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National Ganga Council - UPSC Notes

The National Ganga Council was formed in 2016. It is chaired by the Prime Minister of India. It is an important body, which is responsible for various government schemes regarding the cleaning up of the River Ganga. In this article, you can read all about the National Ganga Council, its formation, mandate, composition and functions for the IAS exam.

The first meeting of the National Ganga Council was held on 14th December 2019.

Aspirants can find information on the structure and other important details related to the IAS Exam, in the linked article.

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National Ganga Council

The full name of the Council is ‘National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection and Management of River Ganga’.  

  • It was formed under the River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities Order, 2016.
  • This Order dissolved the National Ganga River Basin Authority and replaced it with the National Ganga Council.
  • This Council has the overall responsibility of preventing pollution and rejuvenating the Ganga River Basin, including the River Ganga and its tributaries.
  • Its jurisdiction extends to the states which comprise of the Ganga River Basin namely, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Haryana, Jharkhand and Delhi-NCR, and any other states having the major tributaries of the Ganga.
  • It is chiefly responsible for the implementation of the National Mission for Clean Ganga.

National Ganga Council Composition

The following are the members of the National Ganga Council:

  1. Prime Minister – Chairperson
  2. Union Minister for Jal Shakti – Vice-Chairperson
  3. Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change 
  4. Union Minister for Finance
  5. Union Minister for Power
  6. Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs 
  7. Union Minister for Science and Technology
  8. Union Minister for Rural Development
  9. Union Minister of State for Tourism 
  10. Union Minister for Shipping
  11. Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog
  12. Chief Minister, Jharkhand 
  13. Chief Minister, Bihar
  14. Chief Minister, Uttarakhand 
  15. Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh
  16. Chief Minister, West Bengal 
  17. Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation  
  18. Secretary, Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation 
  19. Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare
  20. Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs 
  21. Director-General, National Mission for Clean Ganga 

National Ganga Council Functions

The chief function of the Council is the implementation of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and the Namami Gange programme of the government. This includes preventing pollution in the Ganga River Basin, and rejuvenating the Basin by various activities such as improving the vegetation, ensuring continuity of water flow, restoring and maintaining the surface flow and also groundwater, conserving the aquatic and riparian biodiversity of the region, and cleaning up the area.

The NMCG will comply with the directions and decisions of the Council and execute the Ganga Basin Management Plan approved by it.

Read about National River Ganga in the linked article.

National Ganga Council – 1st Meeting

The first-ever meeting of the National Ganga Council, headed by PM Narendra Modi took place in December 2019. The key highlights of the NGC meeting were:

  1. West Bengal did not participate in the first NGC meet.
  2. Jharkhand also did not attend the 1st National Gangan Council meet due to elections.
  3. Rs. 20 crores were committed to five states through which river Ganga passes for the year 2015-2020. Rs. 7700 crores were spent on establishing new sewage treatment plants.
  4. Emphasis was laid on the fullest cooperation from the public at large for the improvement framework for Nirmal Ganga.
  5. Emphasis was also laid on the efficiency improvement of District Ganga Committees in all districts.
  6. PM urged for a holistic thinking process where ‘Namami Gange’ evolves to ‘Arth Ganga’ or a sustainable development model with a focus on economic activities related to Ganga:
    • Sustainable agriculture practises being encouraged among farmers.
    • Priority to be given to Self-Help Groups and ex-servicemen organizations for programmes in alignment.
  7. Focus on the creation of such infrastructure that would help to tap the ‘hybrid’ tourism potential of the river basin area.
  8. Digital Dashboard to be created where data from villages and urban local bodies will be supervised by Niti Ayog and Jal Shakti Ministry.
  9. PM discussed how all districts that border the Ganga river should be made a focus area for monitoring efforts under Namami Gange.

National Ganga Council – Indian Polity:- Download PDF Here

Candidates can find the general pattern of the UPSC Exams by visiting the UPSC Syllabus page.

Relevant Links

National Water Mission National Solar Mission 
National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) National Water Mission – Jal Jeevan Mission
United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) Ministry of Jal Shakti – Significance of Jal Shakti Ministry, Jal Shakti Abhiyan
Environment And Ecology Notes For UPSC Green Revolution – Meaning, Features, Schemes & Impact
United Nations Development Program and India United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
Climate Change In India No-Till Farming – Method of Agriculture that has many Environmental Positives
Sustainable Development Goals – SDG in India, Progress, Aims & Impact National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE)
Green India Mission (GIM) National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA)

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