AIR Spotlight - Swachh Bharat Mission

AIR Spotlight is an insightful program featured daily on the All India Radio Newsonair. In this program, many eminent panellists discuss issues of importance which can be quite helpful in IAS exam preparation. In this article, a discussion on Swachh Bharat Mission is explained.


  1. Akshay Rout, Former Director-General, OSD, Swachh Bharat Mission
  2. J. Balaji, Journalist


Swachh Bharat Mission was launched in 2014 and it has been very successful. Now, the Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0 has been launched with new objectives. The article will discuss various aspects of the scheme in detail.

What is Swachh Bharat Mission?

  • To accelerate the efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage and to put the focus on sanitation, the Prime Minister of India had launched the Swachh Bharat Mission on 2nd October 2014.
  • The major objective of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is to spread the awareness of cleanliness and its importance.
  • The concept of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is to provide basic sanitation facilities like toilets, solid and liquid waste disposal systems, village cleanliness, and a safe and adequate drinking water supply to every person in the country.

Read more on the Swachh Bharat Mission in the linked article.

Four Aspects of Swachh Bharat Mission:

The discussion highlights four major aspects that contribute to the success of the Swachh Bharat Mission.

Political Leadership:

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi seems to have taken a keen interest in the mission. 
  • He has been continuously talking about hygiene and sanitation in India since the launch of the mission. 

Public Finance:

  • In the first phase of the Swachh Bharat Mission (2014-19), for rural India, approximately Rs1.5 lakh crores were given. Historically, we have never seen such a huge amount of money being given for a public cause.
  • In phase two of the program, an equal or more amount of money has been given. It means that the financial aspects of the scheme have been taken care of.


  • Under this scheme, each and every government department along with the corporate sector, civil societies, media, etc. were made partners and they all contributed towards the scheme’s objectives.

People’s participation:

  • The participation of people was so intense and compulsive that there was a momentum created which resulted in the achievements of various objectives of the mission.

Solid Waste Management:

  • The Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) is dynamic and constantly evolving. SBM-U had set an objective to achieve Clean India by October 2, 2019. 
  • In the urban areas, the SBM focuses on constructing individual toilets, community toilets, and solid waste management (SWM). 
  • The first two years of the SBM-U were focused on bringing about necessary regulatory and policy changes to facilitate the scientific processing of waste. 
  • In the third year, the mission shifted its focus on bringing about behaviour change among citizens and encouraging them to segregate waste at the source. 
  • In a sign of a positive shift, citizens are participating and getting involved in this. 
  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has increased focus on waste management including solid waste and sludge in the second phase of the scheme.

Swachh Survekshan:

  • Swachh Survekshan is an annual survey of cleanliness, hygiene, and sanitation in cities and towns across India. It was launched as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
  • The objectives of the survey were:
    • To encourage large-scale citizen participation, 
    • To ensure the sustainability of initiatives taken towards garbage-free and open defecation-free cities, 
    • To provide credible outcomes, which would be validated by third-party certification, and 
    • To institutionalize existing systems through online processes, creating awareness among all sections of society about the importance of working together to make towns and cities more habitable and sustainable. 
    • Additionally, the survey also intended to foster a spirit of healthy competition amongst towns and cities to improve their service delivery to citizens and move towards creating cleaner cities.
  • Swachh Survekshan is the world’s largest urban cleanliness survey covering over 4,000 Urban Local Bodies and was initiated under SBM-Urban in 2016. 
  • The Survekshan framework has evolved with the years and has today become a unique management tool that accelerates ground-level implementation to achieve sanitation outcomes. 
  • Swachh Survekshan 2021 was conducted in record time despite the on-ground challenges posed by the pandemic. Over the years, the survey has received over 7 crore citizen feedback cumulatively. 
  • Continuous capacity building of state and city-level officials was undertaken, with over 10 lakh municipal officials and staff trained on various Mission components.

Know more about Swachh Survekshan in the link.

Role of Sanitation Workers:

  • The sanitation workers have played a major role in making our lives healthy, clean, and secure to a greater extent. 
  • They have been referred to as the ‘frontline workers’ or ‘safai mitra’, and ‘best friends’. 
  • Recently, the social workers have been felicitated by the Social Work Mission (an organization) and ‘Safai Mitra Suraksha Yojana’ was also launched for them.
  • They have been provided with the latest tools and technologies for cleanliness so that they can also live a secure and dignified life.

Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0:

  • Prime Minister Modi launched Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0.
  • The aim of Swach Bharat Mission 2.0 is to make the cities garbage-free.
  • With this second phase, the country also aims at sewage and safety management, making cities water-secure and ensuring that dirty nullahs don’t merge into rivers.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0 has been designed to realize the aspiration to make all our cities ‘Garbage Free’ and ‘Water Secure’.
  • It is expected that under Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0, all statutory towns will become at least ODF+; and all cities with <1 lakh population ODF++. Systems and processes will be in place so that all wastewater is safely treated and optimally reused and no untreated wastewater pollutes water bodies.



  • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) was launched as the first water-focused mission in 2015, with a total mission outlay of ₹1,00,000 crore. 
  • The Mission has also made tremendous progress under its component of reforms. Credit rating work has been completed in 470 cities of which, 164 cities have received Investible Grade Rating (IGR), including 36 cities with ratings of A- or above. 


  • AMRUT 2.0 aims to make around 4,700 towns/cities ‘water secure’. 
  • It will build upon the progress of AMRUT to address water needs, rejuvenate water bodies, better manage aquifers, reuse treated wastewater, thereby promoting a circular economy of water. 


  • The total outlay of AMRUT 2.0 is ₹2,97,000 crores, including the central share of ₹76,760 crores.  


The Objectives of AMRUT 2.0 are: 

  • To provide 100% coverage of water supply to all households in around 4,700 ULBs, by providing 2.68 crore urban household tap connections, thereby benefitting around 10.7 crores people. 
  • To provide 100% coverage of sewerage and septage in 500 AMRUT cities, by providing 2.64 crore sewer connections/septage connections, thereby benefitting around 10.6 crores people. 
  • Rejuvenation of water bodies and urban aquifer management will be undertaken to augment sustainable freshwater supply. 
  • Recycling and reuse of treated wastewater are expected to cater to 20% of the total water needs of the cities and 40% of industrial demand. 
  • Under the Mission, freshwater bodies will be protected from getting polluted to make natural resources sustainable.

Way Forward:

  • The sanitation infrastructure created under the mission should be sustained in terms of maintenance and usage by people.
  • All the stakeholders such as brand ambassadors, NGOs, government officials, people, etc. should come together to meet the objectives of SBM 2.0.
  • Brand ambassadors are like influencers so there should be a proper selection of brand ambassadors who have influence over people’s minds. They may be actors, sportspersons, political leaders, local leaders, etc.
  • People should make sanitation a habit.


These flagship missions signify a step forward in our march towards effectively addressing the challenges of rapidly urbanizing India and will also help contribute towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

Read more Gist of AIR Spotlight here.

AIR Spotlight – Swachh Bharat Mission:- Download PDF Here

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Kisan SAMPADA Yojana Jal Shakti Ministry


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