PRASAD Scheme Current Affairs - 2019
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PRASAD Scheme: Centre includes Gangotri, Yamunotri in Uttarakhand, Amarkantak in MP and Parasnath in Jharkhand
Union Government has included Gangotri and Yamunotri in Uttrarakhand, Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh and Parasnath in Jharkhand under Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) to develop pilgrimage and heritage destinations in the country. With the new additions, the number of sites under PRASAD has now reached to 41 in 25 states.
It was launched in 2014-15 by Union Ministry of Tourism. It aims at integrated development of pilgrimage destinations in planned, prioritised and sustainable manner to provide complete religious tourism experience. It focuses on the development and beautification of the identified pilgrimage destinations.
- Harness pilgrimage tourism for its direct and multiplier effect upon employment generation and economic development.
- Enhance tourist attractiveness in sustainable manner by developing world class infrastructure in the religious destinations.
- It also seeks to promote local art, culture, handicraft, cuisine, etc.
Infrastructure development under this scheme includes
- Development of entry points (road, rail and water transport), last mile connectivity, basic tourism facilities like Information/interpretation centers, ATM/ money exchange.
- Development of eco-friendly modes of transport, lighting and illumination with renewable energy sources, drinking water, parking, toilets, waiting rooms, first aid centers, craft bazars/haats/souvenir shops/cafeteria, rain shelters, telecom facilities, internet connectivity etc.
Under it, Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to State Governments for promoting tourism at identified destinations. For components within public funding under this scheme, Central Government will provide 100% fund. For improved sustainability of project, it also seeks to involve Public Private Partnership (PPP) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as well.
The Union Budget 2017-18 has announced that Government will set up five Special Tourism Zones in partnership with States.
These five special zones will be anchored as Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) that will be set up in partnership with the States. In this budget, government has allocated Rs. 1,840.77 crore to the Tourism Ministry, Rs. 250 crore more in the 2017-18 fiscal.
Other tourism related announcements in Budget
- To boost the image of India in the international travel market Incredible India 2.0 Campaign will be unveiled across the world the financial year 2017-18.
- 959.91 crore has been allocated for the Integrated Development of Tourist Circuits around specific themes under Swadesh Darshan scheme.
- 100 crore has been allocated for Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD). Rs. 412 crore provided for promotion and publicity of various programmes and schemes.
- Besides, Government has asked the Railways to start dedicated trains for tourism and pilgrimage purposes.
Swadesh Darshan Scheme: Under it, 13 thematic circuits have been identified for development, namely North-East India Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit and Heritage Circuit.
PRASAD Scheme: Under it, 13 cities Ajmer, Amritsar, Amravati, Dwarka, Gaya, Kamakhaya, Kancheepuram, Kedarnath, Mathura, Patna, Puri, Varanasi and Velankanni have been identified for development.