PRASAD and Swadesh Darshan schemes of Ministry of Tourism

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Who: PRASAD & Swadesh Darshan schemes
Where: Implemented across the country
When: In news in November 2015
Why: To promote tourism

PRASAD: National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive

PRASAD and SWADSH DARSHAN schemes of the Union Ministry of Tourism were in news in the second week of November 2015.

The two initiatives, along with Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs), were launched to achieve 1 per cent share of international tourist arrivals by 2016-17 from the present 0.68 per cent.

Both the schemes are under implementation in mission mode and aimed at developing world-class tourism related infrastructure.

Features of PRASAD

• Its objective is to augment religious and spiritual tourism in the country as India is a land of many religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism and Sufism.
• As part of mission strategy, religious destinations that have potential to be show-cased as world-class tourism products are identified and infrastructure is developed on a priority basis.

• In the initial phase, 12 cities, that are part of HRIDAY scheme, namely Amritsar, Ajmer, Amaravati, Dwaraka, Gaya, Kanchipuram, Kedarnath, Kamakhya, Mathura, Puri, Varanasi and Vellankani have been identified for development.

Features of Swadsh Darshan

• As part of the scheme, theme based tourism circuits are identified for infrastructure development across the country.
• Theme Based Tourist Circuit (TBTC) is defined as a tourist circuit around specific themes such as religion, culture, ethnicity, niche, etc.
• A TBTC could be confined to a state or could be a regional circuit covering more than a state or union territory (UT).