The Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of India, launched the Swadesh Darshan Scheme as a Central Sector scheme in 2014-15. This focuses on the integrated development of theme-based tourism circuits in India . The SDS scheme aims to promote, develop, and harness the potential of the tourism sector in India. In order to develop the infrastructure for theme-based tourist circuits in the country, the Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to State Governments and Union Territory Administrations.
The strategic objectives of the Swadesh Darshan Scheme are as follows:
- Harness tourism potential for employment generation and economic development.
- To boost the contribution of tourism to regional economies.
- To create jobs and self-employment for local communities.
- To train local youth in the hospitality and tourism sectors.
- Create tourist circuits in a systematic and prioritized manner.
- Encouraging private sector investment in tourism and hospitality.
- To protect and enhance the cultural and natural resources of the area.
- Adopt a community-based development and pro-poor tourism strategy.
- Promote the country’s cultural and heritage values in order to generate income in the identified regions.
- Increasing tourist attractiveness in a sustainable way by developing world-class infrastructure in the circuit or destinations.
- The project components covered by public funding are fully funded by the central government.
- We aim to tap into the voluntary contributions available for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives from Central Public Sector Undertakings and corporate entities.
- The funding allocated for each project will differ from state to state and will be determined based on detailed project reports prepared by the Programme Management Consultant (PMC).
- A National Steering Committee (NSC) will be set up, chaired by the Minister in charge of the Ministry of Tourism, to guide the objectives and vision of the scheme.
- A Mission Directorate, led by the Member Secretary of the NSC, will serve as the central coordinating body to identify projects in consultation with state and union territory governments, as well as other stakeholders.
- The PMC, acting as a national-level consultant, will be appointed by the Mission Directorate.
- The Swadesh Darshan Scheme, a centrally sponsored initiative, operates under the guidance of the Mission Director, ensuring efficient implementation.
- Each implementing agency must appoint a Nodal Officer who will oversee the execution of the project.
- We expect projects to follow the timelines outlined in the sanction letters and monitoring framework to ensure they complete on time.
- State and Union Territory administrations must establish State Level Monitoring Committees to monitor project progress and ensure adherence to timelines.
- The Swadesh Darshan scheme operates at three distinct levels – Ministry of Tourism, Central Agencies, and State Governments/UT Administrations – determined based on stakeholder consultations and needs assessments.
- A National Steering Committee (NSC), chaired by the Minister of Tourism, provides overarching direction and guidance, shaping the scheme’s vision and objectives.
Here is the importance of the Swadesh Darshan Scheme:
- Our plan focuses on boosting tourism by creating excellent facilities to attract more visitors, both domestic and international.
- We’ll introduce new themed circuits to even out visitor numbers throughout the year.
- Creating jobs is crucial, achieved by building infrastructure and expanding tourism activities, benefiting local communities.
- We’ll improve regional connectivity and make sure these circuits are easily accessible.
- Preserving natural and cultural resources is a top priority.
- We’ll balance advancing tourist infrastructure with safeguarding the environment and heritage.
- Partnering with the private sector promotes sustainable management.
- Involving local communities in managing tourism facilities empowers them and provides livelihood opportunities.
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