Swadesh Darshan Scheme 2024: Eligibility & Complete Details

Swadesh Darshan Scheme Apply Online & Registration Form | Swadesh Darshan Scheme 2. O Check Circuits & Overview | Swadesh Darshan Scheme Check Features & Benefits | Swadesh Darshan Scheme 2. O Check Aims & Principles | Swadesh Darshan Scheme Check All Details |

The Ministry of Tourism and Sanskrit has launched the Swadesh Darshan Scheme released by the Government of India. It aims to develop themed tourist circuits in the country using principles of price competitiveness and sustainability. 15 thematic circuits have been identified for development under this scheme, and financial assistance will be provided to build infrastructure for these circuits.

Through this article, we will provide you with all types of information about the Swadesh Darshan Scheme 2024 like purpose, Eligibility Criteria, Benefits, Features, important documents, etc. Apart from this, we will share with you the process to apply online for this scheme. To get complete information about this scheme, read this article till the end.

Swadesh Darshan Scheme

The Swadesh Darshan Scheme is a tourism policy launched by the government of India. It aims to promote domestic tourism by highlighting 15 states across the country. Instead of focusing on specific themes, this policy focuses on reviving popular tourist destinations. Some of the notable places included are Jhansi, Prayagraj, Gwalior, Chitrakoot, Khajuraho, Ajanta, and Ellora.

To promote local tourism in India by developing sustainable and responsible destinations, Swadesh Darshan Scheme has been launched. It is part of the “vocal for local” initiative and seeks to make India a self-reliant country in the tourism sector. The scheme will focus on creating benchmarks and standards for the development of tourist destinations.

Swadesh Darshan Scheme: Eligibility & Complete Details

Highlights Of Swadesh Darshan Scheme

The highlights of this scheme are as follows:-

Name Of The SchemeSwadesh Darshan Scheme
Launched ByMinistry of Tourism and Sanskrit
Delegated MinistryMinistry of Electronics & Information Technology
Allocated PortalTourism Portal
ObjectiveTo promote and support local communities in the tourism sector
Benefit This will improve the cultural and natural resources of the local area
Applicable To Citizens of India
Funding BodiesCentral & State Governments
Total Circuits15
Form of BenefitDevelopment of Tourism Infrastructure at Various Destinations
Hosting SiteNational Information Center (NIC)
Mode Of ApplicationOnline 

Objectives Of Swadesh Darshan Scheme

The major objective of launching the Swadesh Darshan Scheme is to boost tourism as a major driver of economic growth and job creation. It involves developing tourist circuits, prioritizing areas with potential, and promoting cultural and heritage value to generate income. The focus is on sustainable development, creating world-class infrastructure, and involving local communities in tourism.

Another objective of the Swadesh Darshan Scheme is to promote and support local communities in the tourism sector. This includes providing job opportunities and training for young people in tourism and hospitality. It also encourages private sector investment in the tourism industry and aims to preserve and improve the cultural and natural resources of the local area.

Identified Major Themes

The identified major themes of the Swadesh Darshan Scheme are as follows:-

  • Culture and Heritage
  • Adventure Tourism
  • Eco-Tourism
  • Wellness Tourism
  • MICE Tourism
  • Rural Tourism
  • Beach Tourism
  • Cruises – Ocean & Inland

Exploring Theme-Based Tourist Circuits

The below-mentioned circuits will be explored in this scheme:-

  • Buddhist Circuit
  • Coastal Circuit
  • Desert Circuit
  • Eco Circuit
  • Heritage Circuit
  • Northeast Circuit
  • Himalayan Circuit
  • Sufi Circuit
  • Krishna Circuit
  • Ramayana Circuit
  • Rural Circuit
  • Spiritual Circuit
  • Tirthankar Circuit
  • Wildlife Circuit
  • Tribal Circuit

Brief Overview of Tourist Circuits

The brief overview of these circuits under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme is as follows:-

Tourist CircuitDescription
Buddhist CircuitIn this case, the Buddhist Circuit is a route that takes you to different important Buddhist destinations, such as Gaya-Bodhgaya, Rajgir-Nalanda, and Sarnath-Varanasi.
Coastal CircuitIndia’s long coastline, including states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu, offers sun, sea, and snake landscapes.
Desert CircuitRajasthan’s sand dunes, Ladakh’s cold valleys, and Himachal’s scenic beauty attract tourists to India’s desert circuit.
Eco CircuitKerala, Uttarakhand, and Madhya Pradesh offer eco-friendly destinations to appreciate India’s diverse ecosystems.
Heritage CircuitRajasthan, Assam, and Punjab, among others, preserve and promote India’s rich heritage and culture.
Northeast CircuitArunachal Pradesh, Assam, and Sikkim provide captivating tourist destinations in the North East region of India.
Himalayan CircuitHimachal Pradesh and other states in the Himalayan region offer stunning landscapes and tourist experiences.
Sufi CircuitThis circuit celebrates India’s Sufi tradition and honors its cultural diversity.
Krishna CircuitHaryana and Rajasthan are popular tourist destinations associated with the legends of Lord Krishna.
Ramayana CircuitThis circuit focuses on places associated with Lord Rama’s legends across India.
Rural CircuitBihar and other rural areas aim to revive the rural economy and showcase the true essence of India to visitors.
Spiritual CircuitSome of the states in India that are particularly popular for spiritual tourism are Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Bihar, Rajasthan, and Puducherry.
Tirthankar CircuitThis circuit includes pilgrimage sites that commemorate the life and teachings of Jain Tirthankaras.
Wildlife CircuitThe wildlife circuits in India focus on sustainable and nature-centric development in numerous national and state wildlife preserves and sanctuaries. The states of Assam and Madhya Pradesh are particularly highlighted.
Tribal CircuitTelangana, Nagaland, and Chhattisgarh offer a glimpse into the customs, traditions, and cultural festivals of India’s tribal communities.

Aims Of Swadesh Darshan Scheme

The aims of this scheme are as follows:-

  • Tourism as an Economic Engine
  • Planned & Prioritized Circuit Development
  • Promoting Cultural & Heritage Value
  • Developing World-Class Infrastructure
  • Community-Based Development & Pro-Poor Tourism
  • Maximizing Regional Advantages
  • Enhancing Visitor Experience

Tourism as an Economic Engine

Tourism has the potential to significantly contribute to economic growth and job creation. By strategically positioning tourism as a key industry, countries can stimulate economic development and provide opportunities for local communities. The benefits of tourism extend beyond financial gains, as it can also enhance overall livelihoods and living standards in the identified regions.

Planned & Prioritized Circuit Development

To fully explore the tourist potential of a country, it is essential to develop circuits that showcase different regions in a planned and prioritized manner. This approach allows for the creation of diverse tourism offerings and ensures that each circuit highlights unique cultural and heritage assets. It also encourages the growth of local businesses and promotes equitable distribution of tourism benefits.

Promoting Cultural & Heritage Value

The cultural and heritage value of a country is a significant driver of tourism. By actively promoting and preserving these assets, countries can create sustainable livelihoods for local communities. The identified regions can leverage their cultural and heritage resources to attract visitors, generate income, and contribute to the overall development of the area.

Developing World-Class Infrastructure

Enhancing the attractiveness of tourist circuits and destinations requires the development of world-class infrastructure. By investing in improved transportation, accommodation, and amenities, countries can provide visitors with a seamless and enjoyable experience. This sustainable infrastructure development not only enhances tourism potential but also benefits local communities.

Community-Based Development & Pro-Poor Tourism

To ensure inclusive growth and equitable distribution of tourism benefits, a community-based development and pro-poor tourism approach is crucial. By creating awareness and understanding the importance of tourism for increased income sources, improved living standards, and overall development, communities can actively participate and contribute to a thriving tourism economy.

Maximizing Regional Advantages

Every region throughout the country has unique potential and advantages, including available infrastructure, national culture, and characteristic strong points. By developing theme-based circuits that highlight these strengths, countries can optimize their tourism offerings and attract a diverse range of visitors. This approach ensures that each region is able to showcase its distinct identity and contribute to the overall tourism sector.

Enhancing Visitor Experience

To encourage repeat visits and positive word-of-mouth, it is crucial to prioritize the development of tourist facilitation services. By focusing on enhancing visitor experience and satisfaction, countries can create a positive image and reputation in the tourism industry. This encompasses providing efficient and convenient services, ranging from visitor information centres to trained guides and translators.

Swadesh Darshan Scheme 2.O Key Principles

Some key principles of this initiative are as follows:-

  • Destination and tourist-centric approach:- Focus on enhancing the overall visitor experience by prioritizing the needs and preferences of tourists and ensuring that destinations are well-developed and attractive to visitors.
  • Integrated development of tourism destination:- Coordinate efforts to improve various aspects of a tourism destination, including infrastructure, transportation, accommodation, attractions, and services, to create a seamless and enjoyable experience for tourists.
  • Focus on Domestic Tourism:- Give priority to promoting tourism within the country, encouraging more citizens to explore their own country, and supporting local tourism businesses.
  • Policy and Institutional Reforms:- Introduce necessary changes in policies and institutions to create an enabling environment for the development and growth of the tourism industry.
  • Operation and maintenance on a sustainable basis:- Ensure that tourism facilities and services are operated and maintained sustainably, considering environmental and social impacts.
  • Synergy with other central and state schemes:- Collaborate with other government initiatives and programs at the central and state levels to maximize the overall impact and effectiveness of tourism development efforts.

Tourist Destinations Of Swadesh Darshan Scheme 2. O

Some of the tourist destinations of this version are as follows:-

  • Dwarka-Dwarkadhish Temple, Rukmani Devi Temple, Sudama Setu, Shivrajpur Beach, Nageshwara Jyotirlinga Temple, Gopi Talab, and Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Mandir of Dwaraka, will be developed under this scheme and Dholavira (UNESCO World Heritage site) in Gujarat
  • Colva and Porvorim in Goa
  • Nalanda and Gaya in Bihar
  • Sukhna Lake, Rock Garden, Bird Park, and the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh
  • Kokrajhar and Jorhat in Assam

Swadesh Darshan Scheme Implementation Procedure 

This scheme will be supervised by the Mission Director, who will appoint a Nodal Officer to oversee project implementation. Each project must be completed within a set time frame. A State Level Monitoring Committee will ensure that projects are completed on time. The scheme is divided into three levels based on need assessment and stakeholder interaction.

Implementation Bodies 

Some major implementation bodies of this scheme are as follows:- 

  • Ministry of Tourism
  • Central Agencies
  • State Governments/ UT Administrations

Swadesh Darshan Scheme Challenges

Major challenges that can be faced by this scheme are as follows:-

  • Low Resource Allocation:- 
    • Thematic circuits face the problem of insufficient funding allocation for each destination.
    • Lack of infrastructure and decreased quality standards can occur due to limited resources.
    • This can negatively impact the overall experience for tourists.
    • Governments and tourism authorities need to prioritize resource allocation based on the potential of each destination.
    • Sufficient funds should be allocated to support the development and maintenance of each location.
  • Inefficiency in implementation:- 
    • Thematic circuits face the challenge of inefficiency in implementation due to the involvement of many stakeholders.
    • When multiple organizations and individuals are responsible for planning and executing a circuit, it can lead to delays, confusion, and lack of coordination.
    • To improve implementation efficiency, all stakeholders need to understand their roles and responsibilities clearly.
    • Establishing effective communication channels is necessary for stakeholders to collaborate and work towards a common goal.

Funding Allocation 

The Swadesh Darshan Scheme is fully funded by the central government. The funds must be approved and given to the agency responsible for implementing the scheme, following specific guidelines. The aim is to maximize the voluntary funding available for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of Central Public Sector Undertakings and the corporate sector. The Ministry of Finance regularly issues instructions to ensure that funds are aligned with the General Financial Rules.

Supervision Body

The implementation of the Swadesh Darshan Scheme is supervised by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The ministry works closely with state governments, union territories, and other stakeholders to ensure the successful execution of the scheme. A dedicated team is responsible for monitoring the progress of the projects and providing necessary guidance and support to the implementing agencies.

Key Guidelines

Some key guidelines are as follows:-

  • Thematic Circuits: The scheme focuses on developing thematic circuits such as spiritual, cultural, heritage, wildlife, and coastal circuits. Each circuit is designed to showcase the unique attractions and experiences of a particular region.
  • Integrated Development: The development of the circuits involves a holistic approach, encompassing infrastructure development, capacity building, community participation, and promotion of local arts, crafts, and cuisine.
  • Public-Private Partnership: The scheme encourages public-private partnerships to leverage the expertise and resources of both sectors. Private sector participation is sought for the development and management of tourism infrastructure, hospitality services, and marketing activities.
  • Sustainable Tourism: The scheme emphasizes the importance of sustainable tourism practices, including the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, promotion of local livelihoods, and minimizing the negative impacts on the environment.
  • Quality Assurance: The implementation of the scheme follows strict quality standards to ensure that the developed infrastructure and services meet the expectations of tourists. Regular inspections and audits are conducted to maintain the quality of facilities.
  • Marketing and Promotion: The promotion of the circuits is carried out through various marketing channels, including print and electronic media, social media platforms, participation in trade fairs and exhibitions, and collaboration with travel agents and tour operators.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: A robust monitoring and evaluation mechanism is in place to track the progress of the projects and assess their impact. Regular reviews and feedback from tourists and stakeholders help in identifying areas for improvement.
  • Financial Assistance: The government provides financial assistance to the implementing agencies through a centrally sponsored scheme. The funds are allocated based on the project proposals and the adherence to the guidelines of the scheme.
  • Capacity Building: The scheme focuses on capacity building of the stakeholders involved in the implementation of the projects. Training programs and workshops are conducted to enhance their skills and knowledge in the tourism sector.
  • Collaboration and Cooperation: The success of the scheme relies on the active collaboration and cooperation of all stakeholders, including the government agencies, local communities, tourism industry, and tourists themselves.

Important Instructions

Some important instructions are as follows:-

  • Implementing agencies should strictly adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Tourism.
  • Regular monitoring and reporting of the progress of the projects is mandatory.
  • Transparency and accountability in the utilization of funds should be maintained.
  • Local communities should be actively involved in the planning and execution of the projects.
  • Efforts should be made to minimize the negative impacts of tourism on the environment and local culture.
  • Effective marketing and promotion strategies should be adopted to attract tourists.
  • Regular maintenance and upkeep of the developed infrastructure is essential.
  • Feedback from tourists should be actively sought and used for improving the facilities and services.
  • Implementing agencies should collaborate with local artisans, craftsmen, and cultural groups to promote local arts and traditions.
  • Continuous capacity building and skill development programs should be conducted for the stakeholders.

Tips and Tricks

Some tips and tricks are as follows:-

  • Thoroughly research the target audience and their preferences to design attractive thematic circuits.
  • Engage with local communities and seek their active participation in the development process.
  • Ensure the availability of basic amenities and services for tourists in the identified circuits.
  • Promote sustainable tourism practices and educate tourists about the importance of responsible travel.
  • Collaborate with travel bloggers, influencers, and media to create buzz and generate interest in the circuits.
  • Regularly update and maintain the official website and social media profiles to provide accurate and up-to-date information to tourists.
  • Encourage tourists to share their experiences and feedback through online reviews and testimonials.
  • Monitor the performance of the circuits and make necessary improvements based on the feedback received.
  • Organize cultural events and festivals in the circuits to showcase the local traditions and attract more tourists.
  • Stay updated with the latest trends and technologies in the tourism industry to provide unique and innovative experiences to tourists.

General Points to Remember

Some general points to remember are as follows:-

  • Effective implementation of the Swadesh Darshan Scheme requires close coordination between the central and state governments.
  • The scheme aims to create employment opportunities and boost the local economy in the identified circuits.
  • Continuous monitoring and evaluation are essential to ensure the sustainability and success of the projects.
  • Regular interaction with tourists and stakeholders helps in understanding their needs and expectations.
  • The scheme plays a crucial role in promoting India as a preferred tourist destination globally.
  • Timely completion of the projects and adherence to quality standards are of utmost importance.
  • The Swadesh Darshan Scheme is a step towards realizing the vision of “Atithi Devo Bhava” (Guest is God) and providing a memorable experience to every tourist visiting India.

Some Other Initiatives 

Some other initiatives were launched like the Swadesh Darshan Scheme 2. O are as follows:- 

Scheme  or Initiative Description 
PRASHAD SchemeThe PRASHAD Scheme, launched by the Ministry of Tourism, is aimed at developing and identifying pilgrimage sites in India. It provides 100% funding from the Central Government for the project. The scheme focuses on integrating the development of pilgrimage and heritage destinations in a prioritized manner.
Utsav PortalThe Utsav Portal, launched in 2022 by Union Minister for Tourism and Culture Shri G. Kishan Reddy, broadcasts events, festivals, and Live Darshans from all over India. It also provides information on tourist attractions and accommodations in different regions of the country. The portal is a convenient source to explore and plan trips to India and discover its cultural diversity.
Capacity Building for Service Providers (CBSP) SchemeThe CBSP Scheme was introduced by the Ministry of Tourism in 2017 to improve service quality in tourism. It focuses on unorganized sector workers and provides training across India, even in smaller cities. Training is conducted by institutions using their own facilities. 
DekhoApnaDesh InitiativeThe DekhoApnaDesh Initiative was launched by the tourism ministry in 2020 to encourage people to travel within India. This initiative wants people to explore and enjoy the beauty of their own country while also supporting local communities.

Ministry’s Scheme Violates Budget & Authority

The Ministry of Finance introduced a scheme with a Rs 500 crore budget. According to the rules, schemes that cost more than Rs 1,000 crore should be reviewed by specific committees. However, the Ministry approved projects worth Rs 4,000 crore without proper review. This violated the rules set by the Ministry and exceeded its authority.

Scenario of Tourism Sector in India

The current scenario of the tourism sector in India is as follows:-

  • The contribution of tourism to employment in India increased from 14.78% in 2017-18 to 15.34% in 2019-20.
  • The total jobs generated by tourism in India increased from 72.69 million in 2017-18 to 79.86 million in 2019-20.
  • India’s tourism ranked 10th in terms of contribution to the world’s GDP in the World Travel and Tourism Council’s report in 2019.
  • The contribution of travel & tourism to India’s GDP during 2019 was 6.8% of the total economy.
  • This 6.8% contribution amounted to approximately Rs. 13,68,100 crore (USD 194.30 billion).

Benefits of Swadesh Darshan Scheme 

The benefits of Swadesh Darshan Scheme 2. O are as follows:- 

  • This will promote the culture and heritage of the country.
  • This scheme will also generate employment opportunities for local communities.
  • Chances of increasing income improve the quality of life.
  • Regional development and the economy will be boosted. 
  • This will provide support to local food and handicraft culture.
  • Access to resources and knowledge for the public will be provided. 
  • Major focuses on pro-poor tourism and community-based development will be provided. 
  • There will be an enhancement of tourist appeal through sustainable infrastructure.
  • There will be a promotion of regional tourism circuits.
  • This scheme has maximized the potential of tourism to stimulate economic growth.

Features of Swadesh Darshan Scheme 

The features of Swadesh Darshan Scheme 2. O are as follows:- 

  • The Ministry of Tourism and Sanskrit has launched the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, released by the Government of India.
  • There are various implementing bodies associated with this scheme. 
  • There are around 15 thematic circuits that have been empanelled. 
  • Some circuits are:- Buddhist Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Desert Circuit, Eco Circuit, Heritage Circuit, Northeast Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Sufi Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Ramayana Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Tirthankar Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, and Tribal Circuit.
  • Each circuit has covered variable states. 
  • The second version of this scheme named Swadesh Darshan 2.0 has also been released. 
  • Both Central and State Governments are funding this scheme. 
  • For getting more information, one can visit the official website.

Tourism Govt Site 

Important Downloads 

The links to important downloads are as follows:- 

Document Link Provided
Scheme GuidelinesClick Here 
State Wise List of ProjectsClick Here 

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