Recently, the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA), in partnership with the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD) launched the Swachhata Start-Up Challenge under Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0.

Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0

  • SBM-U 2.0 was launched on 1st October 2021 to achieve the vision of ‘Garbage Free Cities’ over the next five years.
  • It focuses on source segregation of garbage, reduction in single-use plastic and air pollution, by effectively managing waste from construction and demolition activities and bioremediation of all legacy dump sites.
  • Under this mission, all wastewater will be treated properly before it is discharged into water bodies, and the government is trying to make maximum reuse a priority.

Important points:

  • It has been launched to provide an impetus to innovative start-ups to come forward and drive catalytic transformation in the sanitation and waste management sector.
  • The Challenge invites solutions across four thematic areas viz. (i) social inclusion, (ii) zero dump (solid waste management), (iii) plastic waste management and(iv) transparency through digital enablement.
  • It seeks to promote an enabling environment for enterprise development under SBM-U 2.0.
  • The French Development Agency (AFD) will provide seed funding to the tune of 25 lakh rupees and one year of customised support to each of the 10 selected start-ups.
  • With the appetite for risk and spirit of innovation at its core, the start-up space holds immense potential to revolutionise India’s waste management sector.
  • It is in line with Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India.


  • It aims to capitalise on the start-up movement by providing opportunities for entrepreneurship to young innovators to create socially impactful and market ready business solutions.
  • Significance:
  • This initiative comes at a time when France and the EU (European Union) are looking to work closely with India on the international stage to negotiate a global treaty on plastic pollution.
  • It is also significant because today, the start-up space is evolving rapidly with India leading the world with over 70 unicorns (crossing the valuation of USD 1 billion).


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