development, present a different picture entirely. Besides, most of them are located within the heart or in the proximity of cities, which aggravates the impact of pollution both in terms of environmental degradation and human health.
Small industry development is in a transition phase. Modernizing and making it internationally competitive are the major policy objectives. There has been a welcome change in the environmental policy of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India for strengthening resource conservation in the country and promoting clean process technologies. Many of the highly polluting industries in the small scale sector are important from the angle of contribution to industrial production, employment generation and export promotion. Some of the prominent groups are:
Chemical and allied industries, leather industries, textile processing, drugs and pharmaceuticals, agro-chemicals and food processing industries.
Pollution has to be looked at in an integrated way. Liquid effluents, air pollution, solid wastes and gaseous emissions, all need to be treated by using the appropriate treatment processes and devices. A number of innovative approaches and management practices are being pursued in the context of small industries in different parts of the country. Success has been of varying degrees in different regions and in different industry groups. Involvement of industry in implementing environmental audit as well as anti-pollution measures has been recognized as very important in bringing about awareness and in motivating them to take the implementation process to a higher level in a phased manner.
There is no official data available on the quality and quantity of pollution from small scale industries. However, the aggregate pollution capacity due to large number of small scale units has an alarming impact on the environment. Recent judicial and regulatory intervention, in disciplining the erring units by ordering closure, penalizing and shifting of location have certainly created some degree of anxiety among the entrepreneurs.
nisiet , being a premier Institute for the development and modernization of small and medium scale industries , realizing the challenge urgency and the need of the hour, has decided to establish a centre totally dedicated to environmental concerns vis-à-vis the Small and Medium Enterprises.
The mission of the centre is to promote sustainable development of small and medium enterprises through implementation of pollution prevention and control techniques.
* To design and conduct need-based training programmes, workshops and seminars for environmental management.
* To function as a clearing house for cleaner technologies.
* To develop research and development facility and take up research activities in the areas of environment and pollution control.
* To act as a catalyst in building up an institutional network involving national and international organisations.
* To undertake different kinds of status and evolution studies and extend consultancy services.
* To promote entrepreneurship in the area of environmental goods and services.
* To promote and strengthen the concept of greening of supply channel.