India, June 30 -- Forest land nearly equal to the size of Nagaland has been approved for diversion between 2014 and 2020 or is pending to be approved for various infrastructure and developmental projects such as mining, irrigation, and regularisation of encroachments, according to an analysis by Vijay Ramesh, a PhD student at Columbia University.

Ramesh has analysed 48,000 clearance proposals using the R programming language (the raw data is available on GitHub). He sourced the forest clearance data from the Union environment ministry's Parivesh website, which has details of all clearances divided into two sections-before 2014 and after 2014.

The ministry approved or continues to consider 99.3% of the project proposals it received invol...