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Context: The Union Minister for Jal Shakti unveiled the GOBARdhan Unified Registration Portal, which will serve as a one-stop depository for assessing investment and involvement in the biogas sector at the pan-India level, as well as streamlining the process of establishing CBG/Biogas plants in India.


  • By enrolling in this single registration system, any government, cooperative, or private entity operating or planning to operate a Biogas/Bio CNG plant in India can acquire a registration number.
  • The registration number will allow users to access a wide range of advantages and assistance from the Government of India's Ministries and Departments.
  • States have been asked to register their Biogas plant operators on the site as soon as possible to take advantage of existing and prospective Union Government support.

GOBARdhan Scheme: A Waste to Wealth Initiative

  • The GOBARdhan scheme, which stands for Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan, is a flagship programme of the Government of India launched in April 2018 by the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
  • The scheme aims to positively impact village cleanliness and generate wealth and energy from cattle and organic waste.
  • The scheme is being implemented as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) Phase II, which focuses on achieving ODF-plus status for rural India.

Features of the Scheme

  • It supports villages in effectively managing their cattle waste, agricultural waste/residue, and all other organic waste.
  • It supports communities to convert their organic waste (especially cattle dung) to wealth through the generation of manure and energy out of waste.
  • It creates livelihood opportunities in rural areas and enhances the income of farmers and other rural people by supporting them to convert their waste into wealth.
  • It promotes rural entrepreneurship by involving entrepreneurs, SHGs, and Youth Groups in the setting up and operation and management of biogas plants.
  • It promotes environmental sanitation and curbs vector-borne diseases through the effective disposal of waste in rural areas.
  • It encourages the formation of self-help groups (SHGs), cooperatives, and farmer-producer organizations (FPOs) to collect, aggregate, and process cattle dung and organic waste at the village level.
  • It facilitates the marketing and sale of biogas and organic manure to various end-users such as households, industries, and farmers.
  • It creates awareness and capacity building among rural communities on the benefits of biogas and organic manure for cooking, lighting, heating, irrigation, and soil health.
  • It leverages the existing institutional mechanisms such as gram panchayats, district administrations, state nodal agencies, and national implementing agencies for effective implementation and monitoring of the scheme.

Present Status

  • According to the official website of the scheme, as of June 2023, 589 biogas/CBG plants are functional under the GOBARdhan scheme. Additionally, 251 are under construction. So far, 168 districts have been covered under the scheme. The total installed capacity of biogas is 24,257 cubic meters and that of commercial CBG is 536,426 kilograms.
  • In the Union Budget 2023, the Finance Minister announced 500 new ‘waste to wealth’ with a total investment of Rs 10,000 crore under the GOBARdhan scheme. Of the 500 new plants, 200 will be compressed biogas plants (CBG), including 75 in cities and the remaining 300 will be community or cluster-based plants.

Significance of the Scheme

  • It helps in managing a major portion of solid waste in villagese. cattle dung and agricultural waste and promotes environmental sanitation.
  • It substantially reduces vector-borne diseases and promotes public health.
  • It promotes household income and saving as the use of biogas reduces the expenditure on LPG.
  • It helps in generating organic manure which enhances agriculture and farm productivity.
  • It promotes employment and income generation opportunities for SHGs/farmers' groups.
  • It helps in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promotes environmental sustainability.
  • It helps to save foreign exchange by reducing the need for the import of natural gas.

Despite its potential benefits, the GOBARdhan scheme faces some challenges in its implementation. Some of these are:

  • Lack of awareness and motivation among rural communities about the benefits of converting waste to wealth.
  • Lack of adequate infrastructure and technology for setting up and operating biogas plants at scale.
  • Lack of coordination and convergence among various stakeholders such as different Ministries/Departments, State/UT Governments, Gram Panchayats, NGOs, etc.
  • Lack of adequate financing and incentives for entrepreneurs, SHGs, and farmers' groups to invest in biogas projects.
  • Lack of quality standards and certification for biogas products such as bio-CNG, bio-fertilizer, etc.
  • High initial cost and maintenance of biogas plants and organic manure units
  • Low demand and price for biogas and organic manure in local markets.
  • Limited technical expertise and institutional capacity for setting up and operating biogas plants and organic manure units.

To overcome these challenges and ensure the successful implementation of the GOBARdhan scheme, the Government has taken some supportive steps such as:

  • Setting up a National Steering Committee under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti to provide policy guidance and oversight for the scheme.
  • Setting up a National Project Management Unit (NPMU) under DDWS to coordinate with various stakeholders and provide technical assistance for the scheme.
  • Providing financial assistance to States/UTs for setting up biogas plants under SBM-G Phase II.
  • Launching a dedicated portal (www.gobardhan.gov.in) for online registration, monitoring, and reporting of biogas projects under the scheme.
  • Launching a GOBARdhan Yojana Mobile App to facilitate citizen engagement and feedback on the scheme.
  • Launching a GOBARdhan Knowledge Platform to disseminate best practices, success stories, case studies, etc. on biogas projects under the scheme.

The GOBARdhan scheme has immense potential to transform rural India by creating a circular economy based on organic waste. However, to realize this potential, some suggestions for the way forward are:

  • Conducting extensive information, education, and communication (IEC) campaigns to create awareness and behaviour change among rural communities on the benefits of biogas and organic manure.
  • Providing subsidies, incentives, loans, insurance, etc. to reduce the financial burden on rural households and entrepreneurs for setting up biogas plants and organic manure units.
  • Ensuring an adequate supply of quality cattle dung and organic waste by improving animal husbandry practices, waste segregation methods, collection systems, etc.
  • Creating demand and value for biogas and organic manure by developing standards, certification schemes, branding strategies, etc.
  • Strengthening technical expertise and institutional capacity by providing training, handholding support, quality assurance services, etc. to rural households and entrepreneurs.
  • Streamlining regulatory frameworks and policy guidelines for biogas production and utilization by simplifying procedures, removing barriers, creating incentives, etc.


  • The GOBARdhan scheme is a visionary initiative that can transform rural India by creating a waste-to-wealth movement. By harnessing the power of organic waste, the scheme can contribute to village cleanliness, rural livelihoods, energy security, environmental sustainability, and green growth. The successful implementation of the scheme requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders with a holistic approach.

Must Read Articles:

Gobar-dhan: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/gobar-dhan

Swachh Bharat Mission: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/swachh-bharat-mission-21


Q. The GOBARdhan scheme, launched by the Government of India in 2018, aims to promote the use of biogas and organic manure from cattle dung and other agricultural waste. The scheme has several benefits and also faces some challenges. How can these challenges be overcome and what are the possible ways forward to make the GOBARdhan scheme more effective and sustainable?