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Union Government decides to develop villages within 10 km of IB on priority

Union Government has decided to develop all villages located within 10 kilometres vicinity of the international border on a priority basis.

It was decided by the Union Home Ministry in consultation with Ministries of Rural Development, Sports, Health and Human Resources Development.

These villages will be developed under the Border Area Development Programme (BADP) with special emphasis on promotion of sports activities and rural tourism.

Key facts

  • The funds under BADP for this initiative will be provided to the states as a 100 per cent non-lapsable special central assistance. It will be supplemented from the budgetary allocation of Rs. 990 crore for the financial year 2015-16.
  • The development of villages under BADP will include schemes such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Promotion of sports activities in border areas.
  • Skill Development Programmes along with promotion of rural tourism (i.e. border tourism) and protection of heritage sites.
  • It will also cover construction of helipads in remote and inaccessible hilly areas, which do not have road connectivity, skill development training to farmers for use of modern or scientific technique in farming, organic farming etc.

Border Area Development Programme (BADP)

  • It has been implemented in 367 border blocks of 104 border districts in 17 states.
  • Objective: To meet special developmental needs and well-being of the people living in remote and inaccessible areas situated near the IB.
  • It also seeks to saturate the border areas with the entire essential infrastructure through convergence of Union, state, BADP, local schemes and participatory approach.

Union Government extends e-Tourist Visa scheme to 31 more countries

Union Government has extended e-Tourist Visa scheme to 31 more countries with an effect from 31 May 2015.

In this regard, Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued a notification. With this the total number of countries under the scheme has gone up to 76.

The 31 countries are: Antigua & Barbuda, Anguilla, Bahamas, Bolivia, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, Chile, Cayman Island, Dominic an Republic, Dominica, Estonia, El Salvador, Ecuador, France, Grenada, Georgia, Haiti, Honduras,Vatican, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Latvia,  Montenegro, Macedonia, Nicaragua,  Montserrat, St.Kitts & Nevis Paraguay, and Seychelles.

Background

India had launched e-Tourist Visa Scheme (as Tourist Visa on Arrival scheme) in November 2014. Initially during the launch only 45 countries were under ambit of the scheme.

Later in the phased manner, the scheme was extended to more countries. By the end of current financial year Government intends to extend the scheme to 150 countries.