- In line with the government’s promise to focus on water, the Centre is set to initiate the Jal Shakti Abhiyan to ramp up rainwater harvesting and conservation efforts in 255 water-stressed districts from July 1.
- The campaign would follow the model of Gram Swaraj Abhiyan of 2018, where central officials monitored the implementation of seven flagship development schemes in 117 aspirational districts across the country.
Jal Shakti Abhiyan
- Though water is a State issue, 255 Joint Secretary and Additional Secretary-rank officers and 550 Deputy Secretary-level officers will also be a part of the campaign.
- State- and district-level officials would join these teams on the ground.
- Scientists and IITs would provide technical support
- National NGOs would aid in community mobilisation
- Water conservation and rain water harvesting
- Renovation of water bodies
- Renovation of borewell recharge structures
- Watershed development
- Intensive afforestation
- JSA is a time bound, mission mode water conservation and irrigation efficiency campaign for water security in rural India.
- Overall, 313 blocks with critical groundwater levels would be covered, along with 1,186 blocks with over-exploited groundwater and 94 blocks with low groundwater availability.
- The campaign would run from July 1 to September 15 in States receiving rainfall during the south-west monsoon.
- While States receiving rainfall in the retreating or north-east monsoon would be covered from October 1 to November 30.
- Block and district-level water conservation plans would be drafted, and Kisan Vigyan Kendras would hold melas to promote better crop choices and more efficient water use for irrigation.
- A major communications campaign on TV, radio, print, local and social media would be carried out, with celebrities mobilised to generate awareness for the campaign.
- Progress would be monitored in real time through mobile applications and an online dashboard.
Jal Shakti Ministry
- A new ministry – Jal Shakti Ministry has been formed, in which the erstwhile ministries of Water Resources and Drinking Water and Sanitation will be merged.
- All the water related works will be merged under this one ministry.
- The ambit of the Ministry will encompass issues ranging from international and inter-states water disputes, the Namami Gange project, the flagship initiative to clean the Ganges, its tributaries and sub-tributaries and provide clean drinking water.
Case Study: Gram Swaraj Abhiyan
- Gram Swaraj Abhiyaan was a campaign, organised on the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti during the period 14th April to 05th May, 2018, under the name ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Gaon, Sabka Vikas’.
- It aimed for 100% coverage under the seven schemes for eligible beneficiaries in the three-week window.
- The campaign was held through a partnership of beneficiaries, 33 lakh elected PRIs members, 5 crore women SHG members, MLAs and MPs to achieve goals.
- The Centre had also appointed scores of directors and deputy secretaries to push the campaign.
- Promote social harmony
- Re-emphasise national priorities
- Spread awareness about pro-poor initiatives of government
- Reach out to poor rural households to enroll them as also to obtain their feedback on various welfare programmes
- Enhance livelihood opportunities
- Strengthen Panchayati Raj Institutions
- Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
- Saubhagya Scheme
- Ujjwala Yojana
- Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana
- Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana
- Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and
- Mission Indradhanush
- District Workshops on taking forward Dr. Ambedkar’s ideas.
- Camps for scholarship enrolment, bank account and Aadhaar linkage.
- Making villages Open Defecation Free (ODF) those that are not ODF; Fast track the process of ODF Plus.
- Sensitisation of LPG beneficiaries on safety and health benefits of using clean fuels.
- Public disclosure to the Gram Panchayats (GP) regarding funds made available under various schemes of the line departments and activities to be taken up in each GP area.
- Gram Sabha meetings in every GP to discuss on important social issues and programmes for social and economic empowerment.
Central Ground Water Board (CGWB)
- CGWB is a subordinate office of the erstwhile, Ministry of Water Resources.
- Central Ground Water Board was established in 1970 by renaming the Exploratory Tube wells Organization under the Ministry of Agriculture. It was merged with the Ground Water Wing of the Geological Survey of India during 1972.
- It is the National Apex Agency entrusted with the responsibilities of providing scientific inputs for management, exploration, monitoring, assessment, augmentation and regulation of ground water resources of the country.
- The Board regularly publishes scientific reports based on the data generated through various investigations for dissemination to the stakeholders.