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.
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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:
- Prime Minister – Chairperson
- Union Minister for Jal Shakti – Vice-Chairperson
- Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change
- Union Minister for Finance
- Union Minister for Power
- Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs
- Union Minister for Science and Technology
- Union Minister for Rural Development
- Union Minister of State for Tourism
- Union Minister for Shipping
- Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog
- Chief Minister, Jharkhand
- Chief Minister, Bihar
- Chief Minister, Uttarakhand
- Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh
- Chief Minister, West Bengal
- Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation
- Secretary, Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation
- Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare
- Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
- 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:
- West Bengal did not participate in the first NGC meet.
- Jharkhand also did not attend the 1st National Gangan Council meet due to elections.
- 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.
- Emphasis was laid on the fullest cooperation from the public at large for the improvement framework for Nirmal Ganga.
- Emphasis was also laid on the efficiency improvement of District Ganga Committees in all districts.
- 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.
- Focus on the creation of such infrastructure that would help to tap the ‘hybrid’ tourism potential of the river basin area.
- Digital Dashboard to be created where data from villages and urban local bodies will be supervised by Niti Ayog and Jal Shakti Ministry.
- 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
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