The Ministry of Tourism inaugurated various components of the “Development of Govardhan, Mathura ” project under PRASHAD Scheme.
- The government also allocated funds under the Swadesh Darshan scheme for strengthening Tourism infrastructure within the state of Uttar Pradesh through various spiritual circuits such as the Ramayana and Buddha circuits.
- The ‘National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive’ (PRASAD) was launched by the Ministry of Tourism in the year 2014-15 with the objective of holistic development of identified pilgrimage destinations.
- The name of the scheme was changed from PRASAD to “National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD)” in October 2017.
- After the discontinuation of the HRIDAY scheme of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, the development of Heritage destinations was included in the PRASAD Scheme, changing it to PRASHAD.
- Under the PRASHAD Scheme, several religious cities/sites in have been identified for development such as Amaravati and Srisailam (Andhra Pradesh), Kamakhya (Assam), Parasuram Kund (Lohit District, Arunachal Pradesh), Patna and Gaya (Bihar), etc.
- Implementation Agency: The projects identified under this scheme shall be implemented through the identified agencies by the respective State/ Union Territory Government.
- Funding Mechanism: The Central Government provides 100% funding for the project components undertaken for public funding.
- This scheme seeks to leverage the voluntary funding available for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for improved sustainability of the projects under this scheme.
Swadesh Darshan Scheme:
- Swadesh Darshan, a Central Sector Scheme, was launched in 2014 -15 for the integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits in the country.
- Under the scheme, fifteen thematic circuits have been identified- Buddhist Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Desert Circuit, Eco Circuit, Heritage Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Krishna Circuit, North East Circuit, Ramayana Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Sufi Circuit, Tirthankar Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Wildlife Circuit.
- Under the scheme, the Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to State Governments/Union Territory Administrations for infrastructure development of circuits.
- This scheme is envisioned to synergise with other 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, driving force for economic growth, building synergy with various sectors to enable tourism to realise its potential.