Context: The Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has announced a new category of awards titled ‘Prerak Dauur Samman’ as part of Swachh Survekshan 2021.

More on the news: 

  • The Ministry while launching the toolkit for Swachh Survekshan 2021, the sixth edition of the annual cleanliness survey of urban India conducted by MoHUA has stated that  
    • Every year, the Swachh Survekshan is redesigned innovatively, to ensure that the process becomes more robust, with a focus on sustaining the behavior change. 

About the Prerak Dauur Samman:

  1. The Prerak Dauur Samman has a total of five additional sub-categories -Divya (Platinum), Anupam (Gold), Ujjwal (Silver), Udit (Bronze), Aarohi (Aspiring) - with top three cities being recognized in each. 
  2. In a departure from the present criteria of evaluating cities on ‘population category’, this new category will categorize cities on the basis of six select indicator wise performance criteria which are as follows:
    1. Segregation of waste into Wet, Dry and Hazard categories
    2. Processing capacity against wet waste generated
    3. Processing and recycling of wet and dry waste
    4. Construction & Demolition (C&D) waste processing
    5. Percentage of waste going to landfills
    6. Sanitation status of cities

Swachh Survekhan 2021:

  • This year, the focus on citizen participation has taken a notch higher by introducing indicators that encourage innovations led by citizens, start-ups, entrepreneurs and Swachhata Champions amongst others.
  • Keeping in mind the Ministry’s efforts towards ensuring the sustainability of the sanitation value chain, the SS 2021 indicators focus on parameters pertaining to wastewater treatment and reuse along with faecal sludge.   
  • SBM-Urban MIS portal: In order to enable scaling up and better monitoring of outcomes along with increased citizen engagement, the MIS portal has been launched to bring the numerous digital initiatives on a single platform. 
    • This will ensure a unified and hassle-free experience for states and cities and lead the way towards the creation of not just a Swachh but a truly digital India. 
  • Engagement and Coordination Arrangement (ECA):
    • Has been signed between MoHUA and the USAID which is a continuation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on co-operation in the field of WASH that was signed between GOI and USAID in 2015.


  • The Swachh Survekshan has become a tool for citizen engagement in the spirit of a true ‘Jan Andolan’.  
  • As a prelude to encouraging cities to improve urban sanitation, MoHUA has been conducting Swachh Survekshan since 2016.  
  • Swachh Survekshan League: To ensure sustainability of on-ground performance of cities, the MoHUA has also introduced Swachh Survekshan League, a quarterly cleanliness assessment of cities and towns to be done in three quarters.
  • While Mysuru had won the award for the Cleanest City of India in the first edition of the survey, Indore has retained the top position for three consecutive years (2017,2018, 2019). 

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs(MoHUA), Government of India takes up the Swachh Survekshan in urban areas and the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in rural areas. The Quality Council of India (QCI) has been commissioned the responsibility of carrying out the assessment.

Significance of ​Swachh Survekshan: 

  • Under the ownership of citizens: The SS has caught the imagination of citizens and stakeholders alike and the increasing participation with every passing year is testimony that citizens have taken complete ownership of the Swachhata of their cities. 
  • Fostering a spirit of healthy competition: The survey has thus succeeded in fostering a spirit of healthy competition among towns and cities to improve their service delivery to citizens, towards creating cleaner, more habitable cities. 
  • ‘Swachhata’ a thing of motivation and pride: Something to look forward to and aspire for.  

Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U): ​Since its launch in 2014, has made significant progress in the area of both sanitation and solid waste management. 

  • 4324 Urban ULBs have been declared ODF, 1306 cities certified ODF+ and 489 cities certified ODF++.  
  • Additionally, over 59,900 toilets across 2900+ cities have been made live on Google Maps. 
  • In the area of solid waste management, 96% of wards have 100% door-to door collection while 66% of the total waste generated is being processed. 

The criterion for declaring a state as ODF(Open Defecation Free) Status:

  • No visible feces found in the environment
  • Every household as well as public/community institutions using a safe technology option for disposal of faeces.

The criterion for declaring a state as ODF+(Open Defecation Free +) Status:

  • The ODF+ protocol focuses on sustaining community/ public toilet usage by ensuring their functionality, cleanliness, and maintenance
  • ODF+ status will be given to the state, If, At any point in a day, not a single person should be defecating and/or urinating in the open.

The criterion for declaring a state as ODF++(Open Defecation Free ++) Status:

  • The ODF++ protocol focuses on achieving sanitation sustainability by addressing a complete sanitation value chain, including safe containment, processing, and disposal of fecal sludge and septage.