Ministry of Jal Shakti - Significance of Jal Shakti Ministry, Jal Shakti Abhiyan [UPSC Notes]]

The Ministry of Jal Shakti was established in May 2019 under the Government of India. Two ministries namely the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, as well as the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, were merged together to form the Ministry of Jal Shakti. Along with Jal Shakti Ministry, topics like Jal Shakti Abhiyan and Water Resources in India become important for the IAS Exam.

The highlights of this ministry are discussed in the table below:

Ministry of Jal Shakti
Date of Formation May 2019
Governing Ministers Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Cabinet Minister and Rattan Lal Kataria, Minister of State
Jurisdiction Republic of India

Candidates can check some important government schemes that remain in the news. These can help candidates for both prelims and mains examination:

Objectives of Jal Shakti Ministry

The Jal Shakti Ministry focuses on issues such as international and inter-state water disputes, cleaning of the Ganga, its tributaries and sub-tributaries and also aims in providing clean drinking water. The formation of this ministry targets towards the mounting water challenges faced by India over the past few decades.

Some important schemes/initiatives/programmes that are taken care of by the Jal Shakti Ministry are:

  1. Jal Jeevan Mission
  2. Jal Shakti Abhiyan
  3. Atal Bhujal Yojana
  4. Namami Gange Programme
  5. National Aquifer Mapping Programme
  6. PM Krishi Sinchayee Yojana 

National Water Mission

The National Water Mission was launched by PM Narendra Modi under the National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) to tackle the threats of global warming. The National Water Mission emphasizes on conservation of water and minimizing the wastage. It also ensures the equitable distribution of water across and within the states through the development and management of integrated water resources. The major goals of the National Water Mission are as follows:

  • To reduce and study the impact of climate change on water resources and to provide comprehensive water database in the public domain.
  • Promotion of citizen and state actions for water conservation, augmentation and preservation.
  • To focus on the vulnerable areas including over-exploited areas and also to increase the water use efficiency by 20%.
  • To promote the management of basin level integrated water resources.

To know about the advantages of the National Water Mission, refer to the linked article.

Water Scarcity in India

The 2018 Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) noted that 6% of economic GDP will be lost by 2050, while water demand will exceed the available supply by 2030.

India has 18% of the world’s population which has access to only 4% of the usable water sources. Poor management of resources and lack of government attention has contributed as a major factor for water scarcity in India. As per NITI Aayog report released in June 2019, India is facing the worst-ever water crisis in history. Approximately 600 million people or roughly around 45 % of the population in India is facing high to severe water stress. The report goes on to say that nearly 40 % of the population will have absolutely no access to drinking water by 2030 and 6 % of India’s GDP will be lost by 2050 due to the water crisis.

As per the publication by Jal Shakti Ministry; by 2030, the industrial activity will require four times the volume of water it used in 2020.

To know about the causes of water scarcity in India, refer to the linked article.

What is Jal Shakti Abhiyan?

As per the promises made by the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Ministry of Jal Shakti was formed in May 2019 to reduce the issues related to water scarcity in India. Soon after the announcement of the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat announced the commencement of the Jal Shakti Abhiyan on 1st July 2019. This was a campaign for water conservation and water security that continued from 1st July 2019 till 15th September 2019. This campaign mainly focused on the water-stressed districts.

The Union government  announced on March 2021 that it would launch from April 2021 “Jal Shakti Abhiyan 2” a programme to manage and conserve rainwater and recharge the aquifers in the country, part of the Centre’s target to provide tapped drinking water to every household by 2024.

As per Shri Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), the Jal Shakti Abhiyan is a collaborative campaign of various Ministries under the Government of India and the State Governments being coordinated by the DDWS. The Jal Shakti Abhiyan mainly focuses upon the conservation of water in 1592 water-stressed blocks in 256 districts. It also ensures five important water conservation interventions:

  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Renovation of traditional and other water bodies/tanks
  • Reuse bore well recharge structures
  • Watershed development
  • Intensive afforestation.

The Jal Shakti Abhiyan was also established to develop various Water Conservation Plans for Blocks and Districts, to promote efficient water use for irrigation and the selection of better crops through Krishi Vigyan Kendras.

How to approach topics like Jal Shakti Ministry for UPSC

The topic ‘Jal Shakti Ministry’ for the IAS Exam can be studied covering the following subjects:

  1. Indian Geography (UPSC Mains GS 1) – With Jal Shakti Ministry, topics like water resources, hydropower projects, rivers become important for UPSC. Hence, aspirants need to focus on all of these.
  2. Indian Polity (UPSC Mains GS 2) – Legislative actions to merge two ministries, the schemes brought related to water become important. For instance, aspirants should know about National Water Mission, Atal Bhujal Yojana, Saguna Rice Technique and etc.
  3. UPSC Current Affairs – Any update related to Jal Shakti Ministry can be noted w.r.t to the UPSC Syllabus. For example, recently Jal Shakti Ministry has decided to establish a central agency to examine the salinity issue of the Mahadyi river. With this, Karnataka’s Kalasa-Banduri project came into the news. Hence, an aspirant should know about the Mahadri river, the Kalasa-Banduri project objectively, for prelims examination.
  4. UPSC Essay – Many times, essays are asked about the water crisis, water stress in the mains examination. Hence, an aspirant should know the initiatives taken up by the Jal Shakti Ministry by visiting its official website – http://mowr.gov.in/.
  5. Candidates should follow the latest developments in Current Affairs related to other government schemes for their UPSC 2021 preparation.

Jal Shakti Ministry – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

FAQ about Jal Shakti Ministry

What is Jal Jeevan Mission?

National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) is a centrally sponsored scheme. It is implemented by the Ministy of Jal Shakti to ensure that every rural person has enough safe water for drinking, cooking and other domestic needs.

What is Atal Bhujal Yojana?

Atal Bhujal Yojana is a Central Sector Scheme which aims to improve ground water management through community participation in identified priority areas in seven States.

For UPSC Strategy articles and previous year questions asked in UPSC Mains, check the links below:

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