Will India’s population get wiped out in 2 years? Aaj Tak thinks so!

News channel Aaj Tak and its Executive Editor Punya Prasun Bajpai, who amassed a cult following after his ‘Krantakari’ interview of Arvind Kejriwal, seem to have been caught in somewhat of an embarrassing situation again after they put out stats, which if indeed true would mean that India’s whole population would be wiped out in about two years.

As pointed out by Twitter user Spaminder Bharti (parody account of AAP leader Somnath Bharti), yesterday Aaj Tak put out a tweet (now deleted) which claimed that people in India were dying at an alarming rate of 20 people per second.

The deleted tweet

The news clip, which was aired on TV and seen (and most probably believed) by thousands of people, was saved by the same Twitter user. You can see and hear the astounding claim in the video clip:

This video begins with Punya Prasun Bajpai, the krantikari journalist, in a grave tone announcing that in this country 20 people die each second due to pollution. The report starts with tragic music playing in the background and they put out the stats. Again, the voice proclaims that 20 people die each second due to pollution.

So doing some basic mathematics which we are sure many might have already done we decided to unravel the 20 deaths per second claim:

Number of Seconds per year = 60*60*24*365 = 3,15,36,000/-

Therefore if 20 people are dying per second then total deaths in one year = 20*(31536000) = 63,07,20,000/-

That is according to Aaj Tak there are about 63 Crore deaths per year due to pollution! And our total population being about 121 crores should get wiped out in about 2 years! Be very scared and tell that crush of yours that you love her as two years later you are going to be gone!

Now on a bit of a serious note, Aaj Tak has quoted a ‘State of the global air‘ report [pdf] compiled by a Boston based Health Effects Institute, which claims that:

India now rivals China for among the highest air pollution health burdens in the world, with both countries facing some 1.1 million early deaths from air pollution in 2015.

So assuming that the report is true, the total people perishing due to pollution in our country is about 11 lakhs which in itself is extremely high and steps should indeed be taken to bring down the number. But those steps shouldn’t include fear mongering by media houses bereft of good mathematicians.

In case you are wondering the total people dying due to pollution per second in this country based on the 11 lakh figure turns out to be roughly about 0.034 deaths per second*.

(* total deaths per second = (total deaths in a year)/(total seconds in a year))

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