Challenge to Encourage Waste Entrepreneurs and Start-Ups under Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0
Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0 (SBM-U 2.0), under the aegis of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), today launched the Swachh Technology Challenge. The Challenge seeks to harness the entrepreneurial potential of the waste management sector in India and promote an enabling environment for enterprise developmentunder Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0. In line with Hon’ble Prime Minister’s clarion call for an “Atmanirbhar Bharat”, there is a need for identifying indigenous, cost effective technologies that are easy to replicate and scale-up, andcan be put to use by ULBs to implement various components of SBM-U 2.0 on the ground.
Over the years, SBM-U has been encouraging innovations and best practices particularly through Swachh Survekshan, the annual cleanliness survey conducted by MoHUA. This trend has been rising over the years with over 4,000 innovations and best practices having been identified since 2018. Swachh Technology Challenge,scheduled to run from 6th December 2021 to 15th January 2021, will particularly seek solutions in four thematic categories, viz.(i) social inclusion, (ii) zero dump (solid waste management), (iii)plastic waste management and (iv)transparency through digital enablement. The details and modalities of the Challenge were elaborated in a presentation by Roopa Mishra, Joint Secretary and National Mission Director, Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban, MoHUA. Designed as a sub-component of the ‘Citizen Engagement’ component under Swachh Survekshan 2022, the Challenge endeavours to invite solutions not just from start-ups but also individual entrepreneurs, educational institutions, local businesses, research and development organisations,NGOs, and other citizen groups to help city administration efficiently manage Mission operations.The active participation of cities in the Challenge will have a direct bearing on their performance in the ‘Citizen Engagement’ component of Swachh Survekshan 2022 and thus their overall ranking in the survey. The top three solutions in each of the four thematic categories from across the country will be felicitated at the Swachh Survekshan award ceremony hosted by MoHUA. As an additional incentive, top three state level solutions will be rewarded with a cash prize by respective State governments.
To further incentivize the start-up ecosystem, MoHUA will also launch a Swachhata Start-Up Challenge as an extension to the Swachh Technology Challenge in January 2022. Winning solutions from start-ups under Swachh Technology Challenge will be eligible to participate in the Swachhata Start-Up Challenge to be run in collaboration with AgenceFrançaise de Développement (AFD). Winning entries under the Challenge will be rewarded with seed funding of ₹25 lakhs per project along with one year of dedicated incubation support from French Tech, the French government’s initiative to promote start-ups.
Speaking at the launch occasion, Shri Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, MoHUA said, “Technology has played a key role in the transformation of the urban landscape of India. Technology has the potential to bring about affordable, scalable and replicable innovations that can not only bring the Mission closer to citizens but also help us achieve our collective goal of Garbage Free Cities in a time-bound and efficient manner. Today, with the launch of the Swachh Technology Challenge, I appeal to all States and cities to participate wholeheartedly in the Challenge by engaging proactively with stakeholders across the spectrum to drive sanitation and waste management outcomes under SBM-U 2.0”. Also present on the occasion was Mr. Augustin Delisle, Deputy Director, AFD. The event was attended virtually by senior government representatives including Principal Secretaries, Mission Directors and Municipal Commissioners from States and cities.
Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0, launched on 1stOctober, 2021, aims to achieve the vision of ‘Garbage Free Cities’ over the next five years through remediation of legacy dumpsites, construction and demolition waste and plastic waste management. Additionally, sustainable sanitation through faecal sludge and used water management will be a key focus under SBM-U 2.0. Technology has played a critical role in achieving the outcomes under SBM-U’s journey in the last seven years with several key initiatives such as Swachhata App, SBM Toilets on Google Maps, etc. Recently, the integrated SBM-Urban MIS portal Swachhatam and the state-of-art GIS platform were launched under SBM-U 2.0which will not only take the Mission closer to citizens but will also enable smart data driven decision making, transparency and robustness in Mission implementation. The Swachh Technology Challenge is another step towards ensuring smart governance in SBM-U 2.0 by incentivizing the innovations’ ecosystem to help realize the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Garbage Free Cities’.
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