Swachh Bharat Awards

The government of India launched a significant cleanliness initiative named Swachh Bharat Abhiyan on 2nd October 2014. The primary aim of the drive, or Abhiyan, also referred to as the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) or the Clean India Mission, is to improve solid waste management and eliminate open defecation.

This article provides insights into the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and the Swachh Bharat Awards given to the best performing states in the Abhiyan.

This article will discuss the Swachh Bharat Awards in the context of the IAS Exam.

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Swachh Bharat Awards: Evaluation criteria

The performance evaluation of various states is broadly based on the following parameters:

  • Construction of new toilets, particularly in the rural areas
  • Tracking education, information, and behavioral changes on sanitation
  • Eradication of open defecation
  • Processing and disposal of solid waste by municipalities/corporations in the urban areas
  • Availability of community toilets in rural areas and public toilets in urban areas
  • Development of infrastructure in line with the objectives of the mission

Objectives of the Swachh Bharat Mission

  • Creating awareness on sanitation and cleanliness
  • Bringing a behavioural change in sanitation practices
  • Total eradication of manual scavenging

The planned campaign has two phases:

  1. Covering the period from 2014 to 2019
  2. Covering the period from 2020-21 to 2020-25

Operational structure

The mission has two segments –

  • The SBM – Gramin under the Department of drinking water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti
  • SBM-Urban – Under the ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs

Swachh Survekshan: Evaluation Survey

The winner of the Swachh Bharat Award / Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Award is finalized based on the findings of the swachh survekshan.

The Swachh survey is an integral part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and evaluates the cleanliness, sanitation, and hygiene levels of the participating cities/towns/states.

Swachh Bharat Awards: Categories

For rural areas, awards are given in three categories

a) Swachh Sundar Samudayik Shauchalaya

b) Gandagi Mukt Bharat

c) Samudayik Shouchalaya Abhiyan

The awards are presented at State, District, Block, and Gram Panchayat levels.

The cleanest city award is one of the leading awards for urban areas. A ranking of the top 10 clean cities in India is also released as part of the Swachh Abhiyan campaign.

There are other awards, including the cleanest state and best performance, under various declared sanitation programs.

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Impact of Swachh Bharat Awards

  • The number of cities and towns participating in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is increasing; 4320 cities completed the detailed questionnaire for the cleanliness survey, swachh survekshan, in 2021.
  • With the rising awareness of the Swachh Bharat Awards, India’s citizens’ involvement is also increasing; over five crore citizens gave feedback on sanitation and cleanliness issues for the 2021 survey.
  • Plenty of action is noticed on the sanitation front across various cities in India. The awards seem to have brought in a spirit of healthy competition among the different states. Participating cities are working overtime to fulfil the sanitation and cleanliness targets.
  • The government of India, too, encouraged by the response to the awards, has increased the number of the initiatives further; monthly cleanliness drives, community cleaning programs, awareness campaigns will now be organized as a monitored program. In addition, a new category of Swachh tourist destinations has been started to cover one hundred heritages and cultural places in India.

Swachh Bharat Award, 2020

Here is a list of Swachh Bharat (2020) Awardees:

List of Swachh Bharat Awardees, 2020


Level & Award

Gandagi Se Mukt (GMB) campaign


State – 1st Prize


State – 1st Prize

Moga, Punjab.

District – 1st Prize

Samudayik Shauchalaya Abhiyan (SSA)


State – 1st Prize

Uttar Pradesh

State – 1st Prize

Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh

District – 1st Prize

Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh

District – 1st Prize

Borigaon, Bongaigaon, Assam

Gram Panchayat – 1st Prize

Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh

District – Special Recognition


District – Special Recognition

Swachh Sundar Samudayik Shauchalaya (SSSS) campaign


State – 1st Prize

Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu

District – 1st Prize

Khachrod, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh

Block – 1st Prize

Chinnaur, (Salem), Tamil Nadu

Gram Panchayat – 1st Prize

Swachh Survekshan Awards, 2021

Some of the highlights of the latest awards:

A) Category winners

  • Cleanest City of India overall: Indore (Madhya Pradesh)
  • Cleanest Big City (10 – 40 Lakhs population): Navi Mumbai
  • Cleanest Medium City (3 – 10 Lakhs population): Noida
  • Cleanest Small City (1 – 3 Lakhs population): New Delhi Municipal; Corporation
  • Cleanest State (with more than 100 urban bodies): Chhattisgarh
  • Cleanest State (with less than 100 urban bodies): Jharkhand
  • Cleanest District: Surat (Gujarat)
  • Fastest Mover Small city: Hoshangabad (Madhya Pradesh)
  • Best Small city in Citizens’ Feedback: Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh)
  • Garbage-free 5 –Star top ten cities: Indore, Surat, New Delhi Municipal Council, Noida, Navi Mumbai, Ambikapur, Mysuru, Vijayawada, and Patan

B) Top performers

Top -Three Cleanest Cities of India:

  1. Indore (Madhya Pradesh)
  2. Surat (Gujarat)
  3. Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh)

Top – Three Cleanest Cities (Less than 1 Lakh Population):

  1. Vita
  2. Lonavla
  3. Sasvad

Top – Three Cleanest States Category – more than 100 urban bodies

  1. Chhattisgarh
  2. Maharashtra
  3. Madhya Pradesh

Top-Three Cleanest States category – Less than 100 urban bodies:

  1. Jharkhand
  2. Haryana
  3. Goa


  • Maharashtra has bagged the maximum number of awards, 92 among all the participating states, followed by Chhattisgarh, 67 awards.
  • Indore, the Swachh Bharat Award 2020 winner for the cleanest city, has repeated the performance in 2021! As a result, the city has won the Best cleanest city award for the fifth year in succession.

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