Cabinet approves Swadesh Darshan Scheme: Integrated Development of Theme-based Tourist Circuits in the country

Cabinet approves Swadesh Darshan Scheme: Integrated Development of Theme-based Tourist Circuits in the country

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the following proposals:

Continuation of the Swadesh Darshan Scheme during 14th Finance Commission period and beyond;

Rs. 2055.96 crores for 60 on-going projects completing in December 2019; and

Rs. 324.09 crores for 6 projects for which substantial funds have been released and projects to be completed in September 2020.


Swadesh Darshan Scheme – Integrated Development of theme based tourist circuits is the flagship scheme of Ministry of Tourism for development of tourism infrastructure in the country. The scheme has following objectives:

Position tourism as a major engine of economic growth and job creation;

Develop circuits having tourist potential in a planned and prioritized manner;

iii. Promote cultural and heritage value of the country to generate livelihoods in the identified regions;

iv. Enhance the tourist attractiveness in a sustainable manner by developing world class infrastructure in the circuit/destinations;

v. Follow community based development and pro-poor tourism approach;

vi. Create 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.

vii. Create employment through active involvement of local communities;

viii. Harness tourism potential for its effects in employment generation and economic development.

ix. 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 development of theme based circuits.

Under Swadesh Darshan Scheme Ministry of Tourism is developing critical tourism infrastructure in the country in a sustainable and inclusive manner to make India into a world class tourist destination. The focus under the scheme is to develop public facilities like last mile connectivity, Tourist reception Centers, Way side Amenities, Solid Waste Management, Illumination, Landscaping, parking etc. where Private Sector is not willing to invest.


a. During the Budget speech of 2014-15 the Finance Minister made following announcement “India’s rich cultural, historical, religious and natural heritage provides a huge potential for the development of tourism and job creation as an Industry. I propose to create 5 tourist circuits around specific themes and set aside a sum of Rs. 500 Crore for this purpose”.

b. Subsequently in January 2015 Ministry of Tourism launched the Swadesh Darshan Scheme (Central Sector Scheme) with following five circuits Himalayan Circuit, North East Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Buddhist Circuit and Coastal Circuit. Later during 2015, 2016 and 2017, 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.

c. The third party evaluation of the scheme was carried, out by the National Productivity Council (NPC). The NPC submitted its evaluation report on 15.06.2017. Based on Evaluation midterm corrections have been made in the scheme. Development of Wayside Amenities on tourist circuits has been made sub scheme of Swadesh Darshan scheme.

d. The Expenditure Finance Committee in its meeting held on 13th October 2017 has recommended an outlay of Rs. 5048 Crore for the scheme from 2017-18 till 2019-20 which includes Budgetary allocation of Rs. 3848 Crore for completion of ongoing projects and Rs. 1200 Crore for new projects. EFC has recommended that sanctions for new projects in the period 2017-2020 shall be restricted to Rs. 2500 Crore.

e. Since, its launch Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned 77 projects for Rs. 6121.69 Crores to 30 States and UTs under the scheme and has incurred expenditure of Rs. 3096.14 Crore. Out these 77 projects, physical work has started on 66 projects sanctioned from 2014-15 till 2017-18. The 11 projects sanctioned in 2018-19 are at tendering stage and no funds have been released, work on 17 projects/ major components of the project is complete and 13 projects have been inaugurated between August 2018 to January 2019.

Source : PMINDIA

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