October 2023 :  Kurukshetra Magazine GIST : Micro Notes or Revision Notes : Kurukshetra Magazine Summary


Vision for Green and Clean Rural India

  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
    • 17 goals for a better and more sustainable future
    • Localized SDGs (LSDGs) address these goals at the village level
  • Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) and SDGs
    • Adopt “Whole of Government, Whole of Society” approach
    • Localize SDGs through joint advisories with ministries

Key Interventions for Clean and Green Village

  • Raise awareness
    • Reduce waste, promote sustainable consumption
    • Reduce environmental pollution
    • Educate about climate change
  • Map resources
    • Land use, water bodies, forests, etc.
  • Water and sanitation
    • Select appropriate technology
    • Ensure maintenance of toilets and public spaces
  • Energy
    • Develop comprehensive energy program
    • Promote Mission LiFE and certification

Gram Panchayats and Clean and Green Village

  • Prioritize water/land resource management and clean energy
  • Focus on natural resource management, biodiversity protection, waste management, afforestation
  • 16% of Gram Panchayats have taken Sankalp for Clean and Green Village
  • Organic farming and marketing are other areas of focus
  • Self-sufficient Panchayats can target carbon neutrality

Open Defecation Free (ODF)

  • 52% of villages are ODF Plus villages
  • Nearly 425,691 villages have sustained ODF status with waste management systems

Gram Urja Swaraj Abhiyaan

  • Helps Gram Panchayats develop their own renewable energy models
  • Aims for energy self-sufficiency and income generation
  • Focuses on solar, biogas, small hydro and mini/micro grid

Mission LiFE

  • Launched at COP26 to promote sustainable living globally
  • Aims to replace “use-and-dispose” with a “circular economy”
  • Panchayats can drive adoption of eco-friendly practices

Capacity Building for Clean and Green Village

  • Revamped Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) strengthens capacities for rural local governance

Convergence for Clean and Green Panchayats

  • Collaboration needed between government, NGOs, and youth organizations

Overall Goal

  • All Gram Panchayats to become Clean and Green by 2030
  • Address climate change challenges

India’s Renewable Energy Achievements

  • Total installed renewable energy capacity crossed 100 GW
  • India ranks 4th in the world for total installed renewable energy capacity
  • India ranks 5th for solar and 4th for wind energy capacity


Preserving the Green Cover of Indian Villages

  • Villages are changing
    • Emulating urban lifestyles
    • Losing green cover
  • Local Indicator Framework (LIF)
    • A program for clean and green villages
    • Promoted by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR)
    • Addresses UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Sourcing Local Materials for Construction
    • Use of bamboo and other locally available materials
    • Environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing
    • Requires reviving traditional knowledge
  • Sustainable Architecture
    • Design solutions that use local elements
    • Empower communities and create pride
    • Requires educating professionals about village challenges
  • Way Forward
    • Villages should be centers for “living with nature”
    • Promote traditional knowledge of Jal-Jangal-Jamin (water, forest, land)
    • Develop niche tourism opportunities based on green cover
    • Provide education on modern and traditional knowledge for community participation



Integrated Solar Village Scheme for Inclusive Development

Solar Energy Benefits

  • Provides cheap and reliable renewable power to rural households
  • Reduces power procurement costs for DISCOMs

Current Rooftop Solar Scheme

  • Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) offers capital subsidies
  • India has installed around 11 GW of rooftop solar till August 2023
  • Scheme extended up to 2026

Importance of Reliable Electricity in Rural Areas

  • Essential for households, services (health, education), and livelihoods
  • India achieved nearly 100% household electrification by March 2023

Challenges in Rural Electricity Supply

  • Power outages: rural areas average 20 hours of supply compared to urban areas
  • Power quality issues: voltage fluctuations damage appliances
  • Healthcare and educational institutions are also affected

Integrated Solar Village Development Scheme

  • Focuses on improving power supply, rural income, education, health, and employment
  • Key elements:
    • Demand assessment: evaluate electricity needs (homes, agriculture, government buildings)
    • Innovative business models: rooftop solar, community solar models
    • Livelihoods through decentralized appliances: raise awareness, incentivize adoption
    • Integration with existing policies: align with solar street light/water heater programs
    • Skill development and capacity building: train rural youth as “Surya Mitras” (solar experts)
    • Models for sustenance: define roles and responsibilities for stakeholders (installation, maintenance)


  • Need to integrate rural policies for clean energy and poverty alleviation
  • Accelerate deployment of distributed renewable energy (DRE) for a sustainable energy transition



Crop Residue Management

Crop Residue (CR) Definition and Uses

  • Crop residue includes stalks, stover, husk, and leaves
  • Used for animal bedding, feed, mulch, biofuel, compost, and more

CR Generation in India

  • India produces 683 million tonnes of CR annually
  • Cereals (rice, wheat) contribute most (⅔)
  • Cotton is the main source of fiber residue (74%)

Problems from Burning CR

  • Loss of nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur)
  • Reduced soil organic carbon
  • Emission of greenhouse gases (CO2, CO, methane, oxides of nitrogen and sulfur)
  • Health problems from air pollution

Reasons for Burning Paddy Stubble in North-West India

  • Labor shortage during peak season
  • Short window for planting wheat after rice
  • Use of combine harvesters

Government Regulations and Solutions

  • Financial assistance for purchase of CR management machinery (50% for farmers, 80% for cooperatives)
  • Promotion of machines like super straw management systems, happy seeders, mulchers
  • Techno-commercial pilot projects with industries for paddy straw utilization
  • Pusa Decomposer technology for on-farm straw decomposition (microbial solution)
  • Promotion of composting and vermicomposting

Alternative Uses of CR

  • Animal bedding (can be composted with dung)
  • Mushroom cultivation (rice straw is a good substrate)
  • Biochar production (carbon-rich soil amendment)
  • Surface mulch for various crops
  • Diversification of crops (reduce reliance on wheat-rice cycle)


  • Government efforts and stakeholder collaboration have reduced CR burning events
  • Action plans, monitoring, education, and awareness campaigns are crucial for sustained improvement


Clean and Green Village Initiative

Government Vision

  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with “Whole of Government, Whole of Society” approach
  • Clean and green villages for health, climate action, water conservation, and well-being

Components of a Clean and Green Village

  1. Open Defecation Free (ODF) village
  2. Clean and Green Schools
  3. Clean and Green Anganwadis
  4. Scientific solid waste management
  5. Wastewater management
  6. Affordable and clean energy (solar, wind)
  7. Greening development (afforestation)
  8. Organic farming with reduced chemical use
  9. Celebrating clean and green living
  10. Strengthening local committees and participation
  11. Supplying clean and safe drinking water
  12. Improving indoor air quality
  13. Energy conservation
  14. Rainwater harvesting

What “Clean” and “Green” Mean

  • Green: Sustainable management of natural resources for livelihoods, food security, and environmental protection
  • Clean: Access to safe water, sanitation, clean air, and a low-pollution environment

Government Initiatives

  • Swachh Bharat Mission (2014): Aims for ODF India by eliminating open defecation
    • ODF definition: No visible feces and all households using safe sanitation methods
  • Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) (2019): Aims for clean, safe drinking water for all rural households by 2024
    • As of August 15, 2023, 66.8% of rural households have functional tap connections
  • Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA) (2019): Promotes water conservation and recharge through public participation

Role of Gram Panchayats in Green Panchayats

  • Raise awareness about reducing waste, sustainable consumption, and climate change
  • Promote measures to reduce pollution
  • Map land use patterns, water bodies, forests, etc.
  • Develop rules for sustainable use of common resources
  • Assess water needs, waste generation, and create water conservation plans
  • Set water/sanitation goals and select appropriate technology


  • India is developing sustainable villages to improve life and reduce migration to cities
  • Collaboration across government departments is crucial to achieve SDGs and address climate change by creating clean and green villages


Clean and Green Villages with Agroecology

Rural India

  • 65% of India’s population lives in rural areas (MoF, 2023)
  • 47% of the population depends on agriculture for livelihood
  • India has 640,000 villages with 833 million people

Clean and Green Villages Defined

  • Green: Sustainable management of natural resources for livelihoods and environmental protection
  • Clean: Access to safe water, sanitation, clean air, and a low-pollution environment

Components of Clean and Green Villages

  1. Open defecation free village
  2. Clean and green schools and Anganwadis
  3. Scientific solid waste management
  4. Wastewater management
  5. Affordable and clean energy
  6. Greening development (afforestation)
  7. Organic farming with reduced chemical use
  8. Celebrating clean and green living
  9. Local committee participation

Agroecology for Clean and Green Villages

  • Agroecology uses ecological and social concepts to manage food and agriculture
  • Practices include nutrient cycling, natural pest control, and biodiversity conservation

Organic and Natural Farming

  • Avoid synthetic chemicals and pesticides
  • Improve soil health and reduce pollution
  • Promoted by the Government of India
  • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)
  • Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER)
  • PM-PRANAM promotes alternate fertilizers

Waste to Wealth

  • Biogas sector reduces pollution and improves waste management
  • GOBARdhan program uses waste to generate biogas and fertilizer
  • National Biogas Programme supports biogas plant installation

Rural Industries

  • Agroecology can create rural industries
  • Biogas is a promising renewable energy source with job opportunities


  • Scaling up agroecology programs with support from local groups can achieve clean and green villages.


Digital Technology for Greener Villages

Challenges in Rural India

  • Less environmental awareness compared to urban areas
  • Dependence on agriculture and nature makes rural areas more vulnerable to environmental issues

Digital Technology for Solutions

  • Growing internet users in rural India
  • Digital tools can raise awareness and promote sustainable practices
  • Examples:
    • Swachh Bharat Mission – geotagging and mobile apps for sanitation efforts
    • Content and mobile technology for sustainable agriculture

Government’s Approach

  • Multifaceted strategy using digital technology for environmental protection
  • Mobile apps for education and citizen engagement
  • Online platforms for feedback, ideas, and participation


  1. Lack of awareness about environmental issues
  2. Digital Divide (access, connectivity, power, literacy)
  3. Resource limitations for large-scale initiatives
  4. Lack of coordination among stakeholders

Examples of Success

  • Namami Gange Project
    • Uses satellite imagery and geospatial technology for river cleanup
    • Actively engages citizens
  • Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR)
    • Non-profit focused on water security, livelihoods, and rural development
    • Uses digital tools for environmental sustainability
    • Improved water availability, reduced soil erosion, and promoted biodiversity
  • Centre for Environment Education (CEE)
    • Non-profit promoting environmental education and sustainable development
    • Develops educational materials and uses social media for outreach
  • Digital Green Initiative
    • Global organization improving lives of smallholder farmers
    • Promotes sustainable farming practices and environmental protection


  • India is making progress using digital technologies for green villages
  • Government initiatives and successful examples show a promising future
  • Rural communities will be empowered with information and support for a sustainable future


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