G Asok Kumar, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), received the West Bengal Governor’s Award for Excellence 2023 for “outstanding contributions in public services.”
He got the award from Dr CV Ananda Bose, Governor of West Bengal, at a ceremony held at the Throne Hall of the West Bengal Rajbhavan in the presence of a distinguished gathering on September 11.
The NMCG, which functions under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, implements the Namami Gange Programme that was launched in 2014 to deal with pollution in the Ganga.
Speaking about the award, Mr Kumar said, "It has befittingly come during my tenure as Special Secretary and Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga ( NMCG), when Namami Gange, the flagship programme of GoI implemented by NMCG, was recognised as “One of the Top Ten World Restoration Flagships” by the UN at the CoP15 meeting at Montreal on 13 December 2022.
Under Namami Gange, over 2,000 Million Litre Daily (MLD) sewage treatment capacity was added, compared to 981 MLD in the previous seven years. Apart from the fruitful and innovative implementation of Namami Gange, the award also recognised the successful implementation of the "Catch The Rain" campaign.
The other contributions to public service mentioned in the speech by the official introducing the award winner at the Rajbhavan were: "Though popular as "the Rain-man of India" for the "Catch The Rain" campaign he had initiated in 2020-2021 to save and conserve rainwater in India and anchored it very successfully, G Asok Kumar has left his imprint in many other sectors like water and sanitation, infrastructure, urban planning, civil aviation, power, sports, welfare, health, education and IT, etc, also while working in key posts he held in these sectors in his distinguished career, so far.
In Hyderabad, Mr Kumar has initiated/completed many infrastructure projects like the 162 km 8-lane Outer Ring Road, 90 MGD Krishna Phase-2 Drinking Water Project, the 90 MGD Godavari Drinking Water Project and many Sewerage Treatment Plants (STPs).
As Principal Secretary BC Welfare Department, he was instrumental in starting 119 English medium residential sSchools in all the 119 Assembly segments in June 2017.
That is not all. As Project Director, APSACS (Andhra Pradesh AIDS Control Society), the “#BeBold” campaign he launched during 2006-8 period to reduce stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV-AIDS and the “0/7“ initiative to reduce mother-to-child transmission were appreciated by UNAIDS as one of the best practices in the world to deal with HIV and its spread.
Mr Kumar joined the National Mission for Clean Ganga in 2019 as the Executive Director. He is also Mission Director of the National Water Mission.
He is a B. Tech in Electronic and Communication Engineering with distinction and a Chevening scholar of Oxford University, UK.