1. Prologue
  2. ⁉️ Mock Question for Mains
  3. Why focus on sanitation?
  4. Economic Survey: Way forward / What else to do in Sanitation?
  5. ✍️Conclusion: Summary: Yes these reforms are important


  • After the General Elections 2019, Economic Survey 2018-19 (ES19: आर्थिक सर्वेक्षण) was released in 2019-July by Chief Economic Advisor (CEA: मुख्य आर्थिक सलाहकार) Subramanian K. with a ‘skyblue’ cover because it contained blueprint for $5 trillion dollar economy.
  • As usual, Vol1 dealt with the prediction & prescription of future; whereas Vol2 with the description of the past. At this stage you may ignore the Volume2 because Prelim-2019 is over, and another new survey will come before Prelim-2020- containing a more latest data. However, volume1 is important for at least the next 3 UPSC mains examinations.
  • Vol1 Chapter 08 deals with the subject of Swachh Bharat Mission, which I classify under Economy Pillar#5: Water and sanitation infrastructure.
  • Syllabus Relevance? GSM2: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health; GSM3: environmental pollution and degradation
  • I’m yet to cover this chapter in Youtube Lecture video. But stay tuned for it!

Economic Survey Swachh Bharat Summary

⁉️ Mock Question for Mains

  1. (GSM2/3) Enumerate the social, environmental and economic gains of ‘Sanitation for All’. ‘सभी के लिए स्वच्छता’ से होने वाले सामाजिक, पर्यावरण और आर्थिक लाभ की सूचि दीजिए.
  2. (GSM3) “Construction of toilets is only “one part” of the solution for a clean India.” Elaborate. “स्वच्छ भारत” के लिए शौचालय बनाने के अलावा भी अनेक और उपाय जरूरी है.” विस्तृत कीजिए.

?Introduction to Sanitation

  • (Origin of the problem) While ancient Indus valley civilisation accorded prime importance to sanitation by integrating sanitation systems into town planning.
  • But over the ages this domain received less attention of the policy makers.  (यद्यपि प्राचीन सिंधु घाटी सभ्यता के नगर आयोजन में स्वच्छता को बहुत महत्व देते थे लेकिन आधुनिक भारत के नीति निर्माताओं से स्वच्छता को बहुत ज्यादा महत्व नहीं मिला था)
  • As a result, in 2014, close to half the population, still practiced open defecation.  (भारत की आधे से ज्यादा आबादी खुले में शौच के लिए जाती थी)
  • So, Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) was initiated to achieve universal sanitation coverage by 2 October 2019 i.e. Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary.

?? SBM Salient Features

  • Erstwhile Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation (Presently ’Jal Shakti’ Ministry) administers this scheme.
  • It has two components 1) Rural 2) Urban.
  • Government provides funding to construct individual toilets, community toilets, Solid and Liquid Waste Management (ठोस और तरल अपशिष्ट प्रबंधन), eradication of manual scavenging, awareness generation  (जागृति फैलाना) etc.
  • Cost sharing is 60:40, 90:10 depending on State.
  • Accountability mechanism? SBM assets have been geo-tagged. Many mobile applications have been launched to complaint about unclean areas to municipal corporations.

Why focus on sanitation?

Successive economic service have observed that:

?Health Benefits (स्वास्थ्य को लाभ)

  • SBM helped reducing diarrhoea (अतिसार), malaria among children, stillbirth (मृत शिशु का जन्म) and low birth weight (<2.5kg: जन्म के समय बहुत कम वजन होना) have declined.
  • Ofcourse, this is not only because of the swachh Bharat mission but other parallel initiatives by other ministries: Such as distribution of  mosquito nets, fogging machines, Gambusia fish, Oral rehydration solutions (ORS) etc.
  • Environmental enteropathy (पर्यावरण जन्य आंत्रविकृति):  open defecation results in bacterial infection in the intestines which reduces nutritional absorption  → Poor learning outcomes among the children.
  • Thus, proper sanitation and hygiene provide for healthy and disease free living.

?‍♀️Women Empowerment (महिला सशक्तिकरण)

  • Pregnant women gets infection from open defecation  → Maternal mortality ratio (मातृ मृत्यु अनुपात), Infant Mortality Rate (शिशु मृत्यु दर) chances increase.
  • In rural areas, girls unconsciously reduce water-food intake to avoid having to go for open defecation in day-time. This aggravates the problem of malnutrition and anaemia. (कुपोषण और रक्त की कमी)
  • Therefore, access to sanitation is necessary for gender empowerment.

?Economic Benefits (आर्थिक लाभ)

  • Every household in an open defecation free village saved about ₹ 50,000 per year due to lower chances of disease, time saved due to a closer toilet → Improved economic productivity.  (शौच के लिए दूर तक चल कर जाने में समय बर्बाद नहीं होता, आदमी बीमार कम होता है इसलिए उसकी आर्थिक उत्पादित बढ़ती है, हर घर के करीब सालाना ₹50000 बच जाते हैं)
  • enrolment ratio of girls in schools improved  → labour force participation rate of women will improve in the future.  (महिलाओं की श्रमबल में भागीदारी बढ़ेगी)

?Environmental Benefits (पर्यावरणीय लाभ)

Open defecation and municipal waste eventually contaminates the water bodies- and harm the flora-fauna. SBM helps averting it.

Economic Survey: Way forward / What else to do in Sanitation?

In the latest economic survey, CEA Subramanian K. observed that

  • As of 2019June: All states achieved Open Defecation Free (खुले में शौच से मुक्त) status EXCEPT Goa, Odisha, Telangana, Bihar, W.Bengal, Sikkim. They need to improve. कुछ राज्य अभी भी अपने लक्ष्य प्राप्त नहीं कर पाए उन्होंने सुधरने की जरूरत है
  • Construction of toilets is only “one part” of the solution for a clean India. There are various facets for a clean India such as:

?Behavioral Changes required

  • Some rural males still don’t use toilets.
  • Even in urban areas, people keep their homes clean but litter in public places. (अपना घर साफ रखते हैं लेकिन सार्वजनिक जगहों पर गंदगी फैलाते हैं)
  • So, we have to inculcate a behavioural change for maintaining cleanliness at public places as well. (व्यवहार में परिवर्तन,  व्यापक प्रतिबद्धता जरूरी है)

?Backend infrastructure need to be strengthened

  • Rural toilets suffer from incomplete construction of sewers, shortage of water. So, people can’t use them.  (गटर निर्माण, पानी की किल्लत: पिछली ओर की संरचना को मजबूत करना होगा)
  • India is also suffering from water crisis so we’ve to adopt eco-friendly water conservation in toilets. e.g. Bio toilets, dual flush toilets.  (जैव शौचालय, दोहरी फ्लश शौचालय)

?‘Clean India’ as ‘pollution free’ not just ‘Open defecation free’

For Clean India, we have to go beyond just construction of individual toilets. A clean India should also lead to environment friendly green India. So, we have to focus on:

  • industrial effluent, plastic menace, controlling air pollution etc.  (औद्योगिक अपशिष्ट,  प्लास्टिक की चुनौती,  वायु प्रदूषण)
  • bioremediation, river surface cleaning, river front development.  (जैवउपचार, नदियों के तल की सफाई,  रिवर फ्रंट का विकास)
  • afforestation and biodiversity conservation. (वृक्षारोपण तथा जैव विविधता का संरक्षण)

??More Financing required (अधिक वित्तपोषण की जरूरत)

To do the above things, we have to mobilise more funds through

  1. Micro-financing (सूक्ष्म वित्तपोषण)
  2. Concessional Loans  (रियायती दरों पर लोन/ ऋण )
  3. Corporate Social Responsibility  (कॉरपोरेट का सामाजिक उत्तरदायित्व)
  4. Crowdfunding  (जनसमूह के द्वारा वित्तपोषण)
  5. Public Private Partnership (सार्वजनिक-निजी भागीदारी)

✍️Conclusion: Summary: Yes these reforms are important

  • Sustainable Development Goal number 6: “By 2030, achieve sanitation and hygiene for all, and end open defecation, paying special attention to women, girls and those in vulnerable situations”. (धारणीय विकास लक्ष्य #6: सबके लिए समतुल्य स्वच्छता, महिला बालिका और विकट परिस्थिति में रहने वाले लोगों का खास ख्याल रखा जाए) OR
  • Sanitation for all ensures social, environmental and economic gains for all. OR
  • Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Sanitation is more important than independence.” Proper sanitation and hygiene are essential inputs not only for healthy and disease free living but also for a dignified life as a human being. Therefore, only a Clean, Health and Beautiful India can be our fitting tribute to Gandhi’s 150th Birth anniversary. (“स्वच्छता स्वतंत्रता से भी अधिक महत्वपूर्ण, गरिमा पूर्ण जीवन के लिए जरूरी है” ऐसा गांधी ने कहा था इसलिए एक स्वच्छ स्वस्थ और सुंदर भारत बनाकर ही हम अपने राष्ट्रपिता को सच्ची श्रद्धांजलि दे सकते हैं).
  • Therefore aforementioned reforms are necessary, they need to be pursued on a priority basis or war footing.