Here are reasons why India records such disastrous air pollution numbers

The report was prepared by HEI in cooperation with the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington and the University of British Columbia. Similarly, while early deaths due to ozone in China have stabilised since 1990, in India these have jumped by 148 per cent, it said.

He cited the confluence of rapid industrialization, population growth and an aging populace in India that is more susceptible to air pollution.

According to a study published by the US-based Health Effects Institute on Tuesday, 2.2 million Chinese and Indians died from air pollution in 2015-more than half the global total.

A spokesman for India's environment ministry could not be reached for comment, but minister Anil Madhav Dave said last week that "there is no conclusive data available" on the link between pollution and mortality, media reported.

The report also finds that 92 per cent of the world's population lives in areas with unhealthy air."The trends we report show that we have seen progress in some parts of the world - but serious challenges remain", he added.

The health effects of the ultrafine particles are still being studied and the full effects are only beginning to be understood, said Majid Ezzati, a global environmental health professor at the Imperial College, London.

A traffic policeman wears a mask to protect himself from dust and air pollution as he signals to drivers in New Delhi, India, Dec. 23, 2015.

United Nation's World Health Organisation said that the major sources of air pollution were: inefficient modes of transport (polluting fuels and vehicles), inefficient combustion of household fuels for cooking, lighting and heating, coal-fired power plants, agriculture and waste burning. India's Supreme Court banned the sale of fireworks, popular during the Hindu festival Diwali, in the capital after the emergency. The findings show that India has some of the world's most polluted cities and in many north Indian towns, it's best not to exercise for more than an hour. In December, the data portal IndiaSpend found that the pilgrimage city of Varanasi had the country's worst air, followed by heavily industrial cities such as Kanpur.

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