Swachh Bharat Mission

Swachh Bharat Mission

The next missionop-ed snap


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much.

Mains level : Paper 2- Success of Swachh Bharat Mission and replicating it in Jal Jeevan Mission.


After the success of the SBM, government is looking for the next mission in the form of Jal Jeevan Mission.

Investment in Sanitation

  • Investment of over 1 lakh crore: The central and state governments have invested in excess of one lakh crore on sanitation over the past five years.
  • Where the fund was used? A majority of these funds have gone towards-
    • Incentivising the poor and marginalised households to construct and use household toilets.
    • Bringing about behaviour change, and-
    • Building capacities of field functionaries.
  • The success of the mission: Over 10 crore toilets have been built in rural India and nearly 55 crore people have stopped defecating in the open, all in just five years.
    • This has contributed in bringing down global open defecation by more than half.
  • Return on the investment in sanitation: The returns on these investments have been manifold, and their effects on the broader economy, markets and employment have been significant.
    • 400 % return: The UNICEF recently estimated that investments in sanitation in India are yielding a 400 per cent return with each rural household in an open-defecation-free village saving Rs 50,000 on account of avoided medical costs and time savings.
  • Future prospects for the sanitation infrastructure: The Toilet Board Coalition has estimated that the sanitation infrastructure and services market in India will be worth over $60 billion by 2021.
    • Many new jobs, even in the most rural areas of the country, apart from reducing health and environmental costs and generating savings for households.
  • Growth in the sanitation-related business: The business of manufacturing toilet-related hardware accessories have reported huge growth in sales during the SBM period.
    • They project a continued uptrend through retrofitting and upgrades.
    • This has been corroborated by another recent study by UNICEF in which they have estimated that SBM has resulted in creating over 75 lakh full-time equivalent jobs over the past five years, giving the rural economy a major boost.

A milestone, not a finish-line

  • Sustaining the success: The government is committed to ensuring that this success is sustained.
  • On October 2, 2019, the prime minister said that we must all ensure that people continue to use toilets and that no one is left behind.
  • Allocation of 10,000 crores in the Budget: This has been backed up by the finance minister in the budget for 2020-21.
    • In the budget, she announced about Rs 10,000 crore for rural sanitation to focus on-
    • ODF sustainability.
    • Bio-degradable waste management.
    • Greywater management.
    • Sludge management and-
    • Plastic waste management for all villages by 2024.

Next Mission- Piped Water Supply

  • Jal Jeevan Mission: The next critical basic service, is piped water supply. On Independence day this year, the prime minister announced the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM).
    • With the goal of ensuring piped water supply for all households of India by 2024 and with a commitment of Rs 3.6 lakh crore of central and state funds for the scheme.
    • The budgetary allocation of 12,000 crores: In the Union budget for 2020-2021, the government has already allocated Rs 11,500 crore for JJM, with an additional Rs 12,000 crore being made available through extra-budgetary resources.
  • Earmarking 50% grants for drinking water and sanitation: In addition, a huge impetus to the rural water supply and sanitation sector is the earmarking of 50 per cent of the Rs 60,750 crore grant for rural local bodies provided under the Fifteenth Finance Commission for drinking water and sanitation.
    • Making local bodies more responsible: This will ensure that the gram panchayats and local communities are responsible for the upkeep of their water and sanitation infrastructure, providing a boost to the sustainability of service delivery to people.
    • Making sanitation and water supply everyone’s business: This approach will ensure that just like sanitation, provision of water supply and its upkeep will also become everyone’s business.


It is fairly clear now that investment in sanitation is actually a facilitator for broader economic, health and social gains. The government should ensure the sustainability of SBM and replicate its success in implementing the JJM.


Swachh Bharat Mission

[Op-ed snap]The ABCDEF of implementationop-ed snap


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much.

Mains level : Government policies and intervention for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.


Over the years many well-designed schemes failed to make a significant dent on the lack of access to basic services that a large proportion of our population faced. However, Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) has thrown up six guiding principles, which can be applied to any large transformation scheme.

What made the difference?

  • Final delivery of service was considered as the only metric of success.
  • There has been a relentless emphasis on taking all schemes to fruition on the ground.
  • The success has thrown up six important guiding principles that can be applied to any large transformation scheme — the ABCEDF of implementation.


  • Different people at different levels may have competing priorities. So, goal congruence has to be achieved across the administrative ecosystem i.e. aligning the goal.
  • The message must percolate down to all the levels.
  • After the announcement of SBM the Department of Drinking water and Sanitation had to ensure that the message reaches the Chief Ministers, 700 district collectors, and 2,50,000 sarpanches.
  • The three layers of the PM-CM-DM model working in cohesion is the first and most important step towards policy translating into real delivery.
  • Team SBM-Grameen ensured sanitation remained on everyone’s agenda.


  • Believing in the set goal is crucial for achieving success.
  • When faced with seemingly insurmountable goals, teams that don’t genuinely believe that the goal can be achieved find themselves not motivated enough.
  • This lack of motivation results in them not trying enough and not achieving results- a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • So, the next important step is to build a team of people who believes that the goal is achievable.
  • The SBM brought in a unique blend of young professionals and experienced but driven bureaucrats, at the center and in the states, and each person quickly became a believer.


  • At its core, SBM is a behavioral change program.
  • Communication at all levels, above and below the line, mass and inter-personal, is fundamental to the SBM.
  • Trained grassroots volunteers called Swachagrahis were created, who went from door to door to communicate the message of swachhata.
  •  SBM attempted to make sanitation glamorous.
  • Glamour was sought to achieve by engaging extensively with media, leveraging popular culture, and associating Bollywood stars, sportspersons, and other influencers.
  • A recent study estimated that each rural Indian was reached by SBM messaging about 3,000 times over the past five years.


  • Democratize means developing a feeling of belonging or being part of something.
  • SBM has become a sort of Jan Andolan.
  • It nudged people to realise that sanitation is not an individual good, but a community good, as its full benefits accrue only when it is universal.
  •  Over the years, everyone became a stakeholder and sanitation became everyone’s business.
  • Even corporates, NGOs, civil society organizations and other government ministries and departments played a role in mainstreaming sanitation.


  • The SBM was operating at a massive scale in a largely decentralised manner
  • As progress started surpassing expectations many people questioned the veracity of official administrative progress figures.
  • So, it became important to encourage third-party monitoring.
  • The monitoring evaluates outputs, outcomes, and impacts to reinforce the credibility and keep the implementers motivated.
  • At the same time, pockets of excellence emerged which deserved to be studied and shared with others to replicate.
  • The various organization conducted an assessment with regard to various factors.
  • World Bank, UNICEF, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and WHO conducted various assessments of sanitation coverage and usage, successes and areas of improvement, as well as the health, economic and social impacts of the SBM.


  • There is a strong focus on not declaring SBM a “mission accomplished”.
  • The SBM is continuing to work towards sustaining the ODF behaviour and ensuring that no one is left behind.
  • Recently released a forward-looking 10-year sanitation strategy, articulating the goal of moving from ODF to ODF Plus.
  • This post-delivery follow-through is critical to ensure that the change becomes the norm and that things don’t reset to what they used to be in the past.


The lessons learned from SBM and these guiding principles could be applied in the implementation of other such policies. And aligning with this goal, the Jal Jeevan Mission is being designed to deliver, based on the ABCDEF of implementation.

Swachh Bharat Mission

[pib] Blue Flag Certification for beachesIOCRPIB


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Blue Flag Certification

Mains level : Coastal conservation in India

The MoEFCC has embarked upon a programme for ‘Blue Flag’ Certification for select beaches in the country.

Blue Flag Certification

  • This Certification is accorded by an international agency “Foundation for Environment Education, Denmark” based on 33 stringent criteria in four major heads i.e.
  1. Environmental Education and Information,
  2. Bathing Water Quality,
  3. Environment Management and Conservation and
  4. Safety and Services in the beaches.
  • It started in France in 1985 and has been implemented in Europe since 1987, and in areas outside Europe since 2001, when South Africa joined.
  • Japan and South Korea are the only countries in South and southeastern Asia to have Blue Flag beaches.
  • Spain tops the list with 566 such beaches; Greece and France follow with 515 and 395, respectively.

Beaches identified in India

  • 13 pilot beaches that have been identified for the certification, in consultation with concerned coastal States/UTs, are Ghoghala Beach (Diu), Shivrajpur beach (Gujarat), Bhogave (Maharashtra), Padubidri and Kasarkod (Karnagaka), Kappad beach (Kerala), Kovalam beach (Tamil Nadu), Eden beach (Puducherry), Rushikonda beach (Andhra Pradesh), Miramar beach (Goa), Golden beach (Odisha), Radhanagar beach (Andaman & Nicobar Islands) and Bangaram beach (Lakshadweep).
  • Rushikonda beach in Andhra Pradesh also features in the list of 13 pilot beaches, for development of facilities and infrastructure accordingly.
  • The Chandrabhaga beach on the Konark coast of Odisha is the first in India to get the Blue Flag certification.
Swachh Bharat Mission

[op-ed snap] Not so swachh: On sanitation goalsop-ed snap


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing

Mains level : Swachh Bharat mission - task ahead


Swachh Bharat programme has won applause globally for its goal of providing sanitation to all.

Recent survey

    • Survey data from the NSO show that it remains a work in progress. 
    • Toilets in households in the countryside have increased. 
    • There is a deficit of about 28% as of October last year. 
    • The declaration that the country has ended open defecation in its rural areas is not entirely accurate, going by this survey. 
    • The many States that were declared to be free of open defecation did not qualify for the status.

What could be done

    • The data could help the centre to review performance in States such as Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan. Here, the lack of toilets is reported to be higher than the national average.
    • It provides an opportunity to review other social determinants such as education, housing and water supply which have a strong influence on the adoption of sanitation.
    • Sanitation cannot be a separate ideal if communities if it is not linked to overall deprivation.

State of ODF status

    • The Ministry of Jal Shakti said the coverage in 5,99,963 villages had risen from 38.7% in 2014 to 100% this year.
    • Taxpayers remitted about ₹20,600 crores as a cess since 2015, until the introduction of the GST. 
    • This has not translated into use everywhere. The NSO survey results controvert data relied upon by the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan on ODF.

Challenge ahead

    • It needs so much effort to bring all-round development to India’s villages, which have not really benefited from fast-paced economic growth. 
    • Rural housing and water supply are key to bringing toilet access to all.
    • 2.95 crore subsidised houses to be built by 2022 may not be able to bridge the shortfall. 
    • Development indices are low in some States.
    • Local bodies lack the capacity and resources to bring universal sanitation. 


Sustained work to eliminate lacunae in coverage and a massive urban programme is essential to end open defecation and universalise toilet access.


Swachh Bharat Cess

Government of India initiated the ‘Swachh Bharat Cess’ at 0.5% on all taxable services to fund Swachh Bharat initiatives.

Swachh Bharat Mission

[op-ed snap] Swachh Bharat: Urban areas require a different approach to end open defecationop-ed snap


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Swachh Bharat

Mains level : Analysis of Swachh Bharat Urban in the background of Rural


The Swachh Bharat Mission is being executed by two different ministries — the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation for rural areas and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs for urban areas.

Swachh Bharat – challenges

    • In rural areas, the major challenge was to change the mindset of the populace.
    • As the majority of the households did not have toilets in their homes, the main component of Swachh Bharat Mission was to construct household latrines and focus on IEC activities.
    • The need for a dedicated sewerage network is less in rural areas as the toilets are connected with in-house soak pits.
    • Domestic waste in rural areas is also managed in a much better manner as it is segregated at the household level and a majority of it is used in the fields.
    • Improving the cleanliness level in a rural area is much less complex than in an urban setup.

Swachh Bharat – Urban

    • An urban area faces two major challenges — disposal of solid waste and sewage/liquid waste.
    • Disposal of solid waste has three key components: Waste collection, transfer of the waste, and proper disposal at the landfill site.
    • The task of waste collection and its transfer to the landfill site requires both manpower as well as an efficient transportation system. 
    • The segregation of waste can either be at the source or at the landfill. Segregation at source is more economical.
    • At the landfill, it is done by either using high-end segregation plants or manual conveyors.

Challenges of SB(U): Disposal

    • Disposal of solid waste is primarily the responsibility of municipalities.
    • These municipalities are not equipped with the manpower, financial resources, and technology for the task. 
    • Most of them are dependent upon the state governments for resources. 
    • These municipalities do not have sufficient human resources in terms of engineers or sanitation staff to manage the waste. 
    • Landfill site management is very poor due to a lack of technical know-how.

Managing sewage

    • Merely constructing toilets cannot solve the problem as these areas require proper sewerage network. 
    • The soak pit system that works in rural areas cannot work in urban areas due to a space crunch and increasing population density. 
    • The job of laying the sewerage network is again distributed between the state’s public health engineering department and the municipalities.

Limitations of SB(U)

    • Its main focus is on the construction of individual household toilets, community toilets, public urinals and IEC activities. 
    • The funds earmarked for solid waste management are minimal. 
    • There is a limited provision of funds for laying the sewerage networks. 
    • The strategy used for Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) will not yield results in the urban mission.

Way ahead

    • There is a need for revamping the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) wherein the focus is on solid waste and sewer management. 
    • Recurring funds must be provided for the collection of waste and its disposal. 
    • A window may be given to municipalities for upgrading their capabilities to augment their revenue collection. 
    • Separate funds must be given for the development of landfill sites.
    • Best possible practices for waste collection across key cities must be studied and emulated.


    • Adopting a piecemeal approach for constructing toilets and litter bins will not solve the systemic issue of waste disposal in cities.
    • Unless we are able to lift the waste from the streets systematically, cleanliness will not have any meaning.
    • The success of the Swachh Bharat Mission depends also on changing the way waste is disposed of by the municipalities and the state governments.
Swachh Bharat Mission

[pib] Swachh – Nirmal Tat Abhiyaan


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Swachh – Nirmal Tat Abhiyaan

Mains level : Not Much

  • The Environment Ministry is undertaking a mass cleanliness-cum-awareness drive in 50 identified beaches under the “Swachh – Nirmal Tat Abhiyaan”.

Swachh – Nirmal Tat Abhiyaan

  • The identified beaches are in 10 coastal States/ UTs namely Gujarat, Daman & Diu, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha. The beaches have been identified after the consultation with the States/UTs.
  • Environment Education Division of the Ministry and Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM) under the aegis of this Ministry will be responsible for the overall coordination for the drive in 50 beaches.
  • The cleaning drives in all beaches are being undertaken, involving school/college students of Eco-clubs, district administration, institutions, volunteers, local communities and other stakeholders.
  • State Nodal Agencies for the Eco-clubs will be facilitating the week-long intensive cleanliness drive in all 10 States/UTs.


  • For beach cleaning activities which will be a duration of two hours on daily basis, a minimum of one Kilometre stretch of the beach shall be identified.
  • Beach sand cleaning machines shall also be deployed at about identified 15 beaches.
  • Thereafter collected waste will be processed as per extant Waste Management Rules, 2016.
Swachh Bharat Mission

[oped of the day] In last five years, Swachh Bharat mission has captured people’s imaginationop-ed snap


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing much

Mains level : SBM success - causes

Op-ed of the day is the most important editorial of the day. This will cover a key issue that came in the news and for which students must pay attention. This will also take care of certain key issues students have to cover in respective GS papers.


In the last five years, India has transformed from being the highest contributor to global open defecation to torch-bearer for global sanitation.

Key pillars behind the success of SBM

    • These may be applied to any large-scale transformation in the world.
    • Political leadership – Inspired by the top leadership and commitment, various chief ministers took up the cause. Leaders at all levels are prime catalysts for large-scale transformations.
    • Public financing – Over Rs 1 lakh crore was committed to ensuring universal access to sanitation, thereby backing the political will with budgetary support. About 90% of the 10 crore households which received toilets were from socially and economically weaker sections of society and they received financial incentives to build and use toilets.
    • Partnerships – SBM (G) partnered with implementers and influencers — national and international development agencies, media houses, civil society, celebrities, as well as all departments/ministries of the government of India.
    • People’ participation – SBM-G trained over half a million swachhagrahis, who triggered behaviour change in every village in India. 
    • Administrative disruption – it led to efficient on-ground implementation. A sunset clause brought a sense of urgency and accountability. 
    • SBM-G brought in a unique blend of young professionals and experienced but driven bureaucrats, and each person became committed to the goal.
    • Scalability – devised solutions which are easy to implement, like the on-site twin-pit toilet systems for rural India, as opposed to expensive networked sanitation solutions. 
    • By providing flexibility to states and implementers by design, the mission allowed them to tailor solutions to local contexts.
    • Targeted the low-hanging fruit first — the districts with the highest sanitation coverage — to become ODF on priority. This created a demonstration effect for others to learn from.
    • Behavior change – SBM-G engaged extensively with the media, leveraging popular culture, and associating Bollywood stars, sportspersons and other influencers to promote the message of sanitation.

Way ahead

  • 10-year sanitation strategy to move from ODF to ODF Plus
    • sustaining the SBM-G gains
    • ensuring that no one is left behind
    • ensuring access to solid and liquid waste management for all villages
  • Ensure piped water supply to all households by 2024. This will boost SBM-G’s sustainability efforts.
Swachh Bharat Mission

Govt launches new framework to sustain India’s ‘100% ODF status’Govt. Schemes


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : SBM

Mains level : Making India ODF

  • The Union Jal Shakti Ministry’s Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), launched a 10-year national rural sanitation strategy to sustain India’s 100 per cent Open Defecation Free (ODF).

About the framework

  • The framework, to be in place from 2019 to 2029, will ensure that people sustain their usage of toilets.
  • It will also focus on proper implementation of solid and liquid waste management (SLWM) — plastic waste, organic waste, grey water, and faecal sludge — in rural areas.

 Steps to be undertaken

  • They include the retrofitting of single pit toilets to twin pits or making provisions to empty pits every five years, repair of defunct ones, and construction of soak pits for septic tanks wherever not already present.
  • A district-level training management unit (TMU) will be set up to provide oversight and support to gram panchayats (GPs) so that they ensure the operation and maintenance of sanitation infrastructure.
  • The GPs are also supposed to conduct rapid assessment of water and sanitation gaps.

Alternative financing

  • The government funding is the primary source of financing in the sanitation sector.
  • The above strategy mentioned in the framework also suggests alternative self-financing by gradual leveraging of community resources in the form of tariffs for ODF plus activities.
  • It will follow the same 60:40 financing model as being followed till now in Swachh Bharat. It will be finalised after the cabinet’s approval.

Focus on personal hygiene

  • The framework also talks about state-specific strategies on menstrual hygiene management, including menstrual waste management, which may be supported under the ODF plus strategy.
Swachh Bharat Mission

[pib] PM receives ‘Global Goal Keeper Award’ for Swachh Bharat AbhiyanPIB


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : SBM , Goalkeeper Award

Mains level : Success of SBM

  • PM Modi received the ‘Global Goalkeeper’ Award by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

About the award

  • ‘Goalkeepers’ is an initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Its aim is to bring together leaders from around the world to accelerate progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
  • The organization also provides reports and data flow charts over SDGs progress.


Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM)

  • SBM is a nation-wide campaign in India for the period 2014 to 2019 that aims to clean up the streets, roads and infrastructure of India’s cities, towns, urban and rural areas.
  • The objectives of Swachh Bharat include eliminating open defecation through the construction of household-owned and community-owned toilets and establishing an accountable mechanism of monitoring toilet use.
  • Run by the GoI, the mission aims to achieve an “open-defecation free” (ODF) India by 2 October 2019, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi by constructing 90 million toilets in rural India.
  • The mission will also contribute to India reaching Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6), established by the UN in 2015.
  • It is India’s largest cleanliness drive to date with three million government employees and students from all parts of India participating in 4,043 cities, towns, and rural areas.
  • The mission has two thrusts: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (“gramin” or ‘rural’), which operates under the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation; and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (‘urban’), which operates under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
Swachh Bharat Mission

SBM 2.0 focussed on ODF sustainability: GovtGovt. Schemes


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : SBM 2.0

Mains level : Shift from IEC to BCC


  1. Nearly 93.1% of rural Indian households have access to toilets and 96.5% of these toilets are in constant usage, according to the second edition of NARSS in 2018-19

SBM 2.0

  1. Sustaining investment on ODF
  2. Faecal sludge management dedicated programme, which will ensure that each district will have FSTP (faecal sludge treatment plant)
  3. Plastic waste management by creating material recovery facility and plastic treatment and management facility in each gram panchayat
  4. Solid and liquid waste management support to villages for safe disposal of solid and liquid waste
  5. Investing funds for behaviour change through IEC (Information, Education and Communication) ­exercise, training masons to promote retrofitting of toilets and panchayat pradhans to sustain ODF status

Way ahead

  1. The government should make a paradigm shift from IEC to BCC – behaviour change communication approach
  2. While IEC collects information on the use of toilets, BCC talks about underlying factors of why they are not using the toilets and tries to address them through behavioural science


The NARSS is a third-party survey that was conducted by the Independent Verification Agency (IVA) under the World Bank support project.

Swachh Bharat Mission

‘Blue Flag’ CertificationIOCR


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Blue Flag certification

Mains level : Blue Flag Beaches

  • The MoEFCC has selected 12 beaches in India to vie for a ‘Blue Flag’ certification, an international recognition conferred on beaches that meet certain criteria of cleanliness and environmental propriety.

Blue Flag Programme

  • The Blue Flag Programme for beaches and marinas is run by the international, non-governmental, non-profit organisation FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education).
  • It started in France in 1985 and has been implemented in Europe since 1987, and in areas outside Europe since 2001, when South Africa joined.
  • Japan and South Korea are the only countries in South and southeastern Asia to have Blue Flag beaches.
  • Spain tops the list with 566 such beaches; Greece and France follow with 515 and 395, respectively.

Proposed Beaches

  • These beaches are at Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Bhogave (Maharashtra), Ghoghla (Diu), Miramar (Goa), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Kappad (Kerala), Eden (Puducherry), Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh), Golden (Odisha), and Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar Islands).
Swachh Bharat Mission

[pib] Swachh Bharat Mission impact on GroundwaterGovt. SchemesPIB


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : SBM

Mains level : SBM impact on water contamination

  • Swachhata has affected all aspects of the environment – be it groundwater, surface water, soil or air – as well as health and well-being of the communities in ODF regions as per the report published by UNICEF.

Environmental Impact study by UNICEF

  • Under the “Environmental impact of the SBM on Water, Soil, and Food” by UNICEF, groundwater samples were collected and studied from ODF and non-ODF villages of Odisha, Bihar and West Bengal.
  • The study found that, in terms of faecal contamination, non-ODF villages were, on average:
  1. 11.25 times more likely to have their groundwater sources contaminated (12.7 times more from contaminants traceable to humans alone)
  2. 1.13 times more likely to have their soil contaminated
  3. 1.48 times more likely to have food contaminated and 2.68 times more likely to have household drinking water contaminated.
  • The study findings indicated that these substantial reductions may potentially be attributed to the improvement in sanitation and hygiene practices.

IEC footprint study by Gates Foundation

  • IES stands for Information, Education and Communication.
  • The “Assessment of the reach and value of IEC activities under SBM (Grameen)” was conducted by Dalberg, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • It estimated the scale of IEC activities within the Mission and assessed associated monetary and in-kind costs, and outputs such as reach.
  • The study found that:
  1. SBM mobilized a spend equivalent worth INR 22,000 to 26,000 crores in monetary and non-monetary IEC activities.
  2. Of this spend equivalent, cash expenditure on IEC activities spent by the Government, private sector, and the development community was estimated to be between INR 3,500 – 4,000 crores.
  3. An average person living in rural India was exposed to between 2,500 – 3,300 SBM related messages over the last five years.
Swachh Bharat Mission

[op-ed snap] Slow on sanitationop-ed snap


Mains Paper 2: Governance | mechanisms, laws, institutions & Bodies constituted for the protection & betterment of these vulnerable sections

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Constitutional r provisions to end manual scavenging and their lax implementation leading to loss of lives.



The tragic death of six people who entered a septic tank in Tamil Nadu’s Sriperumbudur town is a grim reminder that sanitation remains a low-priority area despite the high political profile of Swachh Bharat.

Why these events are recurring?

  • Public understanding of the science of managing septic tanks continues to be poor.
  • the availability of cheap labour to clean these structures has slowed efforts to develop technologies that can safely remove and transport the waste.
  • Sanitation thus remains a challenge in thousands of unsewered towns.

Particulars about this incident

  • What sets the incident apart from the several instances of people dying of asphyxiation in the tanks is that some of the victims were the owners of the property and not workers.
  • Although workers were not affected in this case, it confirms Tamil Nadu’s abysmal overall record at raising sanitation standards.

Data regarding casualties due to unsafe sanitation practices

  • Since 1993, when the first law was passed against manual cleaning, there were at least 144 worker deaths in Tamil Nadu as of November 2018, according to official data reported to the Centre for grant of compensation.
  • Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab also fared badly with a cumulative toll of 146 lives lost during that period.
  • But this is obviously a gross underestimate, since the Safai Karmachari Andolan, which has litigated in the Supreme Court seeking to aggressively prosecute offenders, contends that septic tank cleaning claimed nearly 1,500 lives between 2014 and 2016.
  • More reports of deaths continue to come in.

Provision to prohibit manual scavenging

  • Every death of a manual worker represents a crime, since the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 makes the use of such labour to clean septic tanks an offence punishable with imprisonment of two years or with a fine of ₹2 lakh or both even in the first instance.

State government’s failure to act responsibly

  • State governments are reluctant to prosecute offenders,
  • They are also slow to adopt newer technologies such as Faecal Sludge Treatment Plants (FSTP), which can be combined with omniprocessors for safe treatment of waste.

Use of Technology to address concerns

  • For the task of cleaning the tanks, indigenous innovation in robotics looks promising.
  • A prototype is planned to be tested by the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and such devices can potentially transform sanitation in India and other developing countries.
  • But the pace of adoption will depend on the priority that governments accord to the long-neglected problem.
  • Last year, Tamil Nadu, and some other States, notably Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, announced plans to scale up FSTP infrastructure.
  • This is a task that deserves the highest importance, and needs to be completed on deadline.


  • What happened in Sriperumbudur highlights the heavy price that communities pay for the lack of scientific sanitation.
  • If governments remain apathetic, citizens would expect the courts to step in to uphold the law against manual scavenging and make individual departments accountable.
  • The science on sanitation has advanced, and policy must urgently catch up.
Swachh Bharat Mission

[pib] SBM- Grameen confirms over 96% usage of toiletsPIB


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Swachh Bharat Mission- Grameen

Mains level: Success of SBM


  • The National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey (NARSS) 2018-19 was conducted by an Independent Verification Agency under the World Bank support project to the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G).

Key findings of NARSS 2018-19

  • 1% of households were found to have access to toilets during the survey period (the corresponding figure as per the SBMG MIS in November 2018 was 96%)
  • 5% of the people who had access to toilets used them
  • 7% of villages which were previously declared and verified as ODF were confirmed to be ODF. The remaining villages also had sanitation coverage of about 93%
  • 4% of the villages surveyed found to have minimal litter and minimal stagnant water

About the Survey

  • The survey used the PPS (Probability Proportion to Size) sampling methodology, which yields results within a confidence interval of 95%.
  • Data was collected using the Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) platform.
  • The survey also covered schools, anganwadis and public/community toilets in these villages.

Success of SBM-G

  • Since its launch in October 2014, the SBM, the world’s largest sanitation program, has changed the behaviour of hundreds of millions of people with respect to toilet access and usage.
  • 500 million people have stopped defecating in the open since the SBM began, down from 550 million at the beginning of the programme to less than 50 million today.
  • Over 9 crore toilets have been built across rural India under the Mission.
  • Over 5.5 lakh villages and 615 districts have been declared ODF, along with 30 ODF States and Union Territories.
Swachh Bharat Mission

[op-ed snap] Towards dignityop-ed snap


Mains Paper 2: Governance | mechanisms, laws, institutions & Bodies constituted for the protection & betterment of these vulnerable sections

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Constitutional and other provisions to end manual scavenging and their lax implementation leading to loss of lives of manual scavengers.



The Delhi government introduced o a fleet of 200 machine-equipped trucks to eliminate manual scavenging.

Technology led initiative

  • The sewer-cleaning machines have been designed to meet the demands of the small lanes in the capital’s slums and urban villages.
  • Each unit has a tank to spray water and a sludge compartment to collect the silt cleaned up by the machine — this sludge was usually left along the sewer during manual cleaning.
  • The machines will be given to manual scavengers, who will be trained to operate them.
  • The sanitation workers, who will be given the new machines, were identified by a Delhi government survey last year.

State’s denial in Identification of manual scavengers

  • Delhi lacks an accurate count of the people engaged in manual scavenging.
  • During a survey last year by the Centre, the governments of Haryana, Bihar and Telangana did not report even a single manual scavenger.
  • But the task force conducting the survey — it comprised members from the ministries of social justice, rural development, drinking water and sanitation, and housing and urban affairs and the National Safai Karamchari Finance and Development Corporation — found that there were 1,221 manual scavengers in Bihar, Haryana had 846 such workers and 288 people in Telangana were engaged in this dehumanising practice.

Failure in the implementation of the law

  • The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013, allows the use of manual labour to clean sewage if the employer provides safety gear.
  • But, in practice, this provision is more flouted than followed.
  • According to the social justice ministry’s records, one person dies every five days while cleaning sewers — unofficial reports indicate that the figure could be much higher.
  • Municipal corporations and local bodies very often outsource the sewer cleaning tasks to private contractors, who do not maintain proper rolls of workers.
  • In case after case of sanitation workers being asphyxiated to death while working toxic sludge pools in different parts of the country, these contractors have denied any association with the deceased.

Way forward

The Delhi government’s move to use machines is a first step towards according dignity and respect to sewer workers. It should be emulated in other parts of the country. However, technology’s emancipatory powers will be realised at their fullest only when the states stop living in denial about manual scavenging.

Swachh Bharat Mission

India’s city compost policy needs overhaulingPriority 1


Mains Paper 2: Governance| Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: SBA, Policy on Promotion of City Compost

Mains level: Solid Waste Management in India



  • The Swachh Bharat Mission had committed to ensuring that all organic waste produced in Indian cities is processed into making compost by October 2019.
  • However it doesn’t seem likely, currently, not even 5 per cent of organic waste generated by cities is converted into compost.

Policy on Promotion of City Compost

  1. To meet the ambitious target, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers had announced a Policy on Promotion of City Compost in February 2016.
  2. It aimed to promote city compost with punch line ‘Compost Banao, Compost Apnao’.
  3. But the lack of an appropriate market and ineffective implementation didn’t give this much-needed practice the desired popularity.

Potential for city compost

  1. India currently produces close to 1.5 lakh tonnes of solid waste every day and its biodegradable fraction ranges between 30 per cent and 70 per cent for various Indian cities.
  2. This means there is a huge potential for compositing, the most natural form of processing wet waste.
  3. Uncontrolled decomposition of organic waste in dumpsites also leads to emission of potent greenhouse gases.
  4. So, it is imperative that necessary actions be taken to promote appropriate disposal mechanisms for solid waste management.

Policy Paralysis

  1. The policy on promotion of city compost was rolled out to facilitate its marketing through fixed MDA of Rs 1,500.
  2. This subsidy was to reduce the selling price of compost for farmers.
  3. It required agreements amongst municipal body, compost manufacturer and compost marketer, including fertiliser companies.
  4. But, unlike the predictions that the new financial incentives will boost promotion and production of compost, it did not prove to be a game-changer.
  5. The high manufacturing and selling cost of the compost, questionable product quality, no direct incentive/subsidy to farmers and lack of knowledge among other concerns, ensured city compost didn’t become a popular option for farmers.

Other Bottlenecks

  1. The money allocated for MDA subsidy in the last three years is so meager that it could not meet the requirement of even 2 per cent of the SBM’s target.
  2. In addition, the process to claim MDA is so tedious that most manufacturers and fertiliser companies have not received any payment under it.
  3. A firm producing chemical fertilizers and its dealers are unlikely to be enthusiastic about selling organic compost till there is a legal mandate. The current policy has subsidy but no legal targets.
  4. They are just “supposed to” co-market fertilisers with city compost in a way that there are 6-7 bags of urea and 1-2 bags of city compost.

Way Forward

  1. To create a demand for quality compost, it is necessary to ensure that robust waste management systems are developed in cities, with source-segregation and promotion of decentralized waste management at its heart.
  2. We need a much more serious policy to scale up production and consumption of city compost.
  3. It should support other factors such as by reforms in terms of fertilizer control order norms, stringent targets for fertilizer companies etc.
Swachh Bharat Mission

[op-ed snap] Silent revolution in the countrysideop-ed snap


Mains Paper 2: Governance|  Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Basics of SBA, Swachh Survekshan

Mains level: The newscard discusses SBA achievements and shortcomings, in a brief manner.


The Government of India had launched “Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban)” on 2nd October, 2014 with the following objectives:-

  • Eliminate open defecation,
  • Conversion of insanitary toilets to pour flush toilets,
  • Eradication of manual scavenging,
  • 100% collection and scientific processing/disposal reuse/recycle of Municipal Solid Waste,
  • To bring about a behavioral change in people regarding healthy sanitation practices,
  • Generate awareness among the citizens about sanitation and its linkages with public health.
  • Strengthening of urban local bodies to design, execute and operate systems,
  • To create enabling environment for private sector participation in Capital Expenditure and Operation & Maintenance (O&M) costs.

The Mission has following components:-

  • Construction of Household Toilets,
  • Community and Public Toilets,
  • Solid Waste Management,
  • Information, Education & Communication (IEC) and Public Awareness,
  • Capacity Building and Administrative & Office Expenses (A&OE).



  1. Increased Coverage
  • Since October 2014, 91.5 million toilets have been constructed and 154.3 million rural households have toilets now.
  • Survey Conducted by the World Bank, the survey found that 77 per cent of households (between November 2017 and March 2018) had access to toilets (not the same as possessing individual household toilets) and 93.4 per cent of people who had access to toilets used them.
  1. Out of the 541,433 villages declared as ODF, 438,342 have been verified to be ODF. There can be a two part answer.
  2. First, that the 2017-18 survey again shows 95.6 per cent villages declared and verified as ODF continued to remain ODF. T
  3. here is some slippage, but not as much as one might have thought.
  4. Use of media and campaigns like “DarwazaBandh” have led to behavior change and public awareness of the need for sanitation.
  5. The Swachh Bharat urban and rural projects have set-off healthy competition among cities and districts.
  6. SHGs, NGOs and popular icons have pitched in and the results are showing in the form of a record number of sustainable toilets, open defecation-free towns, schools with gender specific toilets and decrease in water borne diseases in ODF villages and towns.
  7. Making functional toilets a compulsory qualification for contesting panchayat elections in Haryana and Rajasthan shows the determination to achieve the dream
  8. The dropout rate of females from schools and colleges is decreasing and those that had left have come to school after construction of toilets.
  9. The spread of communicable diseases has seen a downward trend in villages that have performed well in SBM.


  1. Swachha Bharat Kosh, a fund created for SBM programs hasn’t taken off well.
  2. Private participation by way of CSR is less as interested private companies do not have detailed project report.
  3. Most of the money is going towards latrine construction, and very little towards information, education, and communication.
  4. No Proper facilities for disposal of human solid waste.
  5. Villages don’t have sewage systems because of which pit-latrines are constructed. which require manual scavengers to pick up the faeces, or for faeces to be washed away and potentially pollute water sources.
  6. Mission is still struggling in bringing behavioral changes in rural population, i.e. World Bank research states that-
  • “A staggering 48 per cent of Indians continue to defecate in the open despite large scale efforts from the government to raise awareness about the harmful aspects of open defecation and subsidise latrine construction, and growing latrine ownership.

Way Forward

  1. Sanitation needs to be seen as a life cycle issue and hence providing sanitation facilities at work, education and other public spaces is important.
  2. This requires investing in the right place at the right time and in the most appropriate manner.
  3. The SBM should not become yet another government scheme that makes the right noises initially only to die a quiet death once the spotlight moves away.
  4. SBM is definitely with great goals and objectives, the issues associated with finance, implementation & awareness needs to be tackled in the right manner, every citizen of India should involve themselves and inculcate the behavioural changes to the literates and the illiterates towards cleanliness respectively.


Swachh Survekshan

  • Swachh Survekshan is a ranking exercise taken up by the Government of India to assess rural and urban areas for their levels of cleanliness and active implementation of Swachhata mission initiatives in a timely and innovative manner.
  • The objective of the survey is to encourage large scale citizen participation and create awareness amongst all sections of society about the importance of working together towards making towns and cities a better place to live in. Additionally, the survey also intends to foster a spirit of healthy competition among towns and cities to improve their service delivery to citizens, towards creating cleaner cities and towns.
  • The Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India takes up the SwachhSurvekshan in urban areas and the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in rural areas.
  • The Quality Council of India (QCI) has been commissioned the responsibility of carrying out the assessment.


  1. Swachhagrahis are the foot soldiers of the SBM (G) and the motivators for bringing about behaviour change with respect to key sanitation practices in rural areas.
  2. Role of swachhagrahis is one of the key factors in achieving the ODF status and sustaining it through post ODF activities.
  3. A swachhagrahi is a volunteer who can come from any background, including a local ASHA worker, ANM, anganwadi worker, and staff, water line man, pump operator, member of NCO/CSOs, youth organisations or from the general public living in villages.”
  4. Beyond the obvious, there are several things swachhagrahis do – geo-tagging toilets, verifying household behaviour, converting old toilets and retro-fitting them, engaging in other forms of cleanliness.
Swachh Bharat Mission

[op-ed snap] Why Swachh Bharat Abhiyan matters for India’s childrenop-ed snap


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development & management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: International Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS)

Mains level: Link between Swacch Bharat Abhiyan and Child health


Low height of children in India

  1. India, which has moved up in income and several development indicators, has made very little progress in the decade between 2006 and 2016 in one key aspect: the height of children
  2. One major reason for this is the lack of improvement in sanitation over the past decade, new research suggests
  3. Indian children and adults, especially female and from marginalized groups, are among the shortest in the world, data from the International Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) system show
  4. India accounts for nearly a third of the world’s stunted children, and this proportion has not changed much since 2005-06

Factors behind this

  1. Inter-country differences in height are often commonly believed to be on account of genetics and ethnicity, but the World Health Organization (WHO) notes that “the effect of ethnic differences on the growth of infants and young children in populations is small compared with the effects of the environment
  2. A population’s height is measured in relation to what that population’s height could be in optimal conditions—optimal family health, food and sanitation

India’s growth not reflecting on child heights

  1. Despite its economic and other successes over the last decade, India has not done well on some of the key determinants of child height
  2. Maternal nutrition, which plays a big role in the birth weight and height of the child, has a lifelong impact on the child’s health and other life outcomes
  3. Despite improvements, three out of 10 Indian women still begin their pregnancies underweight, and half of all pregnant women in 2015-16 were anaemic
  4. While there have been improvements in breastfeeding rates, the dietary diversity for infants has actually worsened

Role of sanitation

  1. The lack of sanitation and the practice of open defecation is another big driver of childhood undernutrition
  2. Faecal germs spread by open defecation cause debilitating diarrhoeal diseases among children, which hamper their ability to absorb nutrients and grow
  3. Indian districts with low levels of access to toilets have much higher rates of child undernourishment compared with districts with relatively high levels of access to toilets
  4. If India had halved its 2005-06 rates of open defecation by 2015-16, child heights would be one-tenth of a standard deviation better than they are, and if it had eliminated open defecation, the effect would have been more than doubled

Way forward

  1. Across the world, people are taller than they have ever been, propelled by economic growth and better health outcomes
  2. India is getting taller too, but not at the rate that its economic progress would predict
Swachh Bharat Mission

India gets its first sewer cleaning machinePriority 1

Image Source


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Sulabh Sewer Cleaning Machine

Mains level: Measures to end Manual Scavenging activities


  • In order to reduce sewer deaths and put an end to the unsafe practice of manual scavenging, the Sulabh International introduced India’s first “sewer cleaning machine”.

Sulabh Sewer Cleaning Machine

  1. The machine costs Rs 43 lakh and was unveiled on the occasion of World Toilet Day 2018.
  2. The new machine is ideal for periodic mechanical de-silting of manholes and to flush out sewer lines using the powerful jetting pump capable of producing 150 bar operating pressure and a flow of 150 litres per minute.
  3. It is also capable of de-choking sewer lines using specially designed flexible steel rods.
  4. The machine will do away with 99 per cent of manual scavenging in the country, where at least one worker has died while cleaning sewers or septic tanks every five days since the beginning of 2017.

Features of the Machine

  1. The machine will ensure that no safai karamchari dies inside the sewer.
  2. To avert such tragedies the Sulabh sewer cleaning machine is electro-hydraulically operated, with personal protective devices and a quick-view pipe inspection camera which extends up to 20 feet.
  3. The quick-view pipe view camera is designed to felicitate inspection of manholes, sewer, tunnels, tanks, mainline and other lateral pipeline facilities with an outstanding zoom function (industrial HD camera), scalable carbon fibre rods and a sunlight presentable controller.
  4. With the machine, a worker won’t have to enter the sewers.
  5. But if the need arises and a person has to go, then the machine is fully equipped with gas checking machine, protective gears and dress to protect the workers from harmful gases.
Swachh Bharat Mission

[op-ed snap] Tackling India’s open defecation problemop-ed snap


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation

From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Swacch Bharat Mission

Mains level: Various behavioural changes required in SBM for its continued success


Success of Swacch Bharat

  1. The 2017 Swachh Survekshan survey conducted by the Quality Council of India reports that 62% of rural households now have a toilet
  2. This is an increase of over 20 percentage points since 2014
  3. The survey concludes that more than 90% of the individuals who had access to toilets were using them
  4. While the ambition behind and success to date of the Swachh Bharat mission are laudable, it is at risk of unravelling unless it can ensure that India remains permanently open defecation free

Problems in the program structure

  1. The lengthy queues, lack of water supply and the poor communication in remote and tribal populations have all resulted in low uptake in areas where it is needed the most
  2. Policymakers hoped that once enough toilets were built to declare India open defecation free, it would continue to remain so
  3. This failed to take into account that, unlike eradicating smallpox or polio, eliminating open defecation isn’t a one-off
  4. To truly make India open defecation free requires a sustainable change in societal mindset and behaviour

Adopting ‘System 2’ approach

  1. One way to bring about behavioural change is to adopt, what psychologists refer to as System 2 drivers of change
  2. These focus on spreading rational knowledge (germ theory), having explicit action plans (such as personal and political commitments to change) and using human emotions of pride and shame to change behaviour
  3. Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) programmes is one such approach
  4. It promotes the mobilisation of local communities to talk openly about, appraise and analyse their defecation practices
  5. Triggers, both psychological and visual, are used to shock and disgust people in an effort to move away from such practices
  6. Maharashtra with its adoption of the ‘Good Morning Squads’, Indore with its ‘dibba gang’ and Delhi with its Gabbar posters, are all using System 2 drivers to trigger behavioural change
  7. Emphasis must be put on ensuring proper training to prevent facilitators from using tactics of public shaming and coercion

Altrnative: ‘System 1 approach’

  1. Poorly understood and inadequately adopted by policymakers, System 1 drivers play a critical role in facilitating the desired behaviour
  2. Research suggests that people tend to stick to their existing habits for tasks performed frequently and so, System 1 drivers, rather than focusing on changing habits, look to cultivate existing ones into a more positive outcome
  3. They tap into the unconscious, cue-driven behaviours that all humans have
  4. To mitigate open defecation, a simple but ingenious System 1 driver would be the building of public toilets in fields which people already use to defecate openly
  5. Leveraging India’s recent growth in mobile connectivity and growth in constructed household toilets, incentive programs for increased latrine use can also issue text message reminders, scheduled and framed to promote latrine usage at the same time and place each day

Strategic timing

  1. Strategic timing of key interventions can also go a long way in disrupting behaviour
  2. For example, promoting the use of toilets during the monsoon, when people find it difficult to defecate openly, or launching new interventions during the outbreak of a disease when people are actively thinking about hygiene, are ways to ensure a new behaviour is developed
  3. Lastly, initiatives creating an annual ritual, aligned with prevalent religious beliefs, when a village is declared open defecation free can ensure change is celebrated and thus, sustained in the long run

Way forward

  1. For India to permanently eradicate open defecation, the Swachh Bharat Mission must adopt three pillars of support
  2. The first must provide and maintain the infrastructure needed to aid toilet use
  3. The second must motivate people to change behaviour towards toilet use
  4. The third must harness cues and automatic habits to drive positive behaviour
Swachh Bharat Mission

[op-ed snap] Making India open defecation freeop-ed snap


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development & management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, World Toilet Summit

Mains level: Singapore model of cleanliness and how India can adapt it to become open defecation free


Sanitation scenario in the world

  1. About 2.3 billion people in the world do not have access to clean, safe and reliable toilets
  2. They have to walk for miles every day to reach a safe spot where they can relieve themselves in the open
  3. Inadequate sanitation is estimated to cause 280,000 deaths worldwide, annually

Scenario in India

  1. In India, about 732 million people do not have access to proper toilets
  2. As much as 90% of the river water is contaminated by faeces
  3. People drink water from the same rivers, bathe and wash their clothes and utensils there, and even cook food with the contaminated water
  4. Pathogens and worms from the faeces spread life-threatening diseases like diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid, schistosomiasis and trachoma

Impact on women

  1. Rapes occur when women and young girls are on their way to fields to defecate at night
  2. Each day, they have to suffer humiliation while squatting near gutters or bushes
  3. Most girls drop out of schools at an early age because of the lack of toilets

Swacch Bharat Abhiyan 

  1. India’s sanitation crisis has started to improve drastically ever since the launch of ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’
  2. The campaign vowed to combat the sanitation crisis within five years by setting a target of building 110 million toilets nationwide—the largest toilet-building programme in the history of mankind
  3. More than 83 million household toilets have already been built in India
  4. India can replicate Singapore’s success story for achieving benefits out of SBA

Singapore model

  1. The campaign is similar to the one launched in Singapore post-independence when open defecation was a common sight in the 1950s-60s
  2. Even sophisticated urban areas had primitive toilet systems where human waste was collected manually in buckets and disposed directly into nearby waterways
  3. Singapore did not have the time or resources to build an expensive curative health-care system
  4. It, therefore, invested in toilet hygiene and clean water as a preventive health strategy, which was much cheaper and far more effective
  5. By focussing on providing clean water and sanitation, Singapore created a healthy and productive workforce, ready for international business and commerce by the 2000s

Challenges in India

  1. The major challenges of sanitation in India arise from puritan religious beliefs
  2. Many people in India view toilets as impure and refrain from installing them within their household premises
  3. Most defecate in the open as it is something they have grown accustomed to since their childhood
  4. No matter how many toilets the government builds, the country will never be able to become open defecation free until people start using them

Suggested solutions

  1. In order to make India 100% open defecation free, it is essential to launch a comprehensive behavioural change strategy similar to Singapore that focuses on changing the mindset of people and eradicating the open defecation habit
  2. Toilets need to be repositioned as a status symbol that is desired by all
  3. School textbooks should include chapters on sanitation
  4. Both children and adults should be shown films and TV programmes on the subject to help them understand the importance of defecating in toilets
  5. Toilets need to be projected as a trend that people can follow, rather than forcing them as a prescription
  6. India needs to move beyond that and take steps towards efficient faecal sludge management for a safer environment which does not pose any threat to the health of its people
  7. Post construction of toilets, the government should establish a monitoring system that makes sure that the latrines are emptied regularly when they fill up and the waste is decomposed safely, and not into nearby rivers or oceans
  8. In rural areas, focus needs to be laid upon panchayati raj institutions, which can be used as a platform to promote sustainable sanitation practices and creation of public-supported frameworks of organic disposal and utilisation of human waste
  9. Platforms like World Toilet Summit, organized on World Toilet Day in Mumbai, will highlight the importance of faecal sludge management and behavioural change which will help in attracting investments in the sewerage networks that ensure safe transportation of faecal sludge to the treatment units

Way forward

  1. It is only through a holistic sanitation model that we can break the open-defecation-disease-expenditure-poverty cycle and make India a progressive and productive nation
Swachh Bharat Mission

[pib] Beyond Dispute: The SBM FactsPIBPrelims Only


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level:  Stats related to SBM- Grameen

Mains level: The stats mentioned in the newscard highlights the success of SBM in rural India.



  1. The Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) recently launched the 150th birth year celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi, as the Mission enters its fifth and final year of implementation.
  2. The SBM has transformed into a massive Jan Andolan.
  3. However, some recent reports have sought to undermine the progress made by the SBM on the ground, with incorrect claims.
  4. In this regard, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation presents the following clarifications highlighting the success of the mission.

Imbibing Behaviour Change

  1. The SBM has shown tremendous progress these last 4 years leading to massive behaviour change campaign and people’s movement underway on the ground.
  2. Since the inception of the program, the rural sanitation coverage of India has increased significantly, from 39% in October 2014 to 95% today.
  3. Nearly 8.7 crore household toilets have been constructed under the Mission.
  4. As a result, 25 States/Union Territories, 529 districts, and 5,09,067 villages have declared themselves as free from open defecation.

Flagged by World Bank

  1. The National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey (NARSS) conducted under the World Bank support project found that 93.4% of the households in rural India who have access to a toilet use it.
  2. It confirmed that behaviour change is happening on the ground.
  3. The survey covered 92040 households in 6136 villages across States and UTs in India.

Seamless Funding

  1. The Swachh Bharat Mission is the world’s largest public funded sanitation program.
  2. Between the Centre and State, over Rs. 1 lakh crore would have been allocated for the Mission in 2019.
  3. In addition to the budget allocation of ₹15,000 crore this year (FY 2018-2019), ₹15,000 crore has been further allocated through Extra Budgetary Resources.

Communication strategy

  1. Behaviour Change Communication is undertaken under the SBM at the ground level and is complemented with mass media at the national level as well.
  2. For example, mass media campaigns such as Darwaza Band communicates the messages of women empowerment, promotion of twin pit toilets and usage of toilets.
  3. While the SBM foot soldiers, Swachhagrahis, participate in the triggering of communities for behaviour change and sustaining improved behaviors through Inter-Personal Communication.
  4. There are currently over 5 lakh Swachhagrahis across the country undertaking behaviour change interventions at the grassroots.

Water for ODF

  1. A policy decision has been taken under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) to prioritize the provision of piped water supply (PWS) for villages that become ODF.
  2. Of the 5 lakh plus ODF villages, translating to 14.13 lakh habitations, 6.16 habitations have PWS through public stand posts. The remaining are being covered on priority.
  3. At a technical level, the SBM promotes the use of the rural pan, a steep slope pan, which requires no more than 1-1.5 liters of water for every use of the toilet, addressing challenges related to scarcity of water.


  1. A strong parallel focus is being maintained on the quality of the work on the ground and sustaining progress much after the program reaches its goal in 2019.
  2. Verification of all ODF declared villages is very unique to SBM as multiple rounds of verification are carried out for the village by the districts and States.
  3. Within 90 days of declaration, verification is done for each household in the village.
  4. Another round of sustainability verification is done 180 days after the first round.

Impact of SBM

  1. A recent WHO study reports that SBM would have led to saving of 300,000 lives by 2019 and around 150,000 lives would be saved annually thereafter.
  2. In a report titled ‘The Financial and Economic Impact of SBM in India (2017)’ UNICEF estimated that a household in an ODF village in rural India saves Rs. 50,000 every year.
  3. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has released a study that shows significant improvements in diarrhoea prevalence and stunting among children in ODF villages, compared to nearby non-ODF villages.
  4. The Swachh Bharat model of sanitation has led India into a sanitation revolution, and the country is on track for an ODF India by October 2019.
Swachh Bharat Mission

[pib] Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation ConventionIOCRPIBPrelims Only


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level:  MGISC

Mains level: Nearing success of SBM-Rural.



  1.  116 foreign delegates including sanitation ministers visited select sites related to the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi on the “Gandhi Trail”.
  2. The “Gandhi Trail” is a trip to Gujarat, where the delegates will visit the Sabarmati Ashram and see Swachh Bharat at work on the ground in Punsari village.

Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention

  1. The President has inaugurated the MGISC organised by the Drinking Water and Sanitation Ministry to mark the beginning of the 150thbirth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi.
  2. The MGISC is a four-day convention which includes more than 160 international representatives from 68 countries.
  3. It aims to share sanitation success stories and lessons from the participating countries.

 Reality Check on ODF status

  1. India is close to becoming open defecation free.
  2. The rural sanitation coverage of India has increased significantly, from 39% in October 2014 to 94.44% as of 30 September 2018.
  3. Nearly 86.5 million household toilets have been constructed under the Mission.
  4. 25 States/Union Territories, 509 districts, and 500,000 villages have declared themselves free from open defecation.
  5. The number of people practicing open defecation in rural India has gone down from 550 million in 2014, to less than 150 million till date.
Swachh Bharat Mission

[pib] MoHUA partners with Google to launch #LooReview CampaignPIBPrelims Only


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level:  Loo Review Campaign, Swachh Bharat Mission- Urban

Mains level: Measures to ensure proper sanitation and maintenance of Public Toilets to prevent open defecation and urination.


Locating Public Toilets on G-maps

  1. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, under the aegis of Swachh Bharat Mission – Urban has partnered with Google to launch the Loo Review campaign.
  2. It is aimed to encourage all local guides in India to rate and review public toilets on Google Maps.
  3. This campaign will allow all citizens to locate public toilets in their cities on Google Maps, Search and the Assistant and also provide feedback on the same.
  4. 500+ cities in India with more than 30,000 toilets with the name of “SBM Toilet” are currently live on Google Maps.
  5. The joint campaign to be run throughout October and November 2018 is an effort to increase the awareness and ease of locating public toilets across India.
  6. Local Guides are people who share reviews, photos, and knowledge on Google Maps to help people explore the world.

Ensuring Proper Maintenance

  1. One of the objectives of the SBM- U is to provide sanitation coverage through public toilet facilities across cities in India for achieving Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.
  2. There is now a need to ensure that the ODF status is sustained through continuous usage and proper maintenance of public toilets.
  3. The ‘Public toilets near me’ feature will benefit citizens, particularly women and senior citizens, who often find it difficult to find access to clean toilets in the public space.
  4. The feedback provide by local guides through the Loo Review campaign will press upon the Urban Local Bodies to take proactive steps to improve public toilet facilities across the country.
Swachh Bharat Mission

[op-ed snap] Lethal filth: India’s manual scavenging problemop-ed snap


Mains Paper 2: Governance | mechanisms, laws, institutions & Bodies constituted for the protection & betterment of these vulnerable sections

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Constitutional and other provisions to end manual scavenging and their lax implementation leading to loss of lives of manual scavengers


Deaths of manual scavengers

  1. More and more incidents are being reported of workers dying in septic tanks
  2. Sanitation has expanded along with urbanisation, but it has brought with it a higher number of deaths as workers clean septic tanks manually
  3. This is a shocking reminder that India’s high-profile sanitation campaign has done little to alter some basic ground realities

Provisions against manual scavenging

  1. The workers are apparently asked to perform the cleaning task in violation of Section 7 of the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013
  2. Under the provision, no person, local authority or agency should engage or employ people for hazardous cleaning of sewers and septic tanks
  3. Mechanised cleaning of septic tanks is the prescribed norm
  4. A violation can be punished with two years of imprisonment or fine or both

Ignorance of safety provisions

  1. The requirements of worker safety and the provision of safety gear for rare instances when human intervention is unavoidable are often ignored
  2. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in its manual of 2016 on toilet design acknowledges that in rural areas, mechanical pumps to clear septic tanks are not available
  3. In the absence of political will and social pressure, more lives could be lost because more tanks are being built in rural and urban areas as part of the drive to construct toilets

What needs to be done?

  1. The law should be enforced vigorously to eliminate manual scavenging in its entirety
  2. If the law on manual scavenging is to be effective, the penalties must be uniformly and visibly enforced
  3. It is equally important for State governments to address the lack of adequate machinery to clean septic tanks
  4. The Centre must ensure that proposed toilet designs in which fully composted waste must be removed from pits every two years do not become a fresh avenue to oppress members of some communities who are expected to perform such work, reflecting social inequalities

Way forward

  1. India’s sanitation problem is complex, and the absence of adequate toilets is only one lacuna
  2. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan should make expansion of the sewer network a top priority and come up with a scheme for scientific maintenance that will end manual cleaning of septic tanks
Swachh Bharat Mission

[pib] Global Sanitation Convention to Herald 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma GandhiPrelims OnlyPriority 1


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Swachh Bharat Mission, Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention (MGISC)

Mains level: Globalizing the success of SBM.



  • Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation will organize a global sanitation convention to mark the beginning of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi.

Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention (MGISC)

  1. It will be a 4-day international conference that will bring together Sanitation Minsters and other leaders in WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) from around the world.
  2. The Convention will culminate on 2nd October, Gandhi Jayanti, which is also celebrated as the Swachh Bharat Diwas.
  3. Several mass mobilization events and campaigns are being planned across the States in the run up to this Day.
  4. The global Convention will be aimed at sharing sanitation success stories and lessons across all participating countries.
  5. The success of the Swachh Bharat Mission will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the global achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6.2), i.e. to achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all.
Swachh Bharat Mission

Swachhata to target open urination tooGovt. Schemes


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Swachh Bharat Mission

Mains level: Behaviour Change is the prime mover of SBM. Sanitation Infrastructure alone will not work unless behaviour change is imbibed in the implementation of SBM.


Imbibing Behaviour Change

  1. Under new norms, cities and towns wanting to be declared ODF+ (Open Defecation Free Plus) must also be free of public urination and not just open defecation.
  2. This is the first time that the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) is officially including the elimination of public urination in its agenda.
  3. The rural division of SBM had previously said preventing public urination was not on their agenda.
  4. The Mission is focussed on infrastructure and regulatory changes, on the assumption that this will lead to behaviour change.

Open Defecation Free Protocol

  1. The ODF+ and ODF++ protocols, which were released by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs are the next step for the SBM-U and aim to ensure sustainability in sanitation outcomes.
  2. The original ODF protocol is notified as ODF city/ward if, at any point of the day, not a single person is found defecating in the open.
  3. The new ODF+ protocol says that a city, ward or work circle could be declared ODF+ if at any point of the day, not a single person is found defecating and/or urinating in the open, and all community and public toilets are functional and well-maintained.
  4. The ODF++ protocol adds the condition that “faecal sludge/septage and sewage is safely managed and treated, with no discharging and/or dumping of untreated faecal sludge/septage and sewage in drains, water bodies or open areas.

Open Urination- A major problem

  1. Urination has always been implied as part of the ODF agenda, that’s why there is a subsidy for urinals, not just toilets.
  2. The third-party verification of ODF areas, being carried out by the Quality Council of India, has not so far checked for public urination.
  3. It is currently impractical to include urination.
  4. Public urination, especially by men, is almost entirely a behaviour change issue. Even men who have access to toilets use the roads as a public urinal.
  5. They are forced to do it because of the lack of cleanliness, accessibility and visibility.
  6. The ODF+ protocol lays down 20 specific conditions across cleanliness, support infrastructure, accessibility and operations and maintenance.

“Toilet Near Me”

  1. The Mission is also pushing forward in its drive to get public toilets listed on Google Maps.
  2. A search for toilets nearby will now display the location of public toilets in over 700 cities, and allow users to rate and review them.
  3. If people can easily find a public toilet, they will not use the road.

Way Forward: Monitoring Behaviour Change

  1. The SBM-U does have a 10% budget for IEC activities (Information, Education and Communication) using both digital media and on-field activities such as street dramas.
  2. The SBM is not depending on awareness activities for behaviour change.
  3. In urban areas, behaviour change is automatically guaranteed if there is proper access.
  4. The Mission’s monitoring of behaviour change is currently limited to the Swachh Survekshan surveys which include physical observation and citizen feedback.
  5. A national sample-based survey is also being planned for urban areas.
Swachh Bharat Mission

[op-ed snap] What Swachh Bharat Abhiyan ignoresop-ed snap


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Swachh Bharat Mission

Mains level: Flaws in the implementation of SBM & ways to address them


Swachh Bharat Mission: Forced Labour for scavengers

  1. In 2014, PM Modi announced his government’s resolve to accomplish the vision of a clean India by 2019, on the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhi
  2. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA) was an unprecedented nationwide initiative aimed to inspire the public to voluntarily clean public spaces as a service to the nation
  3. Concurrently, municipalities began to employ more contractual labourers — mostly scavengers forced into the profession by their caste — to remove waste

Flawed approach of SBA

  1. This approach is an uncritical adoption of the 19th century Western model of removing waste from the public gaze
  2. Although stopping the spread of disease was the primary intention in the West, sanitation is now largely an extension of visual aesthetics — sanitation means the absence of “filthiness all around us”
  3. The Swachh Bharat campaign hardly addresses a reworking of the underground sewerage system
  4. This is a cause for grave concern since many labourers have died recently while cleaning jammed manholes that open into the sewerage system
  5. These deaths have a caste pattern and over 300 cases of deaths due to manual scavenging, mostly from particular caste groups, were reported in 2017

What should be done vs What is being done

  1. Punitive measures should exhort the public to learn where and how one should urinate, defecate and dispose of garbage
  2. But the campaign burdens the contractual labourer with an ‘exclusive’ right to cleaning public spaces while making it a voluntary act for the ‘public’ to not defecate, urinate or litter in random spaces

Door to door collection another flaw

  1. The mission offers a door-to-door collection of waste
  2. Workers are now expected to whistle to announce their presence upon arrival in their designated areas and members from the households bring unsegregated garbage, workers collect those in a sack and store garbage in a designated place
  3.  The workers, as per the campaign, have to go to the yard to segregate the waste
  4. Manually segregating the waste at the landfill compromises their hygiene and health
  5. Until they were banned in 1993, dry latrines were emptied through a similar door-to-door service which was the worst form of exploitation for manual scavengers

Casteist nature of SBA

  1. Similarities between the secular SBA and the casteist form of manual scavenging are evident, but they have gone unnoticed
  2. The secular sounding Swachh Bharat offers nothing but concealment of caste
  3. The SBA enables a disjunction between the cleaning and disposing of waste, where the cleaning is a voluntary ‘service’ which caste Hindus are called upon to undertake, while collecting and disposing waste is a ‘duty’ relegated to municipal workers from particular castes

Way Forward

  1. Any tangible achievement of a clean India is possible only if the stigma attached to sanitary labour, place and waste are critically addressed by caste-neutralising these professions and through the adoption of technologies
  2. Even if we succeed in putting up a façade of cleanliness, we need to remember that a clean village exists because an ‘unclean’ caste has absorbed all the ‘filth’ of the village
Swachh Bharat Mission

[pib] Swachh Survekshan 2019, ODF+ & ODF ++ Protocols and Swachh Manch Web PortalGovt. SchemesPIBPrelims OnlyPriority 1


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims Level: Various initiatives under Swachh Bharat Mission

Mains Level: The newscard aims to assess impacts of SBM on the onset of its final phase.



  1. Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) is set to launch the Swachh Survekshan 2019.
  2. Parallelly, a slew of new initiatives under the SBM-Urban as well as the Ease of Living Index will also be launched.

Success of Swachh Bharat

  1. The recently concluded Swachh Survekshan 2018 ranked 4,203 Cities.
  2. Swachh Survekshan has caught the imagination of citizens and stakeholder alike: in 2016, 1 lakh citizens provided their feedback in the survey.
  3. In 2017, nearly 20 lakh citizen feedback was received. 2018 garnered feedback from 38 lakh citizens, a milestone to the way in which the SBM has become an integral part of citizens’ mental maps.
  4. The survey has already succeeded in fostering a spirit of healthy competition among towns and cities to improve their service delivery to citizens, towards creating cleaner cities.

Highlights of Swachh Survekshan 2018

  1. 79% of residents find their area cleaner than last year
  1. 73,875 waste pickers provided formal livelihood
  2. In 137 cities, > 60% of the bulk garbage generators are doing on-site composting
  3. 33% cities of >1 lakh population have ICT based monitoring of their Community and Public Toilets

Swachh Survekshan 2019

  1. With an aim to increase the coverage of the ranking exercise MoHUA now proposes to conduct its fourth survey – Swachh Survekshan 2019 to rank all cities under Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U).
  2. The distinctive features of the survey includes encouraging large scale citizen participation, ensuring sustainability of initiatives taken towards garbage free and open defecation free cities, providing credible outcomes which would be validated by third party certification etc.
  3. The Swachh Survekshan 2019 toolkit that will be launched will contain the detailed survey methodology and component indicators with scores to help cities to prepare themselves for taking the survey.

SBM ODF+ and ODF++ Protocol

  1. The SBM ODF+ protocol focuses on sustaining community/ public toilet usage by ensuring their functionality, cleanliness and maintenance.
  2. The SBM ODF++ will focus on achieving sanitation sustainability by addressing complete sanitation value chain, including safe containment, processing and disposal of fecal sludge and septage.
  3. The ODF+ and ++ protocol and toolkit to be launched will detail out the necessary conditions to be achieved by cities for declaring themselves as ODF+ and ODF++, along with the detailed steps required for third party certifications.

Swachh Manch web portal

  1. It is a web-based platform which aims to bring together every stakeholder contributing to the Swachh Bharat Mission under a common platform.
  2. It will allow stakeholders to create/invite/participate in volunteering opportunities around neighborhoods.
  3. It will enable uploads of pictorial evidence of citizens and organizations participating in the initiatives, as well as record the number of hours volunteered, as acknowledgement of citizens’/organisations’ efforts and contributions to the cause of ‘swachhata’.
  4. The Swachh Manch will also be integrated with the existing Swachhata App to act as a citizens’ grievance redressal platform.

Ease of Living Index

  1. The Ease of Living assessment standards are closely linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and will provide a strong impetus to India’s effort for systematic tracking progress of SDGs in the urban areas.
  2. It will also be launched along with an Ease of Living Index dashboard.
  3. Apart from presenting the overall national ranking of 111 cities, the dashboard will present ranking of the cities across pillars, category, geographical zone and population classifications.
  4. This framework comprises four pillars namely Institutional, Social, Economic and Physical which are further broken down into 15 categories and 78 indicators.
  5. The dashboard will also have a comparison feature that will allow users to analyse the performance across cities on various liveability parameters.
Swachh Bharat Mission

[pib] Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation Launches the Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2018PIB


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2018

Mains level: Progress monitoring of Swachh Bharat Mission


Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2018

  1. An independent survey agency will conduct the survey in all districts and the results will be announced in the form of a ranking of all districts and states on the basis of quantitative and qualitative sanitation (Swachhata) parameters.
  2. The top-performing states and districts are expected to be awarded on 2nd October 2018.

Particulars of the Survey

  1. As part of Swachh Survekshan Grameen 6,980 villages in 698 districts across India will be covered.
  2. Total 34,000 public places namely schools, anganwadis, public health centres, haat/bazaars/religious places in these villages will be visited for the survey.
  3. Citizens’ feedback will be collected from over 50 lakh citizens on SBM related issues through direct interaction as well as online feedback.
  4. During the process, 65% weightage has been assigned to the findings and outcome from the survey and 35% to the service level parameters to be obtained from the IMIS of the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
  5. The weights to different elements of the SSG would be as below:
  • Direct Observation of sanitation in public places: 30%
  • Citizen’s Feedback on sanitation parameters: 35%
  • Service Level Progress on sanitation progress in the country as per SBMG- MIS: 35%

The progress of Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen)

  1. Over 7.7 crore toilets have been built in rural India under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) since its launch in October 2014, with a usage of 93% as per an independent third-party survey conducted in 2017-18 across all States/UTs.
  2. Nearly 4 lakh villages, over 400 districts and 19 States and Union Territories have declared themselves free from open defecation.
Swachh Bharat Mission

Sulabh founder bags Nikkei Asia Prize


Mains Paper 1: Social issues | Social empowerment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Nikkei Asia Prize for Culture and Community,

Mains level: Contribution of various individuals and NGOs in ensuring better sanitation facilities in urban as well as rural areas

Award for tackling poor hygiene and discrimination

  1. Noted social reformer and founder of Sulabh International Bindeshwar Pathak was honored with Japan’s prestigious ‘Nikkei Asia Prize for Culture and Community’
  2. The award was given to him for his significant work in tackling poor hygiene and discrimination
  3. Mr. Pathak’s two-pit pour-flush ecological compost toilets have provided cheap and environment-friendly toilets to millions


Nikkei Asia Prize for Culture and Community

  1. The Nikkei Asia Prize is an award which recognizes the achievements of people and organizations that have improved the lives of people throughout Asia
  2. The awards were created and presented by Nikkei Inc, one of the largest media corporations in Japan
  3. Launched in 1996, the program honors people in Asia who have made significant contributions in one of the three areas: regional growth; science, technology and innovation; and culture
  4. Former PM Manmohan Singh and Infosys Chairman Narayan Murti are among the few Indians who have won the prize in the past
Swachh Bharat Mission

[pib] Ten new Swachh Iconic Places launched under Swachh Bharat Mission


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Try to recall iconic sites and their location in respective states

Mains level: Initiatives under SIP to improve urban infrastructure


Launching of Phase III of Swachh Iconic Places

  1. The third phase of SIP was today launched at Mana village which is situated close to the Badrinath temple in Uttarakhand.
  2. The village, which now becomes a Swachh Iconic Place, is visited by tourists and pilgrims as it houses places of mythological interest.

Ten new iconic sites have been taken up under Phase III

  • RaghavendraSwamy Temple (Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh);
  • Hazardwari Palace (Murshidabad, West Bengal);
  • Brahma Sarovar Temple (Kurukshetra, Haryana);
  • VidurKuti (Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh);
  • Mana village (Chamoli, Uttarakhand);
  • Pangong Lake (Leh-Ladakh, J&K);
  • Nagvasuki Temple (Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh);
  • ImaKeithal/market (Imphal, Manipur);
  • Sabarimala Temple (Kerala); and
  • Kanvashram (Uttarakhand)

These new sites have joined the 20 iconic places under Phase I & II where special Sanitation work is already underway

Phase I and II iconic sites have seen notable initiatives taken up like:

  • improved sewage infrastructure, installation of Sewage Treatment Plant (STP),
  • drainage facilities,
  • improved sanitation facilities,
  • water vending machines (Water ATMs),
  • Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) set-up,
  • structure restoration, roads maintenance, lighting arrangements, beautification of parks, better transport facilities in approach etc.


Swachh Iconic Places (SIP)

  1. The project envisioned by the Prime Minister is being coordinated by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation with the support of State governments and local administration
  2. SIP is a collaborative project with three other central Ministries: Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, M/o Culture, and M/o Tourism.
  3. It also involves local administrations in the concerned States and Public Sector and Private Companies as sponsoring partners.
  4. Launched in 2016, the Phase I iconic places are Ajmer Sharif Dargah, CST Mumbai, Golden Temple, Kamakhya Temple, Manikarnika Ghat, Meenakshi Temple, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, Shree Jagannath Temple, The Taj Mahal and Tirupati Temple.
  5. Phase II of Swachh Iconic Places was launched in Nov 2017 and included Gangotri, Yamunotri, Mahakaleshwar Temple, Charminar, Convent and Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Kalady, Gommateswara, BaidyanathDham, Gaya Tirth and Somnath temple.
Swachh Bharat Mission

[pib] Ministry of Railways PSU IRCTC introduces bagasse based food packaging to commemorate World Environment Day 2018PIB


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : World Environment Day 2018, Trains currently using Bagasse Packaging

Mains level : Initiatives to promote use of non- biodegradable materials for packaging


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level:  World Environment Day 2018, Bagasse Packaging

Mains level:  Initiatives to promote the use of non- biodegradable materials for packaging


  • IRCTC with this new initiative reaffirms its commitment to a cleaner and greener India and has taken a small step in this direction to achieve the same.
  • Provision will be made to collect the used packaging which will then be processed for disposal through composting to ensure environmental sustainability.

What is Bagasse?

  • Bagasse is the fibrous remains left behind after extracting sugarcane juice
  • It is being used to make disposable cutlery and containers in which meals will be served

Aims of the Initiative

  • The aim is to progressively introduce bagasse based packaging as a viable alternative of non-bio-degradable material being currently used on all Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duranto trains managed by IRCTC
Swachh Bharat Mission

New clean mission targets 48 riverfronts, beaches


Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Read the attached story

Mains level: Problem of Plastic pollution and Govt. initiatives to clean riverfronts and beaches


Environment Ministry to clean Riverfronts and beaches

  1. As many as 48 stretches of riverfronts and beaches in the country will be cleaned up ahead of World Environment Day on 5 June, the government said.
  2. The environment ministry said in a statement that it would undertake cleaning riverfronts and beaches of plastic litter, in as many as 19 states, including nine coastal states.
  3. A recent water quality assessment indicated that there are 302 polluted stretches on 275 rivers across the country.
  4. The most polluted riverfronts include Ghaggar in Haryana, Satlej in Punjab, Hooghly in West Bengal, Cauvery in Karnataka, the Narmada in Madhya Pradesh and Ganga in Kanpur and Varanasi.
  5. Some of the beaches identified include Kannur and Calicut beaches in Kerala, Puri in Odisha, Calangute, Miramar and Colva in Goa.

Nodal Agencies

  1. The Central authorities identified the water bodies after consulting the state pollution control boards and the college of fisheries.
  2. A total of 19 teams headed by senior officers of the ministry of the environment have been formed for each of the states, which would include members of state nodal agencies, and members of the State Pollution Control Boards.
  3. Colleges, non-government organizations, National Cadet Corps, Border Security Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police and the Coast Guard would also be tapped for the exercise.

This is in line with this year’s theme of World Environment Day—

Beating plastic pollution, identified as a global emergency by the United Nations in 2017

Swachh Bharat Mission

[pib] Swachh Bharat Mission launches GOBAR-DHAN


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: GOBAR DHAN scheme, Swachh Bharat Mission

Mains level: Swacch Bharat mission and its impact on livelihoods


  • Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation, Sushri Uma Bharti launched the GOBAR (Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources – DHAN scheme at the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) Auditorium, Karnal.
  • The scheme aims to positively impact village cleanliness and generate wealth and energy from cattle and organic waste.
  • The scheme also aims at creating new rural livelihood opportunities and enhancing income for farmers and other rural people.
  • The Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) comprises two main components for creating clean villages – creating open defecation free (ODF) villages and managing solid and liquid waste in villages.
  • With over 3.5 lakh villages, 374 districts and 16 States/UTsof the country being declared ODF, the stage is set for ODF-plus activities, including measures to enhance solid and liquid waste management.
  • The GOBAR-DHAN scheme, with its focus on keeping villages clean, increasing the income of rural households, and generation of energy from cattle waste, is an important element of this ODF-plus strategy.
  • The scheme envisages the implementation of 700 biogas units in different states of the country in 2018-19.
  • Under GOBAR-Dhan, cooking gas would be provided to rural habitations and technical support would ensure that the schemes functioned on a sustainable basis.
Swachh Bharat Mission

[pib] 7-star rating under Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban)


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Star rating of garbage- free cities, Swachh Bharat Mission

Mains level: Impact of SBM in improving sanitation


  • The 1st regional workshop on the star rating of garbage- free cities, organized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) in collaboration with the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) was held in Delhi.
  • The day -long workshop was attended by over 250 Urban Local Body (ULB) officials, including Mayors and Commissioners, from New Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Haryana and neighbouring ULBs of Uttar Pradesh.
  • The Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) focuses on two key objectives- eradication of open defecation and 100% scientific solid waste management (SWM) across all 4041 statutory towns and cities. 
  • To continue the momentum on scientific management of solid waste and motivate cities to achieve more cleanliness, the Star-Rating Protocol of Garbage Free Cities was launched by MoHUA on January 2018.
  • The 7-star rating is innovatively designed on a SMART (Single metric, Measurable, Achievable, Rigorous verification and Targeted towards outcomes) approach – making it the first-of-its-kind rating tool for assessing the cleanliness of cities and towns in India. 
  • The system, based on 12 parameters, builds on the spirit of healthy competition among cities and the aspirations of cities to progress towards higher standards of “Swachhata” and its sustainability. 

Key Features of 7-star rating-Designed on a SMART approach:

  • SINGLE METRIC – Rating criteria encapsulates all components of MSWM as well as plastic waste, waste in drains and water bodies
  • MEASURABLE – Criteria under each star rating has measurable parameters (e.g.% of HHs covered by D2D collection, % of waste processed, etc.)
  • ACHIEVABLE – Each criteria and associated parameter has been devised to ensure that it is realistically achievable by cities.
  • RIGOROUS VERIFICATION – Robust 2-step verification mechanism of both self-declaration and third party verification. Cities rated 1, 2 and 4-star must carry out self-assessment and self-verification, while 3-star, 5-star and 7-star cities will need to be certified through an independent third party. Moreover, a city should be ODF before going for 3-star and above certification.
  • TARGETED TOWARDS OUTCOMES – Based on verifiable outcomes rather than inputs and processes (e.g. remediation of dumpsites, regular sweeping, collection of user charges, etc.)

Strengths of star rating protocol

  • Outcome-based tool rather than process based, hence will enable institutionalization of good practices such as source segregation, scientific waste processing, penalties & spot fines for littering, and compliance of bulk waste generators, etc.
  • Designed to enable cities to gradually evolve into a model (7-star) city, with progressive improvements in their overall cleanliness.
  • At the 7-star level, 3R components of 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) incorporated.
Swachh Bharat Mission

[op-ed snap] Wealth from wasteop-ed snap


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: GOBAR-Dhan initiative

Mains level: Success of Swacch Bharat mission


GOBAR-Dhan initiative

  1. During his budget speech, the finance minister announced the launch of “GOBAR-Dhan(Galvanising Organic Bio-Agro Resources-Dhan)
  2. The initiative has two objectives:
  • To make villages clean and generate wealth and
  • energy from cattle and other waste

3. The Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin will pilot this initiative

4. The GOBAR-Dhan initiative is expected to pilot opportunities to convert cattle dung and other organic waste to compost, biogas and even larger scale bio-CNG units

5. The programme, expected to be launched in April, aims at the collection and aggregation of cattle dung and solid waste across clusters of villages for sale to entrepreneurs to produce organic manure, biogas/bio-CNG

Tapping the full economic potential of cattle waste

  1. The 19th Livestock Census (2012) estimates India’s cattle population at 300 million, putting the production of dung at about 3 million tonnes per day
  2. Some European countries and China use animal dung and other organic waste to generate energy
  3. India is yet to tap the full economic potential of such waste

Solid and liquid waste management in rural India

  1. With the largest cattle population in the world, rural India has the potential to leverage huge quantities of gobar into wealth and energy
  2. Cattle dung, kitchen waste, and agricultural waste can be tapped to create biogas-based energy

Benefits of such initiative

  1. According to a 2014 ILO study, the productive use of dung could support 1.5 million jobs nationally
  2. For the farmer, there is a significant potential of greater income from the sale of cow dung


  1. One of the challenges for operating biogas plants, and even related higher value chain operations like bio-CNG plants, is the aggregation of cattle waste and maintaining a regular supply to plant operators
  2. Panchayats and village communities will have to play key roles to leverage the animal and organic waste that goes into water bodies, dumping sites, and landfills

Way forward

  1. Generating wealth from waste in rural areas will require the involvement of all actors and sectors
  2. Investments from the private sector and local entrepreneurs will be needed
  3. With appropriate policies and practices, the sector can be scaled up into opportunities for growth, leading to increased incomes, long-term livelihoods and, of course, more Swachh villages
Swachh Bharat Mission

[op-ed snap] India needs sewage systems, not free toiletsop-ed snap


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, GDP

Mains level: Problem of open defecation in India and how to resolve it


Policy announcement about the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

  1. In the 2018 budget speech, the finance minister declared the existing programme a success
  2. 60 million toilets were already constructed under it and government has the intention to construct an additional 20 million toilets

Problem of open defecation in India not resolved

  1. Access to free toilets has not helped resolve open defecation in India
  2. SBA is unlikely to succeed in its primary task of eliminating open defecation by October 2019
  3. India has far higher levels of open defecation than other countries of the same GDP (gross domestic product) per capita
  4. Typically, as nations get wealthier, open defecation decreases
  5. Despite increases in GDP per capita, and increase in latrine availability through the SBA, India has witnessed little decrease in open defecation

Why open defecation still prevalent?

  1. The latrines provided by governments are often used for storage, washing clothes, and as play areas—everything except the intended use
  2. The key reason for this is that basic latrines that need to be emptied out manually or pumped by simple machines are unacceptable to higher caste Hindus
  3. It is considered polluting to the individual and the home, and historically associated with untouchability
  4. The perceptions of ritual purity are particularly prevalent and persistent in rural India
  5. Indians don’t want free toilets, they want sewage systems

Solution to this problem

  1. It is not just a matter of access but a problem of perceptions of pollution, ritual purity, and caste
  2. Deeply entrenched cultural contexts must be taken into account for successful policy outcomes
  3. India needs to change perceptions of ritual purity through education and awareness in rural areas
  4. If it is not possible to change perceptions quickly, India needs to think of policy solutions that can work around the perverse caste perceptions

Another way round

  1. Change the SBA from a scheme providing free toilets, to one encouraging and enabling local governments to construct sewage systems
  2. If there is a functional sewage system, it is relatively low cost for households to build a toilet in every home that is connected to the sewage system

Way forward

  1. The SBA has minimal chance of success in the near future
  2. The government needs to rethink the solution to the problem of open defecation and focus on providing public goods like sewage systems instead of free toilets
Swachh Bharat Mission

[op-ed snap] Stumbling towards sustainable sanitationop-ed snap


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies & interventions for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Open Defecation-Free status,  Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers, Swachh Survekshan

Mains level: Steps being taken for Clean India


ODF status of cities and villages

  1. 30% of India’s 4,386 cities and a quarter of the 685 districts have been verified as being free of open defecation under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Mission)
  2. Over 4 million toilets have been built across cities, and close to 60 million toilets across the rural landscape since the mission’s launch on 2 October 2014

Target of mission

  1. Two years are left for the mission to achieve its target of an Open Defecation-Free (ODF) India
  2. The high-pressure, target-driven approach towards toilet construction is likely to gain momentum
  3. At the current rate of roughly 2,450 toilets constructed every hour mission may even meet the target

Sustainable ODF challenge

  1. The challenge will be in ensuring that ODF villages and cities are truly ODF and that they remain so
  2. Habits are difficult to change, and social norms even more
  3. Work towards behavior change usually stops cold as soon as the ODF declaration is made

Other challenges

  1. Usage of toilets can also be obstructed by simple choices like the type of toilet being built
  2. The Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin advocates low-cost, twin leach pit model
  3. Many households tend to build larger, cemented pits which local masons market as septic tanks
  4. These tanks require much more water, and a means for safe containment and disposal of the waste
  5. Water is generally scarce and sewerage connections are simply not viable in most villages

Manual scavenging will not end?

  1. The results of this proliferation of septic tanks could be disastrous not only for sustainable sanitation but also to government’s aim of ending manual scavenging
  2. Many manual scavenger deaths were reported in septic tank accidents
  3. Between 2013 and 2017, the government’s Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers was able to identify less than 14,000 manual scavenging households across the country
  4. But the Socio-Economic and Caste Census of 2011 listed over 10 times the number of manual scavengers

Lacunae in mission management

  1. There is no data on what kind of toilets have been created, or even whether they are being used consistently
  2. The Swachh Survekshan urban reports are limited to city rankings and the latest rural report for 2017 is still not available in the public domain
  3. Slow pace of verification and the lack of government monitoring post-declaration also challenge sustainability
  4. There is also absence of any form of social audits or community involvement in what is essentially meant to be a community-led movement

Way forward

  1. Mission needs to refocus itself in order to remove all these lacunae
  2. Results from this mission will affect future policies framed in this direction
Swachh Bharat Mission

[op-ed snap] More than just a counting gameop-ed snap


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: on-site sanitation system

Mains level: On-site systems as an alternative to sewerage systems



  1. The article talks about safe disposal of human waste with on-site sanitation systems

World Toilet Day

  1. November 19, 2017, was World Toilet Day, with the theme ‘Wastewater and Faecal Sludge Management’

Contribution of the Swachh Bharat Mission

  1. There is greater awareness about the importance of using toilets, largely due to the Swachh Bharat Mission launched in 2014
  2. Even Bollywood capitalised on this topic in the recent film Toilet — Ek Prem Katha

Targets under the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals

  1. These targets are not just about ‘toilets’ but also suggest improvements to the entire cycle of sanitation, which certainly begins with toilets but has to end with safe waste disposal

Why is safe disposal of waste important?

  1. Sanitation is intrinsically linked to health, and unless faecal waste is treated properly and disposed of safely
  2. It will make us sick either by contaminating our sources of drinking water or getting into the food chain

Full cycle of sanitation
Four Stages

  1. (1) Access to toilets, (2) safe containment, (3) conveyance either through the sewerage network or de-sludging trucks, (4) And treatment and disposal
  2. The waste needs to be handled safely at each of these stages in order to gain public health benefits

Issues faced by the Urban India

  1. Urban India faces considerable gaps along the full cycle of sanitation
  2. One probable reason was the belief that sewerage and sewage treatment systems could be built in all cities
  3. Sewerage systems and sewage treatment plants (STPs) (a preferred system in most western countries) are not only expensive but are also complicated to maintain

On-site systems: An alternative to sewerage systems

  1. An alternative to sewerage systems is something known as on-site systems
  2. Septic tanks and pit latrines, which are prevalent in many Indian households, fall into this category
  3. If these systems are designed, constructed and managed properly, they can be perfectly safe options
  4. Safe containment, collection and treatment is known as septage management or faecal sludge management (FSM), and is being increasingly recognised by the Government of India as a viable option

Several challenges for FSM 

  1. Emerging evidence from across the country indicates that on-site systems are not constructed properly
  2. While the designs of ‘septic’ tanks and leach pits have been set out in standards issued in government documents, houseowners and masons are often not aware of these
  3. The most severe consequence of these poorly designed pits is the potential contamination of groundwater
  4. In addition, they are not de-sludged at regular intervals
  5. Faecal waste needs to be transported using de-sludging vehicles (and not manually) but only some States, Tamil Nadu for example, have these vehicles
  6. While de-sludging vehicles and robust informal markets exist for de-sludging services in some States, others are either procuring vehicles for their urban local bodies or encouraging private players to get into this
  7. Once collected, the waste needs to treated properly to ensure that it does not land up in our lakes and rivers
  8. There aren’t enough treatment facilities to guarantee proper treatment of the sludge

Recent Developments

  1. After the National Urban Sanitation Policy (NUSP) in 2008, a national policy on Faecal Sludge and Septage Management (FSSM) was released earlier this year
  2. Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Odisha have released State-wide septage management guidelines and taken concrete steps to execute these policies

The way forward

  1. Raising awareness about correct design and construction practices of on-site systems (new and legacy) will perhaps remain the biggest hurdle in the years to come
  2. But, urban local bodies and State governments could start by ensuring that the larger containment systems such as community toilets and public toilets are properly constructed and managed
  3. The safety of sanitary workers who clean tanks and pits must be ensured by enforcing occupational safety precautions
  4. And the use of personal protective equipment as set out in the law
  5. Suggestions for Citizens: As home-owners and residents, our tanks and pits must be emptied regularly, thereby preventing leaks and overflow
  6. We must ask our governments to invest in creating treatment facilities that our cities can afford
Swachh Bharat Mission

[op-ed snap] The Swachh marathonop-ed snap

Image Source


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

The following things are important from UPSC perspective:

Prelims Level: Not much

Mains level: The article deals with an important part of the SBM i.e. ODF villages.

Scale of the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G) 

  1. The momentum and scale of the SBM-G is unprecedented
  2. Since the launch of the programme, there has been an astonishing acceleration in the construction of toilets, with five crore built in three years
  3. The scale and complexity facing the SBM-G make it, more challenging than any other rural development programme in the world

Government meeting on issues related to the SBM

  1. Recently, a day-long meeting on in Delhi of representatives of government, international agencies, NGOs, consultants and researchers shared findings and lessons from methods for rapid learning relevant for the SBM-G
  2. This led to ideas about how to tackle concerns that had come to light
  3. Three burning issues stood out:
    (1) Technical realities and what people know;
    (2) their beliefs and behaviour;
    (3) unfinished business, especially concerning those who are poorer, marginalised and left behind

Why people prefer septic tanks?

  1. The preference for septic tanks remains deeply rooted and widespread
  2. People believe they are better than the recommended more sustainable and economic twin pits because they are big and will take longer to fill
  3. But due to widespread ignorance of technical details, many septic tanks are not built according to the guidelines
  4. And end up contaminating the environment and damaging public health

Why is Twin leach pits favourable?

  1. It have much in their favour
  2. For a few years, human waste flows to the first pit
  3. Once full, it is left to become manure while new waste is diverted into a second pit
  4. The first pit is emptied and the cycle starts again
  5. This technology allows time for the waste to compost and become harmless, odourless and valuable fertiliser
  6. Issues: rapid investigations found many people who had had twin pits constructed for them without any explanation of how they work
  7. They lacked a sense of ownership and believed the pits would fill up fast
  8. In consequence, they were using them only some of the time, continuing open defecation (OD) even in villages with 100 per cent toilet coverage
  9. This problem is acutely urgent
  10. A recent rapid survey covering over a thousand households found that the proportion of twin pits being built in SBM is declining

What is the possible solution?

  1. The solution is to empower people through knowledge
  2. Few rural people are aware of technical details or convinced by the advantages of twin pits
  3. Mason training can help, but the major thrust needed is a massive communication campaign to inform all villagers of the technical options and details

Declaration of a village as ODF

  1. SBM-G verifications and several studies indicate that in practice 70-90 per cent coverage is often taken as acceptable for a declaration of open defecation free (ODF)
  2. The remaining 10-30 per cent without toilets are predominantly the marginalised and disadvantaged — OBC, SC, ST, the very poor, sick, disabled, aged and weak, or living in difficult or remote areas
  3. For them, additional efforts and special policies and provisions are needed

The way forward

  1. Declaration and verification of ODF is a milestone
  2. Beyond ODF lie many challenges
  3. Rapid learning, sharing and adapting will be vital not just in the next two years but far beyond 2019
  4. The scale of the achievements and milestones passed over the past three years far surpass anything we believed conceivably possible
  5. Achieving a fully Swachh Bharat is not a sprint but a marathon, and that rapid learning, if acted on effectively, should speed progress and enhance sustainability
Swachh Bharat Mission

[op- ed snap] Missing the point of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan


Mains Paper 1| Salient features of Indian Society

Prelims: SBA, Dry pit latrines

Mains level: This article is important from Mains perspective as it gives insights about why building toilets alone won’t help in achieving the targets of SBA. This topic is inter-spread between various GS papers of UPSC mains, that is, Government Schemes GS-2, Attitude under GS-4.


  1. In 2014, more than half of India’s population still practised open defecation.
  2. The government set the goal of making the country open defecation-free in five years, by the 150th anniversary of M.K. Gandhi’s birthday in 2019, by launching the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA).
  3. The primary strategy of the SBA has been the construction of toilets. More than 97% of the SBA-Gramin’s budget has been spent on the construction of individual household toilets.
  4. The programme has increased the money to be spent per toilet from the previous Rs10,000 to Rs12,000, and it mandates that water storage tanks be built alongside government latrines. 
  5. Strategically there is hardly any difference from the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan, Total Sanitation Campaign and the Central Rural Sanitation Programme that were launched before SBA.
  6. Three years later, we are more than halfway into that period, and there is good reason to be skeptical about its method.

Problems in SBA

  1. The access to toilets is not the reason why India has alarming rates of open defecation, nor is lack of education or access to water.
  2. The question is why, in 2011, had 70% of rural Indians not built toilets when their contemporaries in other developing countries could afford to do so?
  3. An evidence shows that not only do Indians not build toilets, they also avoid using those that have been constructed already.
  4. The number of people defecating in open cannot be calculated because India doesn’t collect individual data on latrine usage; there is only household data that notes the presence or absence of latrines.
  5. People are refraining from using toilets because of kind of latrines being built in the villages and traditional norms that define purity and pollution.
  6. Pit Latrines: Villages don’t have sewage systems because of which pit-latrines are constructed. These latrines collect the faeces in the pit; the moisture percolates in the ground and the faeces dry.This is a tremendous improvement in terms of public health over dry-latrines, which require manual scavengers to pick up the faeces, or for faeces to be washed away and potentially pollute water sources.
  7. According to religious beliefs, physical cleanliness is not always the same as ritual purity. For example, cow dung and vegetable peels strewn on the floor are physically dirty, but ritually pure.
  8. Rural Indians commonly complain that it is dirty to have a pit latrine in the house; what they are emphasizing is not physical cleanliness, but ritual purity.
  9. For a caste-conscious society, social mobility depends on emulating the practices of the so-called higher castes. 
  10. Manually cleaning pit-latrines, usually equated with the most degrading forms of Dalit labour, does not augur well with that aspiration.


  1. India cannot become free of open defecation by only building more toilets.
  2. The solution requires a concerted effort to change people’s views about open defecation.
  3. The SBA-Gramin allocates only 8% of the budget to information, education and communication activities, this needs to increased for creating more awareness about the importance of physical cleanliness.
  4. Latrine ownership should be promoted as a matter of prestige and affiliation with the modern world.
  5. There should be more effort to inform people about the mortality burden of open defecation.
  6. The government has made efforts to instill a new sense of civic pride in throwing garbage in trash cans.
  7. This is a laudable strategy, but it should be accompanied with an effort to change the attitudes towards caste hierarchies.




Swachh Bharat Mission

[op-ed snap] More Than Toiletsop-ed snap

Image Source


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Swachhagrahi

Mains level: Good overview of the progress made so far, under the SBM.



  1. The article talks about the progress of the Swachh Bharat Mission(SBM)
  2. SWB was Launched in October 2014 and scheduled to culminate by October 2, 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhiji, the SBM is close to completing three years.

Progress under the SBM

  1. The Rural sanitation coverage has increased from 39 per cent to 67 per cent in three years and over 230 million people in rural India have stopped defecating in the open
  2. Five states, 186 districts and over 2,31,000 villages have been declared as ODF(open defection free)
  3. The most significant policy shift in under SBM has been the move from outputs (number of toilets built) to outcomes (ODF villages)
  4. Means, now we calculate our progress in number of ODF villages instead of number of toilet builds


  1. Swachhagrahi are trained grass roots level motivators who work under an incentive-based system
  2. They “trigger” behaviour change by stimulating community-level demand for toilets
  3. The SBM ambitiously aims at having at least one trained grassroots-level swachhagrahi in each village in India
  4. Currently, more than 1.5 lakh swachhagrahi are working in villages

Strict guidelines for Verification

  1. Currently, verification of ODF villages stands at around 56 per cent
  2. To accelerate the verification process, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has recently issued policy guidelines
  3. According to these guidelines, state governments will be eligible for release of the second instalment of central funds only if they have fully verified all their ODF villages

The Way Forward

  1. The emphasis on sustainability differentiates SBM from previous sanitation programmes
  2. The progress made so far and the acceleration expected over the coming 12-15 months with the active engagement of millions of people, the goal is definitely achievable
Swachh Bharat Mission

[op-ed snap] Towards a clean-up: on meeting sanitation goalsop-ed snap

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Mains Paper 2: Governance | Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Q.) “Clearer policies and investment in the right systems are needed to meet sanitation goals in India.” Discuss.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the Swachh Bharat Mission

Mains level: The government always gives special attention to Swachh Bharat Mission. This attention makes it more important for UPSC. Also, the mission deals with an important issue related to both rural and urban population of India.



  1. In the article, writer talks about the implementation level, targets achieved, issues related to the Swachh Bharat Mission

Level of implementation of the Swachh Bharat Mission

  1. It has subsidy-based mass toilet-building programme
  2. A government-commissioned survey estimates that the coverage now extends to 62.45% of households, up from 39% in 2014
  3. With the substantial funding available from the Centre, State governments cannot have a convincing reason for a poor record

Issues with the implementation

  1. Among the benefited households, nearly 92% of people who have access actually use the toilet
  2. There is data from undivided Andhra Pradesh which shows that household latrines built before the Swachh programme couldn’t be used
  3. Why: because many rural households did not have a water source
  4. The newer ones may meet the same fate without access to water
  5. Also, Dalit houses tend to have lower coverage which hints at structural difficulties in accessing the scheme

Positive outcomes of the Mission

  1. The most important outcome is reduced stress for women, who suffer silently in the absence of toilets
  2. There are well-known gains to public health as well

Performance by different states

  1. According to Centre’s assessment, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana have particularly failed to upgrade rural sanitation
  2. While Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Gujarat have exceeded the goals
  3. Effort by the government: Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has introduced a new district-level ranking
  4. It may help the more backward States to bring about infrastructure

The way forward

  1. Many Indians do not see the waste they generate as their problem, and consider it to be someone else’s responsibility
  2. This attitude of Indians should be changed
Swachh Bharat Mission

Kerala, Haryana top sanitation survey


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the Survey

Mains level: The survey shows the performance of Swachh Bharat Mission in different states


Data from Government survey commissioned on Sanitation

  1. According to the survey, almost all rural households in Kerala and Haryana had access to a toilet
  2. Bihar and Uttar Pradesh has least access to toilets when compared to other states
  3. The survey is released by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation
  4. The survey was carried out by the Quality Council of India (QCI)

Other best performers

  1. Northeastern States of Sikkim, Manipur and Nagaland were top performers with 95% rural households covered by toilets
  2. The Himalayan States of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand with over 90% toilet coverage of the rural houses

Worst performers

  1. In Bihar, only 30% of the rural households had access to toilets while Uttar Pradesh was marginally better at 37%
  2. Jharkhand, too scored the same as Uttar Pradesh
Swachh Bharat Mission

[op-ed snap] At The Half-way Markop-ed snap


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Q.) Examine the effects of  Swachh Bharat Mission on the lives of rural Indian Women.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims Level: Implementing authorities of the SBM

Mains Level: Important information regarding the achievements of the SBM is given in the article.



  1. The article is related to the targets of ODF achieved under the Swachh Bharat Mission.

Achievements of the Swachh Bharat Mission

  1. Due to the focus on need-based capacity building and constant measuring of outcomes SBM has witnessed notable achievements in reducing open defecation viz.
    (1) In last three years there is an increase from 42 per cent to 65.02 per cent in national sanitation coverage
    (2) Five states, 149 districts and 2.08 lakh villages have already been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF)
    (3) Nearly 22 per cent of the cities and towns have been declared ODF
    (4) 50 per cent of the urban wards have achieved 100 per cent door-to-door solid waste collection
    (5) The number of schools with separate toilet facilities for girls has increased from 0.4 million (37 per cent) to almost one million (91 per cent)

ODF as the success parameter of the SBM

  1. It was made clear by the government that progress will be tracked and evaluated only on the basis of ODF
  2. Effect of the decision: This policy shift led to ODF Monitoring Committees (or Nigrani Samitis) being formed at the village level
  3. The monitoring committees’ key tasks were not to count the number of toilets but to ensure that no individual from the village resorts to open defecation
  4. Information and feedback from NGOs and others shows good progress on this front

The way forward

  1. Achieving ODF status alone is not sufficient for the success of SBM
  2. Attention to the complete sanitation cycle is required, where waste generated also needs to be collected and treated properly
  3. Achieving ODF is the collective responsibility of the entire nation, not just the government
Swachh Bharat Mission

‘43 per cent of rural population defecate in the open’

  1. Source: Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation Ramesh Jigajinagi in a written reply to Lok Sabha
  2. As per a report published in 2015, 59.43% of the world population defecating in the open live in India
  3. Nearly 43% of India’s rural population defecate in the open
  4. Poverty and lack of infrastructure are some of the major reasons behind poor sanitation
  5. However, sanitation is primarily a behavioural issue
  6. It involves change of mindset amongst people to stop open defecation and to adopt safe sanitation practices
  7. The Centre had launched the Swachh Bharat Mission on Oct 2, 2014, which aims at an attaining clean India by Oct 2019
Swachh Bharat Mission

[op-ed snap] Taking the road less dustyop-ed snap

  1. Theme: Analysing the issues with implementation of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM).
  2. Issues: The methodology adopted to collect data for the Swachh Survekshan Report is not credible- it does not accurately capture behavioural tendencies of individuals.
  3. The result is lack of credible data on how many people defecate in the open.
  4. Most of the money allocated for SBM is being spent on latrine construction, and very little amount is spent on behaviour-change activitiese. information, education, and communication (IEC).
  5. Policymakers need to change people’s behaviour by tackling the casteism and norms of purity and pollution that cause open defecation to persist e.g. latrines promoted by the government require periodic manual pit emptying, which many rural Indians associate with the Dalits.
  6. Also, little attention paid to IEC activities translates into very low awareness of the goals of the SBM.
Swachh Bharat Mission

[op-ed snap] Not So Cleanop-ed snap

  1. Context: According to WHO, at least 6,00,000 deaths annually in India may be caused by fine particulate matter.
  2. Why particulate matter is so dangerous: Particulates especially PM10 and less can penetrate and get lodged deep in the lungs.
  3. Sources of these pollutants in India: Burning of biomass, such as coal, fuel wood, farm litter and cow dung cakes. Construction debris, road dust and vehicular exhaust in highly built-up areas further add to the problem.
  4. Steps already taken: An Air Quality Index was launched last year aimed at improving pollution control.
  5. Further steps required: Strict implementation of Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules to sustainably manage debris and to use it as a resource.
  6. Providing cleaner fuels and scientifically designed cookstoves to those who have no option but to burn biomass.
  7. Greening the cities with the involvement of civil society, with a focus on landscaping open spaces and paving all public areas to reduce dust.
  8. Expanding comprehensive measurement of these particulates to other major cities.
Swachh Bharat Mission

Modi moots ‘Swacchagraha’

  1. PM Modi: Re-use and recycling of waste should be technology driven
  2. Insisted that there should a focus on the concept of waste to wealth so that revenue models could be developed around cleanliness
  3. Waste to wealth: Garbage can be used as a means to create employment and wealth by recycling and then, cleanliness will become a by-product
  4. Swachhagraha: An initiative for cleanliness to get the country dirt-free on the lines of Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘Satyagraha’ that freed us from British rule
  5. ‘Cleanliness is not something to be achieved by budget allocations; It is rather, something that should become a mass movement’
Swachh Bharat Mission

Sikkim’s clean villages make it the kingdom of Swachh- II

  1. Anomaly: Kerala, which leads in overall household toilet coverage as per Swachh Bharat surveys, is in the list with only 19.92%
  2. How? This indicates that declarations play a role in the overall assessment
  3. Besides these, the other States identified by the Mission trail the rest with lower coverage
  4. ODF: The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation defines ODF as ‘the termination of faecal-oral transmission, defined by no visible faeces found in the environment/ village and every household as well as public/community institution using safe technology option for disposal of faeces’
Swachh Bharat Mission

Sikkim’s clean villages make it the kingdom of Swachh- I

  1. Sikkim (100%) and Himachal Pradesh (55.95%) have the maximum percentage of villages that are ‘Open Defecation Free’ according to the criteria of the Swachh Bharat Mission
  2. Other better performing States with village-level achievements are Haryana, Meghalaya, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh & Rajasthan
  3. The total number of districts declared ODF in the country stand at 23
  4. Background: Three cities in Karnataka, coastal Mangaluru, Udupi and Mysuru, were declared ODF recently
Swachh Bharat Mission

Government to organise Swachh Bharat Week from Sep 25

  1. Swachh Bharat Week: As part of the Swachh Bharat Mission, across the country
  2. To celebrate the second anniversary of Swachh Bharat Mission which was launched on October 2, 2014
  3. As part of the initiative, the Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation will also organise a day-long India Sanitation Conference (INDOSAN-2016)
Swachh Bharat Mission

Sikkim sparkles in NSSO sanitation survey

  1. Source: The survey carried out last year by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO)
  2. The ranking is given on the basis of percentage of households having access to sanitary toilets and using them (either household or community toilets)
  3. Top 10: Sikkim, Kerala, Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Meghalaya
  4. Bottom 10: Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Jammu and Kashmir
Swachh Bharat Mission

Asali Tarakki campaign for Swachh Bharat Mission

  1. Asali Tarakki: Real Development
  2. Aim: Sanitising six cities of the National Capital Region (NCR)
  3. It will be replicated in other States if it succeeds
  4. About 450 young men and women with communication skills and leadership qualities have been selected as lead motivators
  5. They will spread awareness on Swachh Bharat Mission
Swachh Bharat Mission

Most of rural India still opts for open defecation: NSS report

  1. Source: Swachhta Status Report by the National Sample Survey (NSS) Office to track Govt’s flagship programme, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
  2. Defecation: 52.1% of people in rural India choose open defecation compared to 7.5% in urban India
  3. Sanitary toilets: 45.3% rural households reported having it, while in urban areas, the figure stands at 88.8%
  4. Community toilets: 13.1% of the villages and 42% urban wards have community toilets and there is problem with their not being used and not being cleaned
  5. Water: While 87.9% of the urban households were found to have access to water for use in toilets, only 42.5% rural households had this facility
  6. Progress: Since the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) on October 2, 2014 there was an improvement of 8.12% in number of rural households having toilets, with 50.17% rural households covered as of February 2016
Swachh Bharat Mission

Dignity and Self-Respect: a new mantra for Swachh Bharat Mission- II

  1. Context: Tata Institute of Social Sciences’ (TISS) report to the Ministry of Urban Development, made after holding public consultations
  2. A statutory National Council for Sanitation should be set up for robust governance and implementation
  3. It will have representation from civil society, academia, technocrats, policy makers, government officials and other stakeholders
  4. The Council can suggest required legal reforms to enhance functioning of the Mission besides promoting evidence based policy making
Swachh Bharat Mission

Dignity and Self-Respect: a new mantra for Swachh Bharat Mission- I

  1. Context: Tata Institute of Social Sciences’ (TISS) report to the Ministry of Urban Development, made after holding public consultations
  2. Paradigm shift: Encouraging technocrat approach to make the cleanliness mission a success
  3. Need: Total sanitation and focusing on making the urban poor move away from a life of denial and indignity to one filled with opportunities and dignity
  4. Long term association between the Govts and specialists including ad agencies and behavioral scientists for clearly articulating the real value of sanitation
Swachh Bharat Mission

Trekkers should take back trash from forests

  1. News: As part of a Swachh Bharat Mission drive, the Centre has decided to remove garbage bins from 10 prominent wildlife parks
  2. Issue: Visitors were observed to drop litter around garbage bins, inviting animals and thus worsening the man-animal conflict
  3. Alternative: Visitors should carry a jute bag and carry their litter home
  4. Plans are also on to sensitise visitors that could help in keeping the parks clean
  5. Aim: To ensure cleanliness and to reduce man-animal conflict
Swachh Bharat Mission

Centre deploys sanitation messengers nationwide

  1. Context: The Ministry of Urban Development has deployed Swachh Dhoots (sanitation messengers)
  2. Aim: To boost its campaign against open defecation
    This has been widely spotted in low-income urban centres
  3. Background: In early March, the Ministry asked the urban local bodies of 75 cities to build self-help groups in every municipality
  4. These included ASHA workers and were to be sent to the neighbourhoods where open defecation is a norm
  5. Of these teams, Swachh Dhoots would be chosen to turn the campaign into a hyper-local one
  6. Idea: To make people anxious about and disgusted at excreting in public spaces
Swachh Bharat Mission

More than half rural India still opts for open defecation: NSSO

  1. Context: Swachhta Status Report by the National Sample Survey (NSS) Office
  2. Defecation: 52.1% of people in rural India choose open defecation compared to 7.5% in urban
  3. Toilets: 45.3% rural households reported having a sanitary toilet, while it is 88.8% in urban areas
  4. The lowest of such percentage is in Jharkhand (18.8%), Chhattisgarh & Odisha and the highest in Sikkim (98.2%), Kerala & Mizoram
  5. Community: 13.1% villages and 42% urban wards have community toilets but at some places they are not used or cleaned
  6. Why? Main reason for open defecation is behaviour and mindset of the people who have continued the practice for centuries
  7. Adequate availability of water for toilets is also a concern
Swachh Bharat Mission

Over one crore toilets built, but Swachh Bharat still a pipedream

  1. Context: Latest study by the National Sample Survey Organisation
  2. News: Over 1.09 crore toilets were built across the country in the first 11 months of 2015-16 but a majority of people in rural areas did not choose to use them
  3. In urban areas the use of toilets was more prevalent and only 7.5% of the people went for open defecation
  4. Challenge: The lack of toilets in schools also hampers the education of many children, especially girl students
  5. Criticism: The rapid survey also revealed that lack of infrastructure for drainage and disposal of waste
Swachh Bharat Mission

Govt. to focus on Swachh Bharat on second anniversary

  1. News: Govt will mark its second anniversary with all the Ministries taking mass pledges on the Swachh Bharat portal on May 26
  2. Draft Plan: Govt has drafted a detailed plan for every day of 2016-17 with different themes every fortnight
  3. First Cleanliness Drive: Beginning on April 1, will target slum areas and discourage them from manual scavenging, in a bid to mark Ambedkar Jayanti on April 14
  4. Relevance: Citizens will be asked to “voluntarily” put ‘friendship bands’ on municipal workers serving in their area, as a part of the plan
  5. Sports personalities, who are Swachh Bharat ambassadors, will hold special drives on National Sports Day on August 29
Swachh Bharat Mission

1000 toilets to be installed in slums around railway stations

  1. Context: Union Urban Development Ministry has taken initiative to install 1000 toilets
  2. Where? In the market places, slums areas around railway stations in the state capitals
  3. Why? To make it open defecation free
  4. CSR: These toilets were contributed by Parryware, as part of its corporate social responsibility on the occasion of the Women’s Day
Swachh Bharat Mission

Swachh Survekshan -2016 – ranks of 73 cities

  1. Context: 73 cities surveyed for cleanliness have been categorized based on the marks scored by each of them in the ‘Swachh Survekshan- 2016’ survey
  2. Category: 15 cities who scored more than 70% of the total marks of 2000 were categorized as Leaders
  3. 20 cities with scores in the range of 60%-70% are Aspiring Leaders
  4. Range of 50%-60% are the cities who need to accelerate their efforts
  5. Range below 50% are named Slow Movers who need to work harder to improve santiation
  6. Top Rank Cities: Mysuru, Chadigarh, Tiruchirapalli, New Delhi Municipal council, Visakhapatnam
Swachh Bharat Mission

Centre may bring law to penalise littering: Venkaiah

  1. Context: Swachh Bharat Mission
  2. The news: The Centre may consider bringing in legislation for imposing fines on those littering in public places
  3. Reason: The govt is providing funds for construction of toilets in every house, and improving infrastructure for solid waste management
  4. When? – Once the basic infrastructure is in place
  5. Model: In Singapore, hefty fines are imposed for spitting and throwing waste by the roadside
Swachh Bharat Mission

Ministry of Shipping initiates Project Green Port

  1. The Ministry of Shipping has started ‘Project Green Ports’ which will help in making the major ports across India cleaner and greener.
  2. Project Green Ports will have 2 verticals – Green Ports Initiatives’ related to environmental issues and Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.
  3. The Green Port Initiatives include sewage/waste water treatment plants, energy generation from renewable energy sources, prohibition of disposal at sea, improving the quality of harbour wastes etc.
  4. Under Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, it has identified few activities with certain time-line to promote cleanliness at the port premises.
Swachh Bharat Mission

75 cities to be ranked on sanitation under Swachh Bharat Mission

Swachh Survekshan is the very first survey commissioned by MoUD since the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission.

  1. The Ministry of Urban Development has decided to study and rank 75 cities under the mission “Swachh Survekshan”.
  2. The assessment will be based on sanitation and cleanliness, while also co-opting the public to give its feedback.
  3. It involves three streams of data collection – citizen feedback, municipality self-evaluation and independent assessment.
  4. The task of executing the mission has been entrusted with the Quality Council of India.
Swachh Bharat Mission

Now, 0.5% cess on services to support Swachh Bharat

Proceeds from this cess will be exclusively used for Swachh Bharat initiatives.

  1. Government imposed two new levies, a 0.5 per cent Swachh Bharat Cess on all services, now liable to service tax.
  2. A 2 per cent regional connectivity cess on international air travel and flights between metros and big cities.
  3. Decision will increase the service tax outgo on insurance premiums, air fares and cell phone bills.
  4. Cess for the creation of the Regional connectivity fund (RCF) corpus will be levied to enable the regional connectivity scheme.
  5. Scheme provides for viability gap funding (VGF) for operating small aircraft to small towns.
Swachh Bharat Mission

New Tariff Policy to Support Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

  1. Government will make it compulsory for power plants located within the radius of 100 kms of the city.
  2. To use processed waste water and release clean water for drinking purpose in the vicinity.
  3. New policy will make it compulsory for the local power distribution companies to buy electricity generated from the waste.
  4. These measures will give a push to Government’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
Swachh Bharat Mission

Panel for fuel cess to fund Swachh Bharat

Recommended the levy of a cess on petrol, diesel and telecom services to finance the Swachh Bharat mission.

  1. The high-level NITI Ayog chief ministers’ sub-group on Swachh Bharat was headed by Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.
  2. Centre should bear 75% of the entire cost of the mission, with the states contributing 25%, in the case of under-developed hill states, the ratio would be 90:10.
  3. The panel proposed a cess on accumulated waste produced by mineral waste generation plants like coal, aluminium and iron ore to fund the programme.
  4. The report made a case for issuance of Swachh Bharat bonds to raise resources for the programme which seeks to eliminate open defecation by 2019.
  5. The panel suggested the formulation of a tariff policy for power generated from waste-to-energy plants.
Swachh Bharat Mission

Whose Campaign?op-ed snap

Swachh Bharat needs everyone to want a toilet and use it all the time.


How can rural sanitation really take off?

  • The stories of missing and badly constructed toilets, of toilets not being used or used as stores.
  • Some only being used by some in the family or some of the time, of people preferring open defecation and considering it healthier, are endless.

Why do people prefer open defecation and not want toilets or, if they have them, only use them some of the time?

  • Recent research has shown two critical elements: ideas of purity and pollution, and not wanting pits or septic tanks to fill because then they have to be emptied.
  • People have to perceive toilet use and pit-emptying as clean and not polluting.

From recent research,What really need to learn?

  • Collective behaviour change, as in the Swachh Bharat guidelines, is the only way forward. For that, social norms have to change.

How could such a radical, convulsive switch be brought about widely?

  • A precondition is inspired and committed leadership, as well as champions and sustained campaigns in which all citizens and organisations are engaged.
  • The first major thrust is to focus on pit-emptying, encouraging entrepreneurs and a market, as in Bangladesh, for pits of all sorts.
  • Where twin pits, with their advantages over septic tanks, are standard, let leadership be dramatic.
  • The second thrust is brutal, In meetings, posters, and all media, affirming that “shit stunts”. Open defecation accounts for over half of undernutrition, measured as stunting.
  • Open defecation and population density together account for two-thirds of stunting. This applies to much of rural India.
  • Stunting means impaired cognitive development, less schooling, poorer performance in school, less earned later in life, vulnerability to disease through damaged immune systems and even obesity.

So be brutal in pinning responsibility on those who defecate in the open.

Swachh Bharat Mission

[oped snap] Death by Breath: Swachh Bharat should include Swachh air

  1. Euro V & VI norms could reduce particulate matter from diesel vehicles by 80%.
  2. Euro VI standards will reduce HC and NOx by 40% over Bharat IV and by 70% over the most prevalent Bharat III.
  3. Bharat IV was first implemented only in 13 cities & opponents of climate control claim that the next stage of Bharat norms should be for pan-India or not at all.
  4. Another issue – Persistent diesel subsidies in the past have led to an explosion of diesel cars – responsible for carcinogenic and other pollutants.
Swachh Bharat Mission

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: Indigenous technologies developed by BARC

  1. Indigenous water purification – uses the Pressure Driven Membrane Processes.
  2. Environment friendly Plasma technologies – Hazardous & toxic compounds are broken down to elemental constituents at high temperatures. Solves the problem of land availability + air pollution.
  3. Unique Multi Stage Biological Treatment Solution – can be implemented as a modular or container on the banks of rivers on Drains/Nalas which discharge waste water to the river.
  4. Refuse Derived Fuel – a processed form of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and it can be a substitute to coal energy.

Lets get to the basics of Cess, before we explore more about Swachh Bharat Cess.


What is a Cess?

Cess is a tax on tax, temporary levied by the govt. to achieve a specific objective. Generally, it is expected to be levied till the time the govt. gets enough money for that purpose.

For instance, the education cess, that is levied currently, is meant to finance basic education in the country.

What is the quantum of revenue generated through Cess?

  • The education and higher education cesses are budgeted to bring approx. Rs 30,000 crore this year.
  • The road cess on petroleum is budgeted to net just under Rs 50,000 crore.
  • There is also a cess on exports, clean energy, etc.

The total amount from cesses is Rs 1.16 lakh crore.

What is the criticism against Cesses?

  • The problem with cesses is that it becomes permanent in nature.
  • These levies are back door entry instead of levying taxes.

How Cess is different from Surcharge?

Surcharge is also a tax on tax, which is imposed on incomes above a certain level with a view to reduce the inequalities further.

  • There is a surcharge of 12% on individuals whose taxable income exceeds Rs. 1 crore.
  • Similarly, there is also a surcharge of 10% on the domestic companies whose taxable income exceeds Rs.10 crore, and also a surcharge of 5% on the foreign companies whose taxable income exceeds Rs.10 crore.

Now, let’s now come to the core of the topic


What is Swachh Bharat Cess?

The resources generated from the cess will be utilised for financing and promoting initiatives towards Swachh Bharat. It is a step towards involving each and every citizen in making contribution to Swachh Bharat.

  • Govt. has introduced a cess of 0.5% on all services and 2% on air services.
  • The revenue department is preparing a list of services which will attract the additional 2% cess provided for in the Budget 2015-16, over and above the proposed 14%.

Where does the proceeds of the Swachh Bharat Cess go?

The proceeds of the Swachh Bharat cess would be first credited to the Consolidated Fund of India. The govt. would be able to utilise it after due appropriation is made by Parliament by law. This will later go to Swachh Bharat Kosh.

The Government expects to collect around Rs 10,000 crore from Swachh Bharat cess for full year

Why does it goes against the principle of fiscal federalism?

  • The central divisible pool excludes levies classified as surcharges and cess for specific purpose.
  • The entire proceeds would remain with the Centre and need not be compulsorily shared with the states.
  • Swachh Bharat cess, to some extent, is a vague pretext for a cess, unlike the ones for national highways or high-speed rail corridors, which can be more effectively implemented at the Central level.

What will be the impact of GST on the cess?

There is no input credit available on this cess, which goes against the very principle of the GST and thereby weakens the Centre’s case for pushing through GST.

The cesses and surcharges would be subsumed once the GST is rolled out. So both for tax payers and states, this is for the time being.


Published with inputs from Pushpendra

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