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River-Cities Alliance Global Seminar

  • 08 May 2023
  • 8 min read

For Prelims: Namami Gange Program, NMCG, NIUA, RCA, Societies Registration Act,1860, Ganga Action Pan.

For Mains: Significance of National Mission for Clean Ganga in the Rejuvenation of River Ganga. Conservation.

Why in News?

National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) in association with the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) organized the ‘River-Cities Alliance (RCA) Global Seminar: Partnership for Building International River-Sensitive Cities’.

  • The purpose of the RCA Global Seminar was to provide a platform to discuss and learn good practices for managing urban rivers.
  • Previously, a meeting of RCA - DHARA 2023 (Driving Holistic Action for Urban Rivers) was held in February 2023, featuring sessions on International best practices and examples for urban River Management.

National Institute of Urban Affairs

  • NIUA is an institute for research, training and information dissemination in urban development and management. It is located in New Delhi, India.
  • It was established in 1976 as an autonomous body under the Societies Registration Act 1860.
  • The Institute is supported by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, State Governments, urban and regional development authorities and other agencies concerned with urban issues.

What is RCA?

  • About:
    • The RCA is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) & the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), with a vision to connect river cities and focus on sustainable river centric development.
    • The Alliance focuses on three broad themes- Networking, Capacity Building and Technical Support.
    • Beginning with 30 member cities in November 2021, the Alliance has expanded to 110 river cities across India and one international member city from Denmark.
  • Objective:
    • The RCA intends to facilitate knowledge exchange (online) for Indian cities to learn new practices and approaches for urban river management.
    • It will also be an opportunity for international cities to learn about experiences in Indian cities, which may be relevant to their contexts.

What is the National Mission for Clean Ganga?

  • About:
    • It is being implemented by the National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection and Management of River Ganga also known as the National Ganga Council.
    • This mission was established on 12th August 2011 under the Societies Registration Act,1860 as a registered society.
    • It acted as the implementation arm of National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) which was constituted under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act (EPA),1986.
      • NGRBA has since been dissolved with effect from the 7th of October 2016, consequent to constitution of National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection and Management of River Ganga (referred as National Ganga Council).
  • Objectives:
    • The objective of the NMCG is to reduce pollution and ensure rejuvenation of the Ganga River.
    • The mission incorporates rehabilitating and boosting the existing STPs (Sewage Treatment Plants) and instant short-term steps to curb pollution at exit points on the riverfront in order to check the inflow of sewage.
  • Organizational Structure:
    • The Act envisages five tier structure at national, state and district level to take measures for prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution in river Ganga as below:
      • National Ganga Council under chairmanship of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.
      • Empowered Task Force (ETF) on river Ganga under chairmanship of Hon’ble Union Minister of Jal Shakti (Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation).
      • National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).
      • State Ganga Committees
      • District Ganga Committees in every specified district abutting river Ganga and its tributaries in the states.

What are the Other Initiatives for River Rejuvenation in India?

  • Namami Gange Programme: It is an Integrated Conservation Mission, approved as a ‘Flagship Programme’ by the Union Government in June 2014 to accomplish the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution and conservation and rejuvenation of National River Ganga.
  • Ganga Action Plan: It was the first River Action Plan that was taken up by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in 1985, to improve the water quality by the interception, diversion, and treatment of domestic sewage.
    • The National River Conservation Plan is an extension to the Ganga Action Plan. It aims at cleaning the Ganga River under Ganga Action Plan phase-2.
  • National Water Mission (2010): It ensures integrated water resource management leading to water conservation, less wastage, equitable distribution forming better policies.
  • National River Ganga Basin Authority (NRGBA): It was formed by the Government of India in the year 2009 under Section-3 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
    • Ganga was declared as the ‘National River’ of India in 2008.
  • Clean Ganga Fund: In 2014, it was formed for cleaning up of the Ganga, setting up of waste treatment plants, and conservation of biotic diversity of the river.
  • Bhuvan-Ganga Web App: It ensures involvement of the public in monitoring of pollution entering into the river Ganga.
  • Ban on Waste Disposal: In 2017, the National Green Tribunal banned the disposal of any waste in the Ganga.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ)


Q. Consider the following statements: (2014)

  1. Animal Welfare Board of India is established under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
  2. National Tiger Conservation Authority is a statutory body.
  3. National Ganga River Basin Authority is chaired by the Prime Minister.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 2 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (b)

  • The Animal Welfare Board of India was established in 1962 under Section 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change constituted under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) was established in 2009 under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, which declared Ganges as the “National River” of India. It is a financing, planning, implementing, monitoring and coordinating authority for the river Ganges. It functions under the erstwhile Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (now Ministry of Jal Shakti). It is chaired by the Prime Minister of India. Hence, statement 3 is correct.
  • Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.


Q. Discuss the Namami Gange and National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) programmes and causes of mixed results from the previous schemes. What quantum leaps can help preserve the river Ganga better than incremental inputs? (2015)

Source: PIB

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