- Swadesh Darshan Scheme - Integrated Development of theme-based tourist circuits - is the flagship scheme of Ministry of Tourism for development of tourism infrastructure in the country.
- The duration of Swadesh Darshan Scheme is till the 14th Finance Commission Period i.e. March 2020.
- The Scheme, being a central sector scheme, is 100?ntrally funded.
The scheme has following objectives (only the major ones and not the obvious ones):
- Develop circuits having tourist potential in a planned and prioritized manner;
- Promote cultural and heritage value of the country to generate livelihoods in the identified regions;
- Follow community-based development and pro-poor tourism approach;
In January 2015 the Scheme was launched as a Central Sector Scheme with following five circuits:
- Himalayan Circuit,
- North East Circuit,
- Krishna Circuit,
- Buddhist Circuit, and
- Coastal Circuit.
Later, 10 more thematic circuits namely:
- Desert Circuit,
- Tribal Circuit,
- Eco Circuit,
- Wildlife Circuit,
- Rural Circuit,
- Spiritual Circuit,
- Ramayana Circuit,
- Heritage Circuit,
- Tirthankar Circuit and
- Sufi Circuit were added in the scheme making it to 15 thematic circuits.
- The third-party evaluation of the scheme is carried, out by the National Productivity Council (Ministry of Industry).
Definition of Tourist Circuit
- Tourist Circuit is defined as a route having at least three major tourist destinations which are distinct and apart.
- Circuits should have well defined entry and exit points.
- A tourist who enters should get motivated to visit most of the places identified in the circuit.
- A Circuit could be confined to a State or could be a regional circuit covering more than one State/Union Territory.
- These circuits may have one dominant theme and other sub-themes.
- The Ministry of Tourism, under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, has identified tribal circuit as one of the fifteen thematic circuits for development of tourism infrastructure in the country.
- The objective is showcasing tribal culture, art, handicrafts and providing livelihood and enhance employment opportunities for tribal populations in the country.
- The tribal circuits under the scheme would be developed in the states of Nagaland, Chhattisgarh, and Telanagana.
- Further, fifteen destinations have been identified by the Government for development of tourism under the Ramayana Circuit.
- Ramayana Circuit is one of the fifteen thematic circuits identified for development under the Swadesh Darshan scheme of Ministry of Tourism.
The Ministry has initially identified fifteen destinations namely:
- Ayodhya, Nandigram, Shringverpur & Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh);
- Sitamarhi, Buxar & Darbhanga (Bihar);
- Chitrakoot (Madhya Pradesh);
- Mahendragiri (Odisha);
- Jagdalpur (Chattisgarh);
- Nashik & Nagpur (Maharashtra);
- Bhadrachalam (Telangana);
- Hampi (Karnataka); and
- Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu).
- The central schemes are divided into central sector schemes and centrally sponsored schemes (CSS).
What is a Central Sector Scheme?
- Central sector schemes are schemes with 100% funding by the Central government and implemented by the Central Government machinery.
- The central sector schemes are formulated on subjects mainly from the Union List.
- Besides, there are some other programmes that various Central Ministries implement directly in States and UTs which also come under Central Sector Schemes.
- In these schemes, the financial resources are not shifted to states.
What are Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS)?
- CCS are schemes that are implemented by state governments but are largely funded by the Central Government with a defined State Government share.
- Historically, CSS is the way through which central government helps states to run its Plans financially.
- They are basically special purpose grants (or loans) extended by Central Government to states to encourage them to plan and implement programmes that help attain national goals and objectives.
- CSS are basically extended by the Central Government to States under Article 282 of the Constitution.
- It mainly covers items listed in states list.
National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD)
- This Scheme was launched by the Ministry of Tourism in the year 2014-15 with the objective of holistic development of identified pilgrimage and heritage destinations.
The total number of sites identified for development under the scheme at present are 24. They are:
- Amaravati and Srisailam (Andhra Pradesh),
- Kamakhya (Assam),
- Patna and Gaya (Bihar),
- Dwarka and Somnath (Gujarat),
- Hazratbal and Katra (Jammu & Kashmir),
- Deogarh (Jharkhand),
- Guruvayoor (Kerala),
- Maa Chintpurni, Una (Himachal Pradesh,
- Omkareshwar (Madhya Pradesh), Trimbakeshwar (Maharashtra),
- Puri (Odisha),
- Amritsar (Punjab),
- Ajmer (Rajasthan),
- Kanchipuram and Vellankani (Tamil Nadu),
- Varanasi, and Mathura (Uttar Pradesh),
- Badrinath and Kedarnath (Uttarakhand) and
- Belur (West Bengal).