Chinese Current Affairs - 2020

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Sign boards in Chinese language put up at 5 ASI sites

Union Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel informed that sign boards in Chinese language have been put up at five Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protected Archaeological Sites located in Uttar Pradesh (UP). ASI Sites Include- (1) Sarnath, (2) the Buddhist relics at Chaukhandi Stupa, (3) Kushinagar and the Mahaparinirvana Temple, (4) Piparahwa and (5) Shravasti.

Key Highlights

Tourism Ministry had earlier instructed ASI that sign boards of foreign languages will be installed at all iconic archaeological sites, keeping in mind the convenience of foreign travellers.

Objective of this initiative is to increase the footfall of both both foreign as well as domestic tourists under Prime Minister’s Vision 2020.

Progress: In this series of effort by Tourism Ministry, the work of installing sign boards in Sinhali language has been completed in November 2019 in view of the large number of Sri Lankan tourists visiting Sanchi.

Condition: Sign boards of foreign languages will be installed where over 1 lakh tourists from a particular country visit those places every year. A total of 5 such foreign country languages can be included in it.

Way Ahead: In order to increase number of domestic tourists, Tourism Ministry is considering various cultural fairs and other events through which people of India will get to know country in a better way.

About Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

It is an Indian government agency that was founded in 1861 by Alexander Cunningham who was also the  first Director-General of ASI. It is attached to Union Ministry of Culture. It is responsible for archaeological research as well as conservation & preservation of cultural monuments in India.

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India relaxes e-visa rules for Chinese nationals

India has announced significant relaxations in its e-visa policy or rules for Chinese nationals. The announcement comes at a time when the leaders of the two nations Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping had met for the second informal summit, in Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu.

The decision to offer multiple-entry 5-year visas is offered for a much longer duration than offered till now and meets a long-standing demand from China.

Relaxed e-visa rules for Chinese nationals

October 2019 onwards, the Chinese nationals can apply for an e-Tourist visa (e-TV) of 5-year validity with multiple entries.

The visa fee for this 5-year multiple entry e-TV will be $80. Moreover, the prospective tourists can avail of single-entry 30-day validity e-TV at a reduced visa fee of $25, while for a 30-day e-TV during months of April to June, the visa fee will be only $10.

The one-year multiple-entry e-TV will continue to be offered but at a reduced visa fee of $40.

Other relaxations– the existing e-conference visa, e-medical visa and 1-year multiple-entry e-business visa will continue to be issued from online platform of Indian visas.

Significance: This unilateral liberalisation of e-TV for Chinese nationals will enhance people-to-people exchanges between two nations. It will also encourage more Chinese tourists to choose India as a tourist destination.

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