Swachh Bharat Mission

The Jal Jeevan and Swachh Bharat Missions are improving people’s well-being


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Jal Jeevan Mission

Mains level: Paper 2- Achievements of JJM and SBM


The performance of the Jal Jeevan and Swachh Bharat Missions highlights the importance of convergence as an operating principle of the government.

 Jal Jeevan Mission: Progress made so far

  • Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) is a flagship programme of the Government of India, launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister on 15th August 2019.
  • Jal Jeevan Mission, is envisioned to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections by 2024 to all households in rural India.
  • Community approach: The Jal Jeevan Mission is based on a community approach to water and will include extensive Information, Education and communication as a key component of the mission.
  • Over 9.6 crore rural households get tap water supply; notably, more than 6.36 crore households have been provided tap water connections since the programme was announced in August 2019.

Achievements of Swachh Bharat Mission

  • Universal sanitation coverage: To accelerate the efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage and to put the focus on sanitation, the Prime Minister of India had launched the Swachh Bharat Mission on 2nd October 2014.
  • Under the mission, all villages, Gram Panchayats, Districts, States and Union Territories in India declared themselves “open-defecation free” (ODF) by 2 October 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • To ensure that the open defecation free behaviours are sustained, no one is left behind, and that solid and liquid waste management facilities are accessible, the Mission is moving towards the next Phase II of SBMG i.e ODF-Plus.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission Phase-2: The government has launched Swachh Bharat Mission Phase 2 with a focus on plastic waste management, biodegradable solid waste management, grey water management and faecal sludge management.
  •  Under Swachh Bharat Mission Phase-2, arrangements for solid and liquid waste management have been made in 41,450 villages; nearly 4 lakh villages have minimal stagnant water.
  • ODF Plus: Nearly 22,000 villages have been named “model village” under the ODF Plus scheme, and another 51,000 villages are on their way to achieving this tag.
  • Sludge treatment and plastic waste management: Before the government embarked on Swachh Bharat Mission, nearly 1,20,000 tonnes of faecal sludge was left untreated as two-thirds of all toilets were not connected to the main sewer lines
  • The scale of India’s plastic waste pollution is staggering.
  • Both these problems find themselves on the agenda of Swachh Bharat Mission’s Phase 2.
  • In a short time, 3.5 lakh villages have become plastic dump free and nearly 4.23 lakh villages have minimal litter.
  • Nearly 178 faecal sludge treatment plants and nearly 90,000 km of drains have been constructed.

How convergence between SBM and JJM enabled each other

  • Principle of convergence: The late Arun Jaitley introduced convergence as one of the primary operating principles of the government in his first budget speech.
  • One enabling the other: The best exhibition of this can be found in the ways in which the Jal Jeevan Mission and Swachh Bharat Mission work in tandem, one enabling the other.
  • More than 10 crore toilets were built under SBM but this accomplishment could have been difficult had the government not had the foresight to build the toilets on a twin-pit design that has in-situ treatment of faecal sludge.
  • Now, providing tap water connections through the Jal Jeevan Mission is among the government’s top priorities.
  • Managing grey water discharge: The Jal Jeevan Mission faces a challenge similar to that faced by the Swachh Bharat Mission — managing grey water discharge.
  • Holistic sanitation: When household tap connections were provided, the Jal Jeevan Mission converged with the Swachh Bharat Mission to achieve holistic sanitation in which the treatment of grey water became a vital component.
  • Focus on women: The Jal Jeevan mission intends to relieve women of the drudgery of travelling long distances to fetch water.
  • The Swachh Bharat Mission too is centred around the dignity of women.
  • A joint study by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and UNICEF revealed that an overwhelming number (80 per cent) of the respondents stated that safety and security were the main drivers of their decision to construct toilets.
  • The Jal Jeevan Mission is catalysing change at the grass roots level by reserving 50 per cent seats for women in village and water sanitation committees.
  • In every village, at least five women have been entrusted with water quality surveillance and many of them have been trained as plumbers, mechanics and pump operators.

Impact on growth and economy

  •  In 2006, a joint study by WSP, Asian Development Bank and UKAID revealed that inadequate sanitation cost India Rs 2.4 trillion — 6 per cent of India’s GDP at that time.
  • The Swachh Bharat Mission, apart from preventing GDP loss, provides annual benefits worth Rs 53,000 per household.


The success of Jal Jeevan Mission and Swachh Bharat Mission is a good example of convergence, one of the primary operating principles of the government.

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