Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation Current Affairs

Government launches Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2017

The Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has released Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2017, third party survey report to assess the progress Swachh Bharat Mission in rural India

 The survey was undertaken by the Quality Council of India (QCI) between May and June 2017 to take into account status of rural sanitation in all States and UTs. The survey covered 4626 villages across all States and Union territories.

Key Highlights of Swachh Survekshan Gramin

QCI claims that 62.45% of the households have access to a toilet and 91.29% of the people who had access to a toilet also used it. Over 4.54 crore household toilets have been constructed since the launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin. 160 districts, 2,20,104 villages and 5 States declared have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF). Sanitation Coverage has increased from 39% in October 2016 to 66% in August 2017.

Top performing states: Northeastern States of Sikkim, Nagaland and Manipur with 95% rural households covered by toilets were top performers. Himalayan States of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand were also top performers with over 90% toilet coverage of the rural houses.

 Performance of Big States: Almost all rural households in Kerala and Haryana have access to a toilet. In, Gujarat 85% of rural households have access to toilets. Tamil Nadu has 79% rural households access to a toilet.

Worst performing States: Bihar (30% coverage) and Uttar Pradesh (37%), Jharkhand (37%) were among the worst performers in terms of rural sanitation.

About Quality Council of India (QCI)

QCI was set up in 1997 by Union Government jointly with Indian Industry as an autonomous body. Its mandate is to establish and operate the National Accreditation Structure (NAS) for conformity assessment bodies and providing accreditation in the field of health, education and quality promotion.

It also promotes the adoption of quality standards relating to Food Safety Management Systems (ISO 22000 Series), Quality Management Systems (ISO 14001 Series) and Product Certification and Inspection. It has been assigned task of monitoring and administering the National Quality Campaign and also oversee function of National Information and Enquiry Services.

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Somnath Temple, Charminar among new places chosen for Swachh iconic places initiative

The government has announced the names of ten new Iconic places under the Phase II of Swachh Iconic Places initiative. Swachh Iconic Places (SIP) is an initiative of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation under Swachh Bharat Mission.

The ten new iconic places that will be undertaken in Phase II of Swachh Iconic Places initiative are: Gangotri, Yamunotri. Mahakaleshwar Temple (Ujjain), Char Minar (Hyderabad), Church and Convent of St. Francis of Assissi (Goa), Adi Shankaracharya’s abode Kaladi in Ernakulam, Gomateshwar in Shravanbelgola, Baijnath Dham (Devghar), Gaya Tirth (Bihar) and Somnath temple in Gujarat.

The ten Iconic places that are already under implementation in Phase I are: Ajmer Sharif Dargah, CST Mumbai, Golden Temple (Amritsar), Kamakhya Temple (Assam), Maikarnika Ghat (Varanasi),  Meenakshi Temple (Madurai) Shri Mata Vaishno Devi (Katra, J&K),  Shree Jagannath Temple (Puri), The Taj Mahal (Agra), Tirupati Temple (Tirumala).

The aim of this initiative is to make these places intensely clean and transform them as model ‘Swachh Tourist Destinations’, that will enhance the experience of visitors from India and abroad.

Background

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission, a special clean-up initiative will be carried out on 100 iconic heritage, spiritual and cultural places in the country. The Swachh Bharat Mission was launched on 2 October 2014 to make India clean and open defecation free by 2019 to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation will be the coordinating Ministry for this initiative, in association with the Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Tourism and the concerned State governments. So far, under Swachh Bharat Mission, the sanitation coverage has increased to 64% with 1.92 lakh villages becoming Open Defecation Free (ODF).

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