Atal Bhujal Yojana - Jal Jeevan Mission

Atal Bhujal Yojana (Atal Jal) is targeted at sustainable groundwater management, mainly through convergence among various ongoing schemes with the active involvement of local communities and stakeholders. This will ensure that in the Scheme area, the funds allocated by the Central and State governments are spent judiciously to ensure the long term sustainability of groundwater resources. The scheme has been designed as a pilot with the principal objective of strengthening the institutional framework for participatory groundwater management.

In order to acknowledge and contain the ever-growing problem of groundwater depletion, the Indian Government introduced the Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABY) in December 2019 after getting financial approval from the World Bank in 2018. It has been launched under the Jal Jeevan Mission of the government. 

Atal Bhujal scheme is related to groundwater usage and conservation in India and is one of the important Government Schemes. These kinds of schemes are important for the UPSC exam as every year, many questions are asked in both the prelims and mains exam.

Government Schemes also play an important role in IAS Exam.

They are a significant part of the General Studies paper-2 of the UPSC Syllabus.

Aspirants can also refer to the links given below:

WHO WASH – Water, Sanitation and Hygiene World Health Organisation (WHO)
Sustainable Development Goals United Nations World Water Development Report
National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) List of Environment Conventions and Protocols
National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) Central Water Commission
 National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC)  Water Stress in India & Prevention of Water Scarcity

Important Facts about Atal Bhujal Yojana

Atal Bhujal Yojana (Atal Jal)

The Date of Launch of Atal Bhujal Yojana 25th December 2019 on the special occasion of the 95th birth anniversary of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. 
Atal Bhujal Yojana Comes Under Which Ministry Ministry of Jal Shakti 

Official Website –

Atal Bhujal Yojana – A Central Sector scheme or Central-Sponsored scheme It is a Central Sector Scheme
Components of the scheme, Atal Bhujal Yojana Two components;

  1. Institutional Strengthening & Capacity Building (Outlay – Rs. 1400 crore)
  2. Incentive (Outlay – Rs. 1600 crore)
An outlay of Atal Bhujal Yojana Rs. 6000 Crore
Implementation Period of Atal Bhujal Yojana 2020-21 to 2024-25
States included in the Atal Bhujal Yojana for sustainable management of groundwater resources Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh
World Bank’s Assistance in Atal Bhujal Yojana $450 million
Current update regarding Atal Bhujal Yojana
  • Atal Bhujal Mission is to be extended in the entire state of Uttar Pradesh. Earlier, it was run as a pilot project in 10 districts of the state — Mahoba, Jhansi, Banda, Hamirpur, Chitrakoot, Lalitpur, Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Baghpat and Meerut.
  • Haryana (Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Department) in March 2020, planned to implement Atal Bhujal Yojana in the state with a budgetary provision of Rs 723 crore to help in conserving water bodies and strengthening the organisations concerned from 2020-21 to 2024-25 with 50 per cent financial assistance of the World Bank.

UPSC 2021

What is Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABY)?

The objective of the programme was to lay emphasis on the recharge of groundwater resources and improve the exploitation of the groundwater resources, with the involvement of people at the local level.

  • The scheme will be implemented and looked over by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, which is now known as the Jal Shakti Ministry.
  • Half of the cost of the scheme will be borne by the Government, while the other half will be funded by the World Bank in the form of a loan.
  • To encourage community participation, it has been planned by the government to give 50% of the money to gram panchayats and states as incentives for achieving the groundwater management targets.
  • The scheme is being taken up in 8353 water-stressed Gram Panchayats of Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. Given below is are the areas and tentative financial allocations:
Sl.No. State Districts Blocks GPs
1 Gujarat 6 24 1,816
2 Haryana 13 36 1,895
3 Karnataka 14 41 1,199
4 Madhya Pradesh 5 9 678
5 Maharashtra 13 35 1,339
6 Rajasthan 17 22 876
7 Uttar Pradesh 10 26 550
  TOTAL 78 193 8,353
  • The scheme has two components:
    • Institutional Strengthening & Capacity Building component (Rs. 1,400 crore)
    • Incentive Component (Rs. 4,600 crore) for incentivizing the States

Post the data from the Central Ground Water Board report regarding groundwater depletion at an alarming rate in 30% of the assessed blocks from the assessment of groundwater in the country, the Government has fast-tracked the implementation of the Atal Bhujal Yojana.

To read about Water Scarcity – Water Stress in India & Prevention of Water Scarcity, Click Here

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Objectives of Atal Bhujal Yojana

  • It aims at groundwater management in priority areas in the country through community participation.
  • Two major types of groundwater systems found in India include alluvial and hard rock aquifers. These are covered under the scheme.
  • Priority areas covered – Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.
  • These States represent about 25% of the total number of over-exploited, critical and semi-critical blocks in terms of groundwater in India.
  • It also aims at bringing about behavioural change at the community level through awareness programs and capacity building for fostering sustainable groundwater management in the participating States
What is the goal of Atal Bhujal Yojana?

The goal of Atal Bhujal Yojana (Atal Jal) is to demonstrate community-led sustainable groundwater management, which can be taken to scale.

Funding of the scheme

  • Atal Bhujal Yojana(Atal Jal) is a Central Sector Scheme with an outlay of INR 6000 crore, out of which INR 3,000 crore will be a loan from the World Bank and INR 3,000 crore as a matching contribution from the Government of India (GoI).
  • The funds under the scheme shall be provided to the states as grants-in-aid.
  • The World Bank financing will be done under a new lending instrument, that is, Program for Results (PforR), wherein funds under the scheme will be disbursed from the World Bank to the GoI based on achievement of pre-agreed results.

Scope of Atal Bhujal Yojana

The scheme envisages addressing four critical issues relating to sustainable groundwater management, that is,

  1. State-specific institutional frameworks for sustainable groundwater management;
  2. Enhancement of groundwater recharge;
  3. Improvement of water use efficiency; and
  4. Strengthening of community-based institutions to foster groundwater management.

Some potential investment categories which will be excluded from Atal Bhujal Yojana are:

  • Construction of major dams and new large-scale irrigation systems; and
  • Industrial wastewater collection, treatment, and using it for recharging groundwater.
  • In addition, activities that are likely to have significant adverse impacts on the environment that are sensitive, diverse, or unprecedented and/or affect people are not eligible for financing under the Program.
  • Similarly, activities that involve procurement of works, goods, and services of high-value contracts will normally not be eligible for financing.

India’s Ground Water Problem

  • A study reported that almost 80% of the domestic water supplies [both rural and urban] rely on groundwater.
  • According to another report by the World Bank, India is held responsible for about 25% of the groundwater abstraction due to its increasing number of dark zones.

What are Groundwater Dark Zones?

  • Areas where groundwater consumption is overexploited.
  • Here the rate of annual consumption is more than the annual rate of recharge of groundwater.
  • The government keeps a record of such dark zones in the states and the country. 

Atal Bhujal Yojana – UPSC Notes:-Download PDF Here

Also read India’s Water Crisis – Every Drop Counts: RSTV – The Big Picture

Frequently Asked Questions on Atal Bhujal Yojana


Q 1. What is the objective of the Atal Bhujal Yojana?

Ans. Atal Bhujal Yojana (ATAL JAL) is a Central Sector Scheme for facilitating sustainable groundwater management. The scheme lays emphasis on community participation and demand-side interventions for sustainable groundwater management in identified water-stressed areas in several states of the country.

Q 2. How many states have been covered under the Atal Bhujal Yojana?

Ans. The Atal Bhujal scheme has been taken up in 8353 water-stressed Gram Panchayats of Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

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