Sustainability Science Program

Shibani Ghosh

Shibani Ghosh

Shibani GhoshMs. Shibani Ghosh
Sustainability Science Program
Kennedy School of Government
Mailbox 81
Harvard University
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
Office: 502 Rubenstein Building
Tel: (1) 617-496-0739
Group affiliation: Research Fellow

Shibani Ghosh is a Research Fellow in the Sustainability Science Program and a public interest lawyer specializing in environmental and access to information laws. She is associated with the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, a think tank, where her area of research is domestic environmental law and regulation and where she coordinates a research project on principles and rules in Indian environmental law funded by the Indian Council for Social Science Research. She is also a Visiting Faculty at the TERI University, New Delhi and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) School of Built Environment, Amity University in Noida, where she teaches environmental law. Shibani is contributing to collaborative work with the Initiative on Public-Private Partnerships to Promote Sustainable Development in India led by Rohini Pande. She has been involved in litigation on various environmental issues including wildlife protection and environmental regulatory approvals granted to infrastructure projects. Shibani is a Rhodes Scholar and holds a Masters in Science in Environmental Change and Management and a Bachelors in Civil Law (a graduate degree in law) from the University of Oxford. She has an undergraduate degree in law (B.A. LL.B. (Hons.)) from the National University of Juridical Sciences in Kolkata. She was previously associated with the Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (LIFE), a New Delhi-based environmental law firm, and has worked as a legal consultant with the Central Information Commission, a quasi-judicial body set up under the Right to Information Act, 2005. In 2011, she was awarded the first DoPT-RTI fellowship by the Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India to undertake research on the implementation of the Right to Information Act 2005.  Her faculty host is Rohini Pande.

Exploring legal avenues to tackle air pollution in India
The goal of this project is to explore possible legal mechanisms to address the endemic problem of air pollution in India, focusing on potential judicial remedies before the National Green Tribunal, the High Courts and the Supreme Court. 

A recent publication of the World Health Organisation reported that thirteen of the twenty most polluted cities, in terms of air quality, are in India. Laws regulating air pollution have been in place in India for more than three decades. Yet, with ineffective enforcement mechanisms, poorly resourced and designed regulatory institutions, and a severe lack of political will, air pollution continues to increase at an alarming rate across the country. The project will explore possible legal avenues to address the problem of air pollution in India, particularly focusing on the public health aspects. The current regulatory set-up – State Pollution Control Boards implementing what are broadly command and control measures to regulate pollution – has failed. The project will look at different scenarios to address the problem – strengthening existing regulations (for instance, by introducing more stringent punitive action), focusing on institutional restructuring, and making changes to the regulatory approach to control pollution. The judiciary in India has played a very active role in environmental cases. Given the government's apathy towards improving environmental governance in the country, it may be the only viable route for introducing effective regulatory changes. The project will look at the potential for litigation on issues relating to air pollution before the National Green Tribunal, the High Courts and the Supreme Court .

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