National Mission for Clean Ganga Current Affairs - 2020

Cabinet approves closure of India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for closure of India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians (IDF-OI).The purpose of closure is to enhance synergies in channelizing contributions of Indian diaspora to Government’s flagship programmes such as National Mission for clean Ganga and Swachh Bharat Mission. It also seeks to enhance synergies, improve efficiencies and avoid duplication of work.


IDF-OI was set up by Central Government in 2008 as an autonomous not-for-profit Trust. Its mandate was to facilitate Overseas Indian philanthropy into social and development projects in India. The trust was chaired by External Affairs Minister. Government had added flagship programmes such as National Mission for Clean Ganga and Swachh Bharat Mission and other social and development projects identified by state governments to the mandate of IDF-OI. The IDF-OI had received only Rs. 36.80 lakhs between December 2008 and March 2015 as donation from overseas Indian community. Later in between April 2015 and March 2018, it had received Rs.10.16 crore, most of contribution received were for projects related to National Mission for Clean Ganga and Swachh Bharat Mission.

Government to raise Territorial Army battalion of ex-Armymen to clean Ganga

The Union Defence Ministry has sanctioned raising of Territorial Army (TA) battalion comprising ex-servicemen of Indian Army as part of its mission to clean the Ganga by 2020. It has been named as Composite Ecological Task Force (CETF) battalion of TA for National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), the nodal agency for cleaning Ganga.

Key Facts

The CETF battalion will be raised in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh as a pilot project. For this government has allocated Rs 167 crore under NMCG. The battalion will work on book debit system with funding provided from budget of Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.

The CETF TA battalion will be commanded by Colonel-rank officer. It will have 8 officers, 20 JCOs and around 500 other ranks on its roll. For the task, it will only enroll ex-servicemen, who will be embodied under TA rules.

Functions of CETF TA

It will be responsible for monitoring ecological and environmental projects related to Ganga River, and also raise public awareness through campaigns. It will also patrol sensitive river areas for the protection of biodiversity, keep a tab on the river pollution levels, plant trees and check soil erosion.

It will also assist government in enforcing pollution control measures, support local civil administration and police in managing the ghats, and provide support and assistance if and when there is flood or natural disaster in region.


Territorial Army which comes under Defence Ministry is considered a second line of defence after the regular Army. So far 9 Ecological Task Force (ETF) battalions of TA have been raised to execute specific environment-related projects.

The proposal for raising CETF TA battalion had emanated from Department of Ex-servicemen Welfare in Defence Ministry, which took up case in 2014 for cleaning Ganga. The proposal was vetted and approved by Defence ministry and was forwarded to NMCG. After an approval from NMCG in 2017, the Defence Ministry concurred and issued a Government Sanction Letter in December 2017.