After a review of the states and circuits of the existing projects, the ministry is planning to keep each circuit limited to four or five states. Within a state, the ministry is mulling over limiting each circuit to four or five main locations.
About Swadesh Darshan Scheme
The Ministry of Tourism launched the Swadesh Darshan Scheme (Central Sector Scheme)– for integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits in the country in 2014-15. This scheme is envisioned to synergize with other Government of India schemes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Skill India, Make in India, etc. with the idea of positioning the tourism sector as a major engine for job creation, the driving force for economic growth, and building synergy with various sectors to enable tourism to realize its potential
- To position tourism as a major engine of economic growth and job creation
- 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
- Enhancing the tourist attractiveness in a sustainable manner by developing world-class infrastructure in the circuit /destinations
- Follow community-based development and pro-poor tourism approach
- Creating awareness among the local communities about the importance of tourism for them in terms of increased sources of income, improved living standards and overall development of the area.
- To create employment through the active involvement of local communities
- Harness tourism potential for its effects on employment generation and economic development.
- To make full use of the potential and advantages in terms of available infrastructure, national culture and characteristic strong points of each and every region throughout the country by the development of theme-based circuits.
- Development of tourist facilitation services to enhance visitor experience/satisfaction
The scheme is a joint venture by the Central Government and the Ministry of Tourism.
Definition of Tourist Circuit under the scheme
- 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.
- Currently, there are 15 theme-based circuits; these are Buddhist, coastal, desert, eco, heritage, Himalayan, Krishna, north-east, Ramayana, rural, spiritual, Sufi, Tirthankar, tribal and wildlife.
A successful project shall have the following attributes and weightage given as per below:
- Potential to be showcased as a world-class destination with diverse tourism experiences.
- Proximity to existing destinations with connectivity and other infrastructure.
- Job creation and livelihood enhancement in the region, while conserving and promoting the local arts, cultural, handicrafts, cuisine, etc. at the destination.
- Ability to attract investment in the private sector/PPP with specific provisions.
- Follow a comprehensive area development approach for ensuring all the facilities required by the tourists in the identified circuits.
- Robust Operation and Management plan (O&M) as per pre-agreed service standards evaluated periodically by an independent agency
Duration of scheme
At present, the duration of Swadesh Darshan Scheme is till the 14th Finance Commission Period i.e. March 2020Inadmissible Component projects under the Scheme
The assistance under this scheme shall not be admissible for the components such as below:
- Land acquisition for development
- Resettlement and rehabilitation package
- Improvement/investments in assets/structures owned by private entities
- Rejuvenation/dredging/development of bunds of a water body (man-made & natural both)
- Convention Centers / Golf Course / Aquamarine Parks /amusement parks/theme parks which shall be taken up for VGF under other schemes of the ministry
The scheme is being implemented under the overall control of the Mission Director. Experts/Consultants may be engaged by executing agencies for detailed planning and designing/preparing DPR of the works/projects under the scheme
- The Scheme is 100% centrally funded and efforts are made to achieve convergence with other schemes of Central and State Governments and also to leverage the voluntary funding available for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of Central Public Sector Undertakings and Corporate Sector.
- Suitable Public-Private Partnerships to be taken up for improved sustainability of the projects.
- A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) may be created for the purpose, wherever feasible.
- The funds would be released to the Implementing Agency, under Swadesh Darshan Scheme
- Up to 10% of funds shall be earmarked for IEC components (like workshops, seminars, publications, stakeholder outreach, skill development, etc.) & Professional & Administrative Services