Swadesh Darshan Scheme and PRASHAD Scheme

The Sambhar Lake, situated 80 km away from Jaipur, which formed part of the desert circuit in the Centre’s Swadesh Darshan Scheme has immense potential for tourism. In addition to the migratory birds, the natural process of salt getting deposited in the lake could be displayed to the tourists.

Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD Scheme

  • Swadesh Darshan Scheme – Integrated Development of theme-based tourist circuits – is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Tourism for the development of tourism infrastructure in the country.
  • The duration of Swadesh Darshan Scheme is till the 14thFinance Commission Period i.e. March 2020.
  • The Scheme, being a central sector scheme, is 100% centrally funded.
  • The scheme has following objectives (only the major ones and not the obvious ones):
  • 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;
  • Follow community-based development and pro-poor tourism approach;
  • In January 2015 the Scheme was launched as a Central Sector Scheme with following five circuits:
  • Himalayan Circuit,
  • North East Circuit,
  • Krishna Circuit,
  • Buddhist Circuit, and
  • Coastal Circuit.
  • Later, 10 more thematic circuits namely:
  • Desert Circuit,
  • Tribal Circuit,
  • Eco Circuit,
  • Wildlife Circuit,
  • Rural Circuit,
  • Spiritual Circuit,
  • Ramayana Circuit,
  • Heritage Circuit,
  • Tirthankar Circuit and
  • Sufi Circuit were added in the scheme making it to 15 thematic circuits.
  • The third-party evaluation of the scheme is carried, out by the National Productivity Council (Ministry of Industry).

Definition of Tourist Circuit

  • 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.

Tribal Circuit

  • The Ministry of Tourism, under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, has identified tribal circuit as one of the fifteen thematic circuits for the development of tourism infrastructure in the country.
  • The objective is showcasing tribal culture, art, handicrafts and providing livelihood and enhance employment opportunities for tribal populations in the country.
  • The tribal circuits under the scheme would be developed in the states of Nagaland, Chhattisgarh, and Telanagana.

Ramayana Circuit 

  • Further, fifteen destinations have been identified by the Government for development of tourism under the Ramayana Circuit
  • Ramayana Circuit is one of the fifteen thematic circuits identified for development under the Swadesh Darshan scheme of Ministry of Tourism.
  • The Ministry has initially identified fifteen destinations namely:
  • Ayodhya, Nandigram, Shringverpur & Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh);
  • Sitamarhi, Buxar & Darbhanga (Bihar);
  • Chitrakoot (Madhya Pradesh);
  • Mahendragiri (Odisha);
  • Jagdalpur (Chattisgarh);
  • Nashik & Nagpur (Maharashtra);
  • Bhadrachalam (Telangana);
  • Hampi (Karnataka); and
  • Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu).

Central Schemes

  • The central schemes are divided into central sector schemes and centrally sponsored schemes (CSS).

What is a Central Sector Scheme?

  • Central sector schemes are schemes with 100% funding by the Central government and implemented by the Central Government machinery.
  • The central sector schemes are formulated on subjects mainly from the Union List.
  • Besides, there are some other programmes that various Central Ministries implement directly in States and UTs which also come under Central Sector Schemes.
  • In these schemes, the financial resources are not shifted to states.

What are Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS)?

  • CCS are schemes that are implemented by state governments but are largely funded by the Central Government with a defined State Government share.
  • Historically, CSS is the way through which central government helps states to run its Plans financially.
  • They are basically special purpose grants (or loans) extended by Central Government to states to encourage them to plan and implement programmes that help attain national goals and objectives.
  • CSS are basically extended by the Central Government to States under Article 282 of the Constitution.
  • It mainly covers items listed in states list.

National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD Scheme)

  • This Scheme was launched by the Ministry of Tourism in the year 2014-15 with the objective of holistic development of identified pilgrimage and heritage destinations.
  • The total number of sites identified for development under the scheme at present are 24. They are:
  • Amaravati and Srisailam (Andhra Pradesh),
  • Kamakhya (Assam),
  • Patna and Gaya (Bihar),
  • Dwarka and Somnath (Gujarat),
  • Hazratbal and Katra (Jammu & Kashmir),
  • Deogarh (Jharkhand),
  • Guruvayoor (Kerala),
  • Maa Chintpurni, Una (Himachal Pradesh,
  • Omkareshwar (Madhya Pradesh), Trimbakeshwar (Maharashtra),
  • Puri (Odisha),
  • Amritsar (Punjab),
  • Ajmer (Rajasthan),
  • Kanchipuram and Vellankani (Tamil Nadu),
  • Varanasi, and Mathura (Uttar Pradesh),
  • Badrinath and Kedarnath (Uttarakhand) and
  • Belur (West Bengal).



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