A bottom performer on nearly every policy, with the exception of forests, fisheries, and water resources, India has been ranked 155 out of 178 countries on the 2014 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) released by the Yale University.
India, whose performance lags most notably in the protection of human health from environmental harm, ranks worst among other emerging economies including, China, which ranks 118th, Brazil, at 77th, Russia, at 73rd, and South Africa at 72nd.
Switzerland comes in at the very top of the EPI released today.
Luxembourg, Australia, Singapore, and Czech Republic round out the top five positions of the Index, which ranks countries on high-priority environmental concerns including air quality, water management, and climate change, the university said in a statement.
According to the university, India's air quality is among the worst in the world, tying China in terms of the proportion of the population exposed to average air pollution levels exceeding World Health Organisation thresholds.
"Although India is an 'emerging market' alongside China, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa, its environment severely lags behind these others," said Angel Hsu of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and lead author of the report.
"Very low GDP per capita coupled with the second highest population in the world means India's environmental challenge is more formidable than that faced by other emerging economies," Hsu said.