Swadesh Darshan scheme

Context:

• The Ministry of Tourism under its Swadesh Darshan scheme since its inception has sanctioned 76 projects under 13thematic circuits including ‘Buddhist theme’ for development of tourism infrastructure in the country.
• The projects under the scheme were identified for development in consultation with the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations and sanctioned subject to availability of funds, submission of suitable detailed project reports, adherence to scheme guidelines and utilization of funds released earlier etc.
Which Sector it falls into?
• Currently, the travel and tourism sector is largely treated as a state subject.
• However, multiple industry bodies including Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) suggested that the sector needed to be included in the Concurrent list of the constitution so that effective policies can be made to regulate it.

India’s Potential in this sector:

• India’s rich cultural, historical, religious and natural heritage provides a huge potential for development of tourism and job creation in the country.
• There is a great scope and need to develop tourist circuits on specific themes to attract the tourists having special interest in visiting such places.
• This can be achieved only through an integrated approach by providing engaging experiences for distinct categories of tourists i.e. Domestic and International.
• Various themes which are unique and specific to the area can include beaches, culture, heritage, wildlife etc.
• Such theme-based tourist circuits should be developed in a manner that supports communities, provides employment and fosters social integration without comprising upon the environmental concerns and provides unique experiences to the tourists.

About the Scheme:

• Swadesh Darshan Scheme is a Central Sector scheme launched in 2014-15 by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of India for the integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits.
• The scheme aims to promote, develop and harness the potential of tourism in India.
• Under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, the Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance – CFA to State Governments, Union Territory Administrations for the infrastructure development of circuits.
• This scheme is envisioned to synergies with other schemes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Skill India, Make in India etc. with the idea of positioning the tourism sector as a major engine for job creation, the driving force for economic growth, building synergy with various sectors to enable tourism to realize its potential.

Source: THE HINDU

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