Swachh Bharat Mission

The mission seeks to eliminate open defecation, eradicate manual Scavenging, modern and scientific municipal solid waste management. It also seeks to effect behavioral change regarding healthy sanitation practices, to generate awareness about sanitation and its linkage with public health.

Swachh Bharat Mission

2nd phase of SBM-U and AMRUT Mission


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : SBM, AMRUT

Mains level : NA

The PM has launched the second phase of the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation.

What are the missions?

[A] Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0

The Mission will focus on ensuring complete access to sanitation facilities to serve additional populations migrating from rural to urban areas in search of employment and better opportunities over the next 5 years.

  • Complete liquid waste management in cities in less than 1 lakh population to ensure that all wastewater is safely contained, collected, transported, and treated so that no wastewater pollutes our water bodies.
  • Source segregation- Under Sustainable Solid Waste Management, greater emphasis will be on source segregation.
  • Material Recovery Facilities and waste processing facilities will be set up, with a focus on phasing out single-use plastic.
  • Construction & demolition waste processing facilities will be set up.
  • Mechanical sweepers deployed in National Clean Air Programme cities and in cities with more than 5 lakh population.
  • Remediation of all legacy dumpsites will be another key component of the Mission.

[B] AMRUT 2.0

  • Water management: It will build upon the progress of AMRUT to address water needs, rejuvenate water bodies, better manage aquifers, reuse treated wastewater, thereby promoting circular economy of water.
  • Water supply: It would provide100% coverage of water supply to all households in around 4,700 ULBs.
  • Sewerage: It will provide 100% coverage of sewerage and septage in 500 AMRUT cities.
  • Rejuvenation of water bodies and urban aquifer management: It will be undertaken to augment sustainable fresh water supply.
  • Recycle and reuse of treated wastewater: It is expected to cater to 20% of total water needs of the cities and 40% of industrial demand.
  • Pey Jal Survekshan: It will be conducted in cities to ascertain equitable distribution of water, reuse of wastewater and mapping of water bodies.


All about the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan


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Swachh Bharat Mission

SUJALAM Campaign


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : SUJALAM Campaign

Mains level : Not Much

The Ministry of Jal Shakti began ‘SUJALAM’, a ‘100 days campaign’ to create more and more ODF Plus villages by undertaking wastewater management at the village level.

SUJALAM Campaign

The key activities that will be organized in the villages under this campaign include:

  • Organizing Community consultations, Khuli Baithaks and Gram Sabha meetings to analyze the current situation
  • Pass resolution to maintain ODF sustainability and achieve a needed number of soak pits to manage the greywater
  • Develop a 100 days’ plan to undertake sustainability and soak pit construction-related activities
  • Construct a requisite number of soak pits
  • Retrofit toilets where needed through IEC and community mobilization and
  • Ensure all newly emerging Households in the village have access to toilets

Objectives of the campaign

  • The effort of the campaign would be directed towards achieving the ODF plus status for villages across the country in an accelerated manner in a short time.
  • The campaign will not only build desired infrastructure soak pit for management of greywater in villages but will also aid in sustainable management of water bodies.
  • The disposal of wastewater and clogging of water bodies in the villages or on the outskirts of the villages remain one of the major problems.
  • The Campaign would help in the management of the wastewater and in turn, would help to revive the water bodies.

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Swachh Bharat Mission

Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Sabarmati River

Mains level : Riverfront development and its economic potential

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, in its draft budget for 2021-22, has set aside Rs 1050 crore for the Sabarmati River Front Development phase 2, work on which is to begin soon.

Rs 1050 crore fund! See how rich even the Municipal Corporations in India are!

Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project

  • The SRDP is an environmental improvement, social uplift and urban rejuvenation project that will renew Ahmedabad.
  • The project is being developed by the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation Ltd. (SRFDCL), a company wholly owned by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation.
  • The project will reclaim approximately 200 hectares of land from the riverbed.
  • To reclaim the land, protect low lying developments from floods, and prevent erosion of the river banks, retaining walls have been built on both sides of the river.
  • Since Sabarmati is a seasonal river, water is channelled into the river from the Narmada canal, which intersects the river upstream from Ahmedabad and is retained in the river using the Vasna Barrage which is located downstream.

Significance of the project

  • The reclaimed land will make Ahmadabad’s riverfront, a public asset.
  • The project will provide Ahmedabad with 11.5 km long pedestrian promenades at the water’s edge along both the banks of the river.
  • In addition, many new public facilities will be built on the reclaimed land: cultural centres, museums, sports facilities, trade fair grounds and open-air markets.
  • A small portion of the reclaimed land will be sold for private commercial and residential developments.
  • The project has won Prime Minister’s National Award for Excellence in Urban Planning and Design in the year of 2003.

Also, revise the concept of Water Divide from your NCERTS or refer to this link: https://www.ncert.nic.in/ncerts/l/iess103.pdf

Back2Basics: Sabarmati River

  • Sabarmati is one of the major west-flowing rivers in India. Being a rain-fed river it runs dry most of the year.
  • It originates in the Aravalli Range of the Udaipur District of Rajasthan and meets the Gulf of Khambhat of the Arabian Sea after travelling 371 km in a south-westerly direction across Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  • 48 km of the river length is in Rajasthan, while 323 km is in Gujarat.
  • There are several reservoirs on Sabarmati and its tributaries. The Dharoi dam is located on the main river. Hathmati dam, Harnav dam and Guhai dam are located on the tributaries.

Swachh Bharat Mission

Women’s needs are key to Swachh Bharat success


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Paper 2- Women's role in SBM

The article highlights the central role of women in the success of the Swacch Bharat Mission.

Recognising the gender dimensions of sanitation in India

  • The Swachh Bharat Grameen Phase I guidelines (2017) state that requirements and sensitivities related to gender are to be taken into account at all stages of sanitation programmes.
  • Planning, procurement, infrastructure creation, and monitoring are the basic tenets of implementation in Swachh Bharat and the guidelines for the first phase of the mission called for strengthening the role of women.
  • The states were accordingly expected to ensure adequate representation of women in the village water and sanitation committees (VWSCs), leading to optimal gender outcomes.
  • The department of Drinking Water and Sanitation released the guidelines, recognising the gender dimensions of sanitation in India.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission 2 .0 speaks of sustained behavioural change while embarking on the newer agendas of sustainable solid waste management and safe disposal of wastewater and reuse.
  • Besides the government, the role of non-state actors like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Unicef and several NGOs, must be lauded as we pursue sustainable sanitation using a powerful gender lens.

Challenges and solutions

  • There were inevitably cases where women were fronts for spouses.
  • This capturing has happened in panchayat seats as well but research has shown that over time, women do pick up the challenge, and if voted back are likely to assume charge.
  • The government has also very effectively used over 8 lakh swachhagrahis, mainly women, who for small honorariums work to push through behavioural change at the community level.
  • There are no quick solutions other than adopting concerted approaches to ensure the survival and protection of the girl child through good health from sanitation and nutrition.
  • Information, education, and communication, which aims at behaviour change of the masses, is key to the success of the swachhta mission 2.0.
  • Changes in SBM messaging reflects major transformations attempting to popularise and portray stories of women groups and successful women swachhta champions.

Need for monitoring and evaluation system

  • A national monitoring and evaluation system to track and measure gender outcomes in SBM is necessary.
  • Several researchers in this space have commented that gender analysis frameworks have a long history in development practice.
  • We can learn from these frameworks to support design, implementation, and measurement.


There is no doubt that women can help to drive change and bring about lasting change as the jan andolan for swachhta, health and sanitation gains momentum.

Swachh Bharat Mission

Swachh Bharat Puraskar (PIB)


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Swachh Bharat Puruskaar, Gandgi se Mukt Campaign

Mains level : Efforts for sanitation and cleanliness

What are Swachh Bharat Puruskar ?

  • he Swachh Bharat (2020) Awards were conferred to the best performing States/UTs, districts, blocks, GPs and others in various categories marking six years of the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) launch.
  • The awards were given by Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS).
  • Top Awards were conferred upon Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab& others.
  • Gujarat was felicitated with the first prize in the state category; Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu as best district; Khachrod, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh as best block; and Chinnaur, (Salem) as the best Gram Panchayat for Swachh Sundar Samudayik Shauchalaya (SSSS) campaign organized from 1st Nov 2019 to 30th April 2020.
  • For the week-long Gandagi Se Mukt campaign launched by Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on 8th August 2020, Telangana received the top award for maximum Shramdaan participation.


Swachh Bharat Mission

[pib] Highlights of the Swachh Survekshan 2020


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Swachh Survekshan 2020

Mains level : Success of SBM

Image Source: TH

Indore was declared the cleanest city in India for the fourth consecutive time in the Swachh Survekshan, 2020 — India’s annual survey on cleanliness.

Note the following things about Swachh Survekshan:

1) Nodal Ministry (It is Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs)

2) Authority carrying out the survey

3) Various parameters of the survey

Swachh Survekshan

  • It is an annual survey of cleanliness, hygiene and sanitation in cities and towns across India.
  • It ranks India’s cities, towns and states based on sanitation, waste management and overall cleanliness.
  • It was launched as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, which aimed to make India clean and free of open defecation by 2 October 2019.
  • The first survey was undertaken in 2016 and covered 73 cities; by 2019 the survey had grown to cover 4237 cities and was said to be the largest cleanliness survey in the world.

Survey methodology

  • The surveys are carried out by the Quality Council of India. The criteria and weightage for different components of sanitation-related aspects used for the survey were:

a) Municipal documentation (solid waste management including door-to-door collection, processing, and disposal, and open defecation free status. These carried 45 per cent of the total 2,000 marks.

b) Citizen feedback – 30 per cent (450 + 150 marks)

c) Independent observation – 25 per cent (500 marks)

Highlights of the 2020 Rankings

  • Surat in Gujarat and Navi Mumbai in Maharashtra bagged the second and third spot respectively among the cleanest cities with more than a million populations.
  • Maharashtra’s Karad, Saswad and Lonavala bagged the first three positions for cities having a population less than one lakh.
  • Among the cities with a population between one and 10 lakh, Chhattisgarh’s Ambikapur was declared the cleanest, followed by Mysore in Karnataka.
  • In fact, Chhattisgarh has ranked the cleanest state in the category of states having more than 100 Urban Local Bodies (ULB). It was followed by Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
  • In 2019, Chhattisgarh was in the third position in the category. The survey found that Chhattisgarh is the first and only state where every city achieved Open Defecation Free (ODF)++ status.

Swachh Bharat Mission

Prerak Dauur Samman


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : SBM , Prerak Dauur Samman

Mains level : SBM and its success

The Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) announced a new category of awards titled ‘Prerak Dauur Samman’ as part of Swachh Survekshan 2021.

Try this question:

Q. The Prerak Dauur Samman recently seen in news is related to:

a) Swachh Bharat b) Literature c) Health Services d) Visual Arts

Prerak Dauur Samman

  • The Prerak Dauur Samman has a total of five additional subcategories -Divya (Platinum), Anupam (Gold), Ujjwal (Silver), Udit (Bronze), Aarohi (Aspiring) – with top three cities being recognized in each.
  • In a departure from the present criteria of evaluating cities on ‘population category’, this new category will categorize cities on the basis of six select indicator wise performance criteria which are as follows:

1) Segregation of waste into Wet, Dry and Hazard categories

2) Processing capacity against wet waste generated

3) Processing and recycling of wet and dry waste

4) Construction & Demolition (C&D) waste processing

5) Percentage of waste going to landfills

6) Sanitation status of cities

Swachh Bharat Mission

[pib] Star Ratings of Garbage Free Cities


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Star Ratings of Garbage Free Cities

Mains level : Success of SBM

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has released the Star rating of garbage-free cities for the assessment year 2019-2020.

Practice question for mains:

Q. Discuss how the Swachh Bharat Mission has become a people’s movement in India. Also, discuss how it has managed to instill a behavioural change amongst the citizens.

About Star Rating Protocol

  • The Star Rating Protocol was launched by the MoHUA in January 2018 to institutionalize a mechanism for cities to achieve Garbage Free status and to motivate cities to achieve higher degrees of cleanliness.
  • The protocol has been devised in a holistic manner including components such as the cleanliness of drains & water bodies, plastic waste management, managing construction & demolition waste, etc.
  • While the key thrust of this protocol is on Solid waste management(SWM), it also takes care of ensuring certain minimum standards of sanitation through a set of prerequisites defined in the framework.
  • The new protocol considers ward-wise geo-mapping, monitoring of SWM value chain through ICT interventions like Swachh Nagar App and zone-wise rating in cities with a population above 50 lakh.

Performance of cities

  • Accordingly, as per the 2020 survey, 6 cities have been graded 5 stars, 65 Cities rated 3 Star and 70 Cities rated 1 Star.

5 Star Cities

ULB Name State Final Rating
Ambikapur Chhattisgarh 5 Star
Rajkot Gujarat 5 Star
Surat Gujarat 5 Star
Mysore Karnataka 5 Star
Indore Madhya Pradesh 5 Star
Navi Mumbai Maharashtra 5 Star

Assessment under the protocol

  • To ensure that the Protocol has a SMART framework, the MoHUA has developed a three-stage assessment process.
  • In the first stage, ULBs populate their progress data on the portal along with supporting documents within a particular timeframe.
  • The second stage involves a desktop assessment by a third-party agency selected and appointed by MoHUA.
  • Claims of cities that clear the desktop assessment are then verified through independent field-level observations in the third stage.


  • This certification is an acknowledgement of the clean status of Urban Local Bodies and strengthened SWM systems as well as a mark of trust and reliability akin to universally known standards.

Back2Basics: 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

The next mission


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 implementation


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 beaches


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 goals


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 defecation


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 imagination


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’


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 Abhiyan


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: Govt


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’ Certification


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 Groundwater


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 sanitation


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 toilets


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 dignity


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 overhauling


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 countryside


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.

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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