Parliamentary Consultative Committee of Ministry of Tourism and Culture Meets
Dr. Mahesh Sharma, the Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism and Culture has said that the Ministry of Tourism has set up a target to achieve 1.00 % share of International Tourist Arrivals by 2016-17 which is at present 0.68%. He was addressing the Meeting of Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism here today. The theme of the Meeting for M/o Tourism was “Swadesh Darshan and PRASAD (Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive) Schemes” and the theme of M/o Culture was “Working of Zonal Cultural Centres. The Minister said that India’s rich cultural, historical, religious and natural heritage provides a huge potential for development of tourism and job creation. He said “there is a need to raise the standards of existing tourist destinations and develop new tourism destinations of global standards with the integrated and well-coordinated efforts of Central and State Governments.”
Dr. Sharma opined that Religious Tourism is an important segment of domestic tourism in the country and many important religions of the world have their major and minor pilgrimage centres in different parts of the country. Better services and infrastructure facilities at pilgrim sites can enrich the spiritual experience of pilgrims.
The Minister informed the Members that the Mission of two new schemes of the Ministry of Tourism “Swadesh Darshan”and “PRASAD” is to develop theme based tourist circuits and identify and develop pilgrimage tourist destinations. Both the schemes are implemented in mission mode.
Referring to Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs), he said that through them we develop and promote the rich diversity of our country and also encourage folk and tribal arts and aid the preservation of vanishing arts. Seven ZCCs preserve, innovate and promote the projection and dissemination of arts in their concerned zone. A Common Human Resource Development (HRD) Policy has been formulated for all ZCCs. Soon, Sub-Centres of these ZCCs will be established in all States.
The Minister informed the Members about the grand success of ‘First Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav’ organized by Ministry of Culture in coordination with all seven ZCCs from 1st to 8th November, 2015 at IGNCA, Janpath, New Delhi which will be institutionalized as an Annual Feature and now will be organized in different parts of the country on Rotation basis. This Mahotsav showcased unique element of Indian Culture i.e. Unity in Diversity and received huge response from masses.
The Members of Parliament who participated in the Meeting include – Smt. Aparupa Poddar; Shri Chhedi Paswan; Shri Maheish Giri; Smt. Mala Rajya Laxmi Shah; Shri Nishikant Dubey; Dr. Prabhas Kumar Singh; Shri Ram Swarop Sharma; and Shri Thangso Baite (All Lok Sabha) and Shri Anubhav Mohanty; Shri B.K. Hariprasad; Shri Narendra Budania; and Shri Ram Kumar Kashyap (All Rajya Sabha). Shri N.K. Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Culture and senior officers of Ministry of Tourism and Culture were present in the Meeting.