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Rajasthan signs 55 MOUs worth 586 crores in tourism industry


Jaipur: Rajasthan Government has managed to sign 55 MOUs worth over 586 crores in the tourism sector with the private sector, an official statement said.

These projects, ranging from hotels and motels to resorts and museums and amusement parks and slated to be implemented within next two to three years, are expected to create employment opportunities for over 5,390 people in the state in the state when operational.

The MOUs were signed in the presence of Minister of State for Tourism Krishnendra Kaur.

Speaking on the occasion, she said: “During and after Resurgent Rajasthan Summit the state government has signed a total of 221 MOUs worth Rs.10,407.94 crores in the tourism sector. These MOUs are expected to create employment to over 40,700 people in the state.”

The summit was held here on November 19-20.

According to trade analysts, Rajasthan is showing an increasing number of MoUs in the tourism sector that highlights the growing inclination of the investor in this sector.

Twenty MOUs of over Rs.1,174 crore were signed in the tourism sector in the presence of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on February 27.

In last November, the state government had signed over a 100 MOUs in the sector, worth over Rs.2,600 crore.

Tourism is a good income generator for the state’s economy. According to travel industry experts, good air, rail and road connectivity and peaceful atmosphere coupled with lots of sightseeing places and shopping are some of the reasons attracting tourists and the state sees over 12 lakh foreign and over 2 crore domestic tourists annually.(IANS)

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PM Modi is Optimistic about NDA’s Reforms to Boost Up Indian Economy

Lashing out at the critics, the Prime Minister elucidated about his government’s firm determination to boost up India’s economy. Admitting the economic plummet witnessed during the span of April-June, Modi declared that his government was devoted to back-pedal the mishaps due to the structural reforms of the economy. Let us look at what PM Modi said in his speech.

Challenges to Modi Government
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Wikimedia

After facing severe criticisms over economic deceleration for a very long time, Modi finally broke his silence while addressing the Golden Jubilee Year Celebrations of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) in Delhi. Lashing out at the critics, the Prime Minister elucidated about his government’s firm determination to boost up Indian Economy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetization policy brought down the country’s GDP growth rate to a mere 6.1%. The implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) added to the plight of already sick Indian economy.

Admitting the economic plummet witnessed during the span of April-June, Modi declared that his government was devoted to back-pedal the mishaps due to the structural reforms of the Indian economy. Let us look at what PM Modi said in his speech.

On Economic Reforms

PM Modi was very straightforward to acknowledge the economic slump caused. He assured that the BJP government was capable of reversing the trend and would take important decisions in that direction. Further, the Prime Minister informed that a cleanliness campaign has been started to remove the people who try to undermine the nation’s unity and integrity. Under this cleanliness campaign, a Special Investigation Team (STI) has started working ever since the Modi government came to power.

On Critics

Welcoming the constructive criticisms, Modi declared that his government is sensitive enough to accept the prevailing denigrations in the Indian economy and are rectifying their mistakes. The Prime Minister opined that people have the right to criticize the wrong, but one should restrain from fabricating an environment of panic in the country. Further, he added that his government has started working towards the “development of new India, new culture, new celebration, and new traditions.” Some people do not welcome the reforms even though they are good for the nation simply because they are anti-BJP. “People who sleep well only after spreading pessimism about government’s economic reforms need to be combated”, emphasized Modi.

Past Economic Deceleration

After achieving a whopping growth of 7.5% over the last three years, Modi acknowledged that the growth rates dropped sharply in April-June but the BJP government would not sit back until putting Indian economy on firm footing. While addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister recalled a time when Indian economy growth rate was as low as 0.2% under the previous government thereby emphasizing the fact that India can recover from the economic sluggishness.

Mainstreaming Informal Sector

Encouraging the movement from the informal sector to mainstream economy, PM Modi assured, “People coming to mainstream fear that their old records may be reopened. We will not let that happen because earlier their old way of business was necessitated by prevailing circumstances. Nothing is more sinful than blocking those who want to come to the mainstream. Let bygones be bygones.”

On Doklam

Many people opined that the BJP Government would not be able to handle the Doklam crisis. Describing the censurers as hypocrites, Modi elucidated that “when the economic growth is favorable, it is the same people who like the institutes and process; but the moment situation becomes unfavorable to them, they say that the system is not right, the process is not right, people working in it are not right and just accuse people.” The Prime Minister also held the view that before drawing any conclusion, it is imperative to identify these people at once.

On Transport System

Modi made a comparative study of the BJP government with the previous ones. He argued that in its last three years, the UPA government constructed National Highways spanning an area of 15,000km while the period under his government has witnessed the construction of more than 34,000km National Highways. As far as the construction sector is concerned, Modi claimed that the total number of foreign investment has increased by 75% from 2014-2017. The foreign direct investment in the air transport sector has also registered a growth by 69% in the past three years. Likewise, in the mining sector, there has been an increase by 56%.
The Prime Minister also told that the BJP government is trying to increase the speed of development while creating a large number of job opportunities. He added that the government knows the value of the hard-earned money and thus their policies are aimed at improving the lives of poor and middle class. Moreover, most of the government schemes are launched to empower the poor. What affects them the most is corruption and black money estimated Modi.

– Prepared by Mohima Haque of Newsgram
Twitter: mohimahaque26

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‘Janaraksha Yatra Kerala’ Witnesses escalating BJP-Left Confrontation

Amit Shah, President of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Amit Shah, President of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Wikimedia

Hurling anti-left maneuver during Janaraksha Yatra Kerala, Indian BJP National President Amit Shah launched serious allegation against the ruling CPM government for triggering political violence and imputed to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan the culpability for the mass killings of party workers in the state.

The BJP Chief traced back the origin of violence-centric politics in ”God’s Own Country” to the inception of the Communist regime. “Left always paralyses the state it rules. West Bengal and Tripura witnessed similar political vehemence under the CPM government”, elucidated the President.

Criticizing the Human Rights Activists of the nation, Amit Shah pointed out that they are very selective when it comes to what they support. “You turn your eyes away when our workers die. Why is there no march in Delhi? Violence has no color. More than 120 workers of the BJP have succumbed due to political violence so far. What was their fault? They were working for the betterment of Kerala”, complained the BJP Chief.

Acclaiming BJP’s ideology enthusiastically, Shah called upon the people to join as workers. Addressing the gathering at ‘Janaraksha Yatra Kerala’, the President added that family members of the deceased have stood by the BJP and he wouldn’t let the martyrdom of the workers go waste.

Amit Shah inaugurated the ‘Janaraksha Yatra Kerala’ at Payyannur to protest against alleged killings of party workers. The “padayatra” was led by the party’s State President Kummanam Rajashekhharan.

The National President of BJP attributed the diminishing power of the CPM to their increasing reliance on political violence. Apart from CPM, the once dominating Congress is also losing momentum thereby giving BJP the opportunity to flourish with their ideology. “More the mud of violence, more the lotus will bloom” added Shah.

The BJP Chief assured his party workers and volunteers that BJP would fight the war with CPM until emerging victorious. Shah declared, “We must all unite against the rule of the Left Government.”

Shortly after the launching of the yatra, three BJP workers adorning the National Highway 66 were ambushed by anonymous men on Monday. During his address, Shah alleged that the assailants were CPM cadres who have also destroyed BJP flags in the area.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is ready to augment the saffron stand with his visit to Kerala on Wednesday. As per the report of Times Now, Adityanath will basically be in the Muslim-dominated district of Mallapuram.

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Can India Emerge As The Global Seat of Spiritual Tourism?

A walk into the lanes of India will expose you to the religious multiplicity of the country. And people from all faiths and walks of life are now flocking to the country to be a part of this mystical experience

spiritual tourism
Religion comprises a major binding attribute in India. Pixabay

New Delhi, September 25, 2017 : A walk into the lanes of India will expose you to the religious multiplicity of the country. In every two blocks, you are certain to discover idolization of God, in almost all conceivable forms – a temple, a church, a mosque or a Gurudwara.  And people from all faiths and walks of life are now flocking to the country to be a part of this mystical experience.

India : A Confluence of Diverse Cultures and Religions

One is bound of find millions of devotees from the southern part of India taking pilgrimage to religious centres in the north like Amarnath, Ayodhya, and Haridwar, while an equal number of north Indian’s visit holy shrines of Madurai, Rameshwaram and Tirupati down South.

Bodh Gaya in Bihar is the Mecca for Buddhists from around the world and witnesses multitudes of local and foreign travelers every year.

Along with Buddhist and Hindu shrines, India is also home to the Golden temple that hosts the entire Sikh diaspora, along with prominent places of interest for Christians and Muslims like the 15th century Goan cathedrals from the Portuguese era and the world-celebrated dargah of Moinudeen Chisti of Ajmer Shariff in Rajasthan.

Thus, thousands of national and international devotees travel across the country in a conquest of spiritual bliss.

Religion comprises a major binding attribute in India. Being the birthplace of four of the dominant religions practiced around the globe and the platform for the evolution and subsequent spread of Buddhist philosophies, India has now emerged as one of the greatest attractions for religious and spiritual tourism.

spiritual tourism
India has emerged as one of the greatest attractions for religious and spiritual tourism. Pixabay

There is no doubt that Indians, irrespective of their faiths, thrive on religion. Additionally, there’s a natural curiosity in the Western world about different religious and spiritual history. It would not be wrong to say that we’re all looking for something; whether it is cultural exchange or religious or spiritual growth. This quest for answers about a larger understanding of life leads people on the path of spirituality. So is evident from the large troops of international tourists in traditional saffron kurtis and rudraksh rosary flocking the temples of Vrindavan and Varanasi, keeping up with the practices and rituals performed by equally enthusiastic locals.

5 Reasons Why Travelers Increasingly Choose India for A Spiritual Voyage

  1. Wide confluence of cultures

In India, one is bound to find an assortment of people from all parts of the world, belonging to different faiths, cultures and traditions, treading on a common spiritual path of ‘Vasudaiva Kutumbakam’ which means the entire world is one family.

  1. Broadening your perspective

With meditation sessions in the morning and the evening, and comprehensive treks during the day, spiritual tourists can unravel and explore India’s rich culture and spiritual history. The spiritual tours present one with ample time to meditate and reflect on our own actions, while at the same time become one with nature and enjoy the tranquility in the surroundings.

  1. Remarkable rituals

As you visit the different spiritual centres of India, you are faced with exquisite Indian rituals that offer great learning experiences to the seekers of spiritual wisdom. The rituals bring to light the unity within the diverse traditions and cultures of India.

  1. Intriguing history

The multiple spiritual destinations of India present a range of historical relevance. Places like Haridwar, Varanasi, Madhurai, and Puri among others – every city offers its own intriguing tales, mythologies and legends to learn from.

  1. Highly educating

From the mighty Himalayas to the scores of temples, churches, mosques and shrines – the spiritual retreats to different parts of India are immensely educational, each offering lessons on harmony, and spiritual clarity and maturity.

God resides in every nook and corner of India. Thus, with the consideration of innovation saturating into every sector, it was not long before the $40 billion religion and spirituality realm became a flourishing business domain.

Advancing Spiritual Tourism in India

Advancement in technology created a thriving space in India for start-ups that operate with a specific purpose to make everything available to people within the comforts of their home- be it booking tickets or ordering food.

In this age of technology, mobile apps for e-darshan (e-worship) have been popular for a long while. However, these right-at-your-doorstep services still fail to largely replace the charm and faith reposed in the practice of visiting various spiritual places in person.

This is where spiritual tourism comes into play – A lucrative business that aids travel agents in making bucks by designing elaborate and exclusive tour packages.

According to a report published in Economic Times, it was revealed that over 53% people were interested to opt for a pilgrimage if the package was provided by a recognized tour operator.

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“Indians are increasingly seeking a pre-organized, pre-planned and comfortable spiritual experience” -Vishal Suri, managing director SOTC travel, the first travel service provider to provide 40 specially-curated itineraries to map 60 different religious attractions in India.

This trend of religious and spiritual tourism has also been observed by international hotel chains like Hyatt hotels and resorts and the Hilton group, that are now undertaking projects to map spiritual destinations as they come on global radar.

Reflecting on the persisting movement, the Central government is also undertaking measures to bring India to the centre of theology. This will be reflected in the ‘Incredible India 2.0 campaign’– the government’s marketing initiative to promote India as an ideal destination for global spiritual audiences.

The ‘Incredible India 2.0 campaign’, set to be launched formally on September 27 to mark the World Tourism Day, aims to highlight India’s spirituality and wellness traditions.

Rishikesh, for instance, along with offering ‘adhyatm’ (self study) to the tourists will also allow them to enroll for traditional wellness programmes. Similarly, Kerala will also establish itself as the seat of ancient ayurvedic healing systems, along with promotions of its natural beauty and ornamental temples.

The global tourism industry has been witnessing a revolution for over 30 years now. Terms such as eco tourism, responsible tourism, and even volun-tourism have become common trends and become a part of common usage now.

The emerging trend of spiritual tourism is largely being cited as the fastest growing sector in the whole tourism business.

According to statistics by the National Tour Association, faith-based travel comprises a $100 billion worldwide industry, with religious destinations hosting about 330 million visitors annually.

Spiritual tourism is a trend spiraling upwards, so much so that it is increasingly being taken up not just by state tourism authorities but also governments and even the United Nations!

The UNWTO, United Nations’ agency responsible for global tourism-recognized the growing importance of spiritual tourism as it convened the 1st International Conference on Spiritual Tourism for Sustainable Development in Vietnam.

Setbacks for Spiritual Tourism in India

While India hosts the holy shrines of a variety of faiths and religions, the picture is not as rosy as it appears.

The major religious destinations in India are infamous for lack of hygiene, money-mongering, lack of basic infrastructure for food, medicine, accommodation, transport, and road, etc. These entire factors together hinder the states from exercising the ultimate potential of the religious and spiritual destinations.

This can only be achieved if special emphasis is placed on the development of infrastructure, awareness, education, and training.

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Also called upon are efforts on behalf of the state and Centre governments to indulge in aggressive PR and branding exercise, reaching out to travelers and make these destinations more travel-friendly.

With both of these agendas on the mind of the government, the tourism landscape can be expected to undergo radicalization.

What remains to be seen is if India, the land where people from all across the world are seen to participate in spiritual tourism, for getting inner peace and attaining moksha, emerges as the seat of spiritual tourism.