Swadesh Darshan Scheme {स्वदेश दर्शन योजना} - Objectives, Salient Features, Statistics and Theme Based Circuits

Swadesh Darshan Scheme {स्वदेश दर्शन योजना} - Objectives, Salient Features, Statistics and Theme Based Circuits

Published on May 06, 2020

The vast geography of India and the inherent cultural diversity provides a huge potential for the tourism sector to generate massive job creation opportunities in India. The travel and tourism sector contributed around 9.2% of GDP in 2018 and employed 8.1% of its total employment. Much of it is scattered in the non-consolidated standalone domains thus reducing the efficiency of a centrally driven scheme. Thus, Swadesh Darshan Scheme is a right path in this direction so as to consolidate all available resources in increasing the potential of these tourism sites and thus effectively contributing to the GDP and the employment rate.

Swadesh Darshan Scheme aims to achieve an integrated approach of providing enriching and engaging tour experiences for different categories of tourists i.e. Domestic and Foreigners. Thus, by providing specialized attention in developing theme based tourist centers the government plans to consolidate the resources effectively thus supporting local communities through employment, fostering social integration without endangering environment. Thus in 2014-15, the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) launched the Swadesh Darshan Scheme for development of theme based tourist circuits in India. The main highlight of this theme is that it synergizes with the already existing schemes of government like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Skill India, Make In India etc. 

Objectives

The objectives of the Swadesh Darshan Scheme are as follows:

1. To position tourism as a major component of growth and job creation in the country

2. Develop theme based tourist circuits in a planned and phased manner

3. Promote the salient features and heritage value of the country so as to generate livelihoods in the identified regions

4. Enhancing the tourist attractiveness of identified locations in a sustainable manner in addition to developing world class infrastructure in the selected theme based locations

5. Increase social integration of the various communities involved by active involvement of local communities

6. Development of tourist facilitation services to enhance visitor experience/satisfaction.

Salient Features

The salient features of the Swadesh Darshan Scheme are as follows:

1. The entire funding of the project would be fully funded by the Central Government 

2. The funds attained through the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of Central Public-sector companies and corporates shall be used effectively in this regard.

3. The funding scheme and its necessary approvals shall be done on per project basis. The funding shall vary from state to state and shall be based on the basis of the detailed project reports submitted by the PMC (Programme Management Consultants). The PMC shall be appointed in accordance with the rules and regulations set by the Mission Directorate.

4. A National Steering Committee (NSC) will be constituted along with the Minister of Tourism in order to define and steer the mission objectives and vision of the scheme. This committee shall also be responsible for defining the operational metrics and reviewing the day to day functioning of the projects undertaken under the scheme

5. A Mission directorate headed by the Member Secretary, NSC acting as nodal officer will help in identification of the most promising porjects in the State/UT’s in consultation with the governments, technical matter experts and other associated stakeholders.

Theme based circuits

Under this scheme 12 themes have been identified under which various projects can be clubbed into. These are as follows:

1. Buddhist

The Buddhist circuit includes the most important pilgrimage destinations in the country. The states in which these projects are located include Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar (Bodhgaya). 

Total cost of projects sanctioned till date (in INR Lakhs): 37,319.21 

2. Coastal

The long coastline of India provides an advantage for promoting the “Sun, Sea & Surf” position of India in the world. The states in which these projects are located include Odisha Coastal, Goa Coastal, Maharashtra Sindhudurg, West Bengal Coastal, Tamil Nadu Coastal, Andhra Pradesh Coastal, Andaman and Nicobar Island Coastal and Puducherry.

 Total cost of projects sanctioned till date (in INR Lakhs): 77,298.54

3. Desert

India is blessed with not only flowing rivers and flora but also great deserts which provides a contrasting experience to the adventurous. The states in which these projects are located include Rajasthan.

 Total cost of projects sanctioned till date (in INR Lakhs): 6396.37

4. Eco

The theme based development of potential tourist locations in India emphasizes on the sustainable development of the region in order to reap the maximum benefits of the development and to preserve the unique advantages of the region for the benefit of future generations. The states where these projects are located include Telangana, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Mizoram and Madhya Pradesh.

Total cost of projects sanctioned till date (in INR Lakhs): 49050.71

5. Heritage

With a vibrant heritage and culture, there is much that India must offer to the world in terms of the cultural learning. Also, along with 36 UNESCO world heritage sites listed in India, it merits the development to Heritage theme based circuits. The states in which these projects are located are Telangana, Rajasthan, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Puducherry, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh

Total cost of projects sanctioned till date (in INR Lakhs): 85420.96

6. Himalayan

The Himalayas being part of the Natural World Heritage sites becomes a natural addition to the theme based circuits. The states in which these projects are located are Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh

Total cost of projects sanctioned till date (in INR Lakhs): 63925.62

7. Krishna

India is the birthplace of Hindu religion. Also, tourism in India has been primarily associated with religion through temples, architectural wonders and so on. The development of Krishna theme based circuits is to develop places which have legends of Lord Krishna associated with them. The states involved in these projects are Haryana (Kurukshetra), Rajasthan, 

Total cost of projects sanctioned till date (in INR Lakhs): 18879.69

8. North East

The North-East region known for its natural beauty, challenging rivers and gorgeous mountains along with Buddhist monasteries offer the visitors a rare feast for their soul. The states associated with the projects are Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Manipur, Mizoram.

Total cost of projects sanctioned till date (in INR Lakhs): 85609.22

9. Ramayana

The development of Ramayana circuit is to develop the regions associated with the legends of Lord Rama and enhance the tourist footfall and revenue at these locations. The states involved in these projects are Uttar Pradesh (Ayodhya)

Total cost of projects sanctioned till date (in INR Lakhs): 20275.36

10. Rural 

It is rightly said that the true soul of India lives in the villages. The development of the Rural circuit is at leveraging the power of tourism in the rural economies thus providing a means of livelihood and providing an opportunity to glimpse into the true life of rural India. The states involved in these projects are Kerala (Malabar), Bihar

Total cost of projects sanctioned till date (in INR Lakhs): 12502.4

11. Spiritual

With more than 330 Million people travelling across the world in search of spirituality, it is imperative that India, “the Land of Spirituality” needs to offer the world a circuit of all important spiritual destinations. The states involved in these projects are Bihar (Kanwaria), Kerala(Sabarimala), Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Rajasthan.

Total cost of projects sanctioned till date (in INR Lakhs): 43803.09

12. Sufi

The Sufi circuit in India aims to highlight the major destinations of the Sufi tradition in India. The major states involved in this project are Rajasthan, Maharashtra.

Total cost of projects sanctioned till date (in INR Lakhs): NA

13. Tirthankar

India is the birth place of Jainism. There are innumerable Jain Shrines across the country paying homage to the founders of Jainism. The Tirthankar circuit aims to develop places of such heritage.

Total cost of projects sanctioned till date (in INR Lakhs): NA

14. Tribal 

India even though much advanced has managed to preserve the tribal population of India. The tribal circuit is envisioned to offer a glimpse for the International traveler into the ancient rituals, customs and culture of the tribal population in the country. The states involved in this project are Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Nagaland.

Total cost of projects sanctioned till date (in INR Lakhs): 38011.65

15. Wildlife

Due to the unique location of India ranging from the tropics in the south to the tundra environment in the north, it is imperative that there would be variety in the fauna found in the country. The wildlife circuits are aimed at Sustainable development of national and State wildlife preserves and sanctuaries across India

Total cost of projects sanctioned till date (in INR Lakhs): 18790.14

Scope of the developmental activities that can be taken under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme

Any activity pertaining to the development of the region, i.e. Social, ecological, economical can be undertaken under this region. This include funds necessary for restoration of Buddhist structures, Coastal environment protection in ecologically sensitive regions, development of infrastructure like bridges in the Himalayas, increasing surveillance activities for increased protection in religious places, establishment of matts and ashrams for spiritual needs and safeguarding national parts and sanctuaries. The detailed report of the project to be undertaken shall be submitted and reviewed by the State Nodal officer in consultation with the Minister of Tourism and Development, state government and subject matter experts.

Statistics as per the Official Website

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the difference between the Prasad Scheme and ‘Spritiual Ciruit’ Scheme under Swadesh Darshan Scheme?

The ‘PRASAD’ Scheme focuses on the development and beautification of the identified pilgrimage destinations whereas in the ‘Spiritual’ Scheme identified under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme focuses on the development of particular theme based circuit consisting of various religious destinations in a State or Union Territory

Q. What is the minimum eligibility for considering a scheme under Swadesh Darshan Scheme?

The Ministry of Toursim along with the Directorate reviews the proposals put up by the respective stakeholders and the government for consideration of a project under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme. The support for such projects will be done on a case to case basis based on the potential for promotion of tourism and the subsequent benefits acquired from it. Following are the eligibility criteria

1. Event should have been happening continuously for the last five years

2. The event should have at least an expenditure of at least 1 Crore supported by audited financial statements

Q. What is the official website for this scheme?

The official website for this scheme is swadeshdarshan.gov.in

Conclusion

Swadesh Darshan Scheme is one of the most ongoing ambitious schemes which has the potential of transforming the tourism industry in India. It will help in building the critical infrastructure in the country by incorporating the private set players along with the public sector.

 


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WRITTEN BY Varsha Verma

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