EnviStats – India 2021 (Volume 2: Environment Accounts)


The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, released this second volume of the EnviStats – India 2021 report on September 30, 2021. The EnviStats were first published in 2018. The present is the fourth edition in the series, Volume I of which was released in March 2021.

The report follows the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) adopted by the United Nations. The SEEA is a statistical framework which puts together data on the environment and the economy to “measure the condition of the environment, the contribution of the environment to the economy and the impact of the economy on the environment.” This 2021 report cites data from various sources such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the Central Ground Water Board, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) based in Switzerland.

This second volume of the EnviStats provides district-wise data on ‘crop provisioning services’ or the various amenities croplands provide for food and non-food-related production. The report also compiles information on soil fertility by assessing state-level data on micro - and macronutrients present in the soil. It presents information on the quality of river water – specifically for the divisions of Godavari, Tapi, Mahi and Krishna – and groundwater in the states of Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, and Rajasthan. The report also consults the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Botanical Survey of India, and the Zoological Survey of India to highlight the conservation status of flora and fauna in the country.

The 169-page report consists of five chapters: Introduction (Chapter 1); Crop Provisioning Services (Chapter 2); Soil Nutrient Indices (Chapter 3); Water Quality Accounts (Chapter 4); and Biodiversity: IUCN Red List Species (Chapter 5).


  1. As per the report, in 2017-18, Punjab and Telangana had the highest number of districts (22 each) with ‘very high’ levels of crop provisioning services. However, Uttar Pradesh had the highest number of districts with crop provisioning services falling into either ‘high’ or ‘very high’ levels – 38 and 18 districts respectively.

  2. Under the Soil Health Card scheme, soil samples were collected from various parts of the country in stages between 2015 and 2020. These were tested for primary macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium), a secondary macronutrient (sulphur), micronutrients (zinc, iron, copper, manganese, boron) and physical parameters like pH values, electrical conductivity and organic carbon. The nutrient index was thus classified as low, medium or high based on the fertility status of the soil.

  3. Data from 2019-20 shows that the nutrient index for organic carbon was high in Assam, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya and Sikkim. As many as 22 states and union territories recorded low nutrient index for nitrogen during the same period.

  4. The values for potassium were recorded to be low in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Assam, Manipur, Odisha and Tripura. Whereas, the nutrient index for phosphorus was low in as many as 14 states and union territories.

  5. The secondary macronutrient sulphur recorded low values in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha and Puducherry. As per the report, no state or union territory reported high nutrient index for sulphur.

  6. Surface water and groundwater are classified into ‘quality classes’ A to E in decreasing order of use quality. For surface water Class A refers to a source of drinking water useable after disinfection but without conventional treatment, Class B is water fit for organised outdoor bathing and Class C is a source of drinking water after disinfection and conventional treatment. Class D surface water is designated ‘best use’ for the propagation of wildlife and fisheries and Class E refers to irrigation, industrial cooling and controlled waste disposal. Class U refers to surface water that is unclassified.

  7. Classes A and C for groundwater refer to drinking water sources and Class E refers to water fit for irrigation. Class U refers to unclassified groundwater.

  8. During 2018–19, none of the monitored sites under the four river divisions were designated Class A. Around 38 per cent of sites under the Godavari division fell under Class B, 42 per cent were Class C, 19 per cent were termed Class D and one per cent fell under Class E. A majority of the monitoring sites under the Krishna division (45 per cent) were classified as Class B. Of the remaining, 25 per cent were designated Class C, 23 per cent were Class D and seven per cent fell under best-use Class E.

  9. For the Mahi division, 32 per cent and 40 per cent of the sites were designated Classes B and C respectively. Seven per cent were termed Class D and 10 per cent as Class E. As high as 84 per cent sites under the Tapi division were under best-use Class D and 10 per cent under Class E.

  10. Data on groundwater indicates that in 2018, 57 per cent of the 497 monitored groundwater sites in Kerala were designated Class A. This was a decrease from the 60 per cent and 64 per cent recorded in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Conversely, only nine per cent of the 1,141 sites monitored in Rajasthan fell under Class A in 2018. The majority in the state – 37 per cent – were unclassified while 31 per cent were under best-use Class C.

  11. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species categorises species as one of the following: extinct, extinct in the wild, critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable, near threatened and least concern. According to the report, in 2021, about 3,093 of the 4,725 different species evaluated are classified as ‘least concern’.

  12. As per the report, 266 and 92 different species respectively are grouped as ‘endangered’ and ‘critically endangered’. Further, as many as 183 species are categorised ‘vulnerable’ and 304 as ‘near threatened’.

    Focus and Factoids by Namitha Madhukumar.


Social Statistics Division, National Statistical Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, New Delhi


Social Statistics Division, National Statistical Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, New Delhi


30 Sep, 2021