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Tourism Ministry Slashes Visa Fees & Promote Foreign Language Sign Boards

Several steps were taken by the Tourism Ministry to attract tourists to India

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Tourism Ministry to woo foreigners with foreign language sign boards, slashed visa fees. Pixabay

Eyeing 20 million foreign tourists by 2020, the Union Tourism Ministry is out to actively woo foreign footfalls at major tourist destinations — with new foreign language signage, plans to shorten the e-visa application form and slash the visa fees.

The ministry is planning to put up sign boards in at least three foreign languages at places like Sanchi Stupa in Madhya Pradesh, Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh and Bodh Gaya in Bihar which are frequented by large numbers of tourists from Sri Lanka, Japan and South Korea. The ministry plans to put up sign languages in Sinhala, Japanese and Korean in these places.

The sign boards will also feature QR codes which on scanning will provide detailed information about the monument, its history and other details in that particular foreign language.

“We are still in the initial phase, as officials and I myself have been pondering upon the possibilities of the plan. But once approved, this will certainly help in boosting up foreign tourists,” the Minister of State (Independent Charge), Tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel told IANS.

Under the proposed plan, the ministry will initially identify famous monuments, later a data research will be conducted to ascertain top three countries from where most number of tourist visit that particular site. The ministry will then erect sign boards in the mother tongue of those countries.

“We are planning to erect sign boards with at least three foreign languages. Also it will adjust a QR code that would deliver the details about the monument just like a guide,” Patel added.

Tourism ministry
Tourism Ministry is planning to put up sign boards in at least three foreign languages. Pixabay

Though the plan is still in initial phase, an official from the ministry informed IANS, that the top brass is very much dedicated towards the plan and is planning to roll it out within a year.

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The decision will boost footfall on monuments like Sanchi Stupa, which ministry found is most visited by Sri Lankan tourist. “The plan bring down efforts by the foreign tourists to find directions, and also to understand the history and importance of the monument,” an official from Tourism ministry said.

Apart from this the ministry is also working extensively with the ministry of external affairs to shorten the e-visa format and reduce the visa fees which has been a concern for many foreign tourists. (IANS)

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Imtiaz Ali Enjoys Watching Films In Foreign Languages

Films in foreign languages are realistic, artistic, says Imtiaz Ali

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Imtiaz Ali
Imtiaz Ali says he enjoys watching films in foreign languages as they are well made, artistic and realistic. Wikimedia Commons

BY NATALIA NINGTHOUJAM

Director-writer Imtiaz Ali says he enjoys watching films in foreign languages as they are well made, artistic and realistic.

During a session on ‘The contemporary filmmakers of different generations’ at the ongoing 50th edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI), he mentioned that he likes to watch films in foreign languages.

Asked if they are better than the ones made in Hindi, Imtiaz told IANS: “Yeah, I think films in foreign languages are very realistic, well made and artistic so we enjoy that. More than the language, I follow directors. I used to watch David Lean’s films.”

“As for Hindi, I really like Bimal Roy, Vijay Anand, Raj Kapoor. Right now (contemporary filmmakers)…all are friends only, so I watch all their films. Both the Anurags (Basu and Kashyap), Zoya (Akhtar), Raju Hirani and many others.”

He is also proud of his contemporary Hindi filmmakers as they have been able to characterise people “far more realistically” than before.

“People in cinema, whether they are heroes or not, are very believable and realistic now,” said the ‘Rockstar’ director.

But there is one thing that he misses from the eighties and nineties eras of filmmaking.

“They (directors of eighties and nineties) had certain shot breakdown which was unbreakable. They shot their film in a very intense way and it was almost dependent upon a lot of people but no one. Nobody could break the intensity of the scene.

Director Imtiaz Ali
Imtiaz Ali is currently working on his next feature film. Wikimedia Commons

“They dealt with far too many elements in one scene, if you see Rahul Rawail’s film or JP Dutta’s films, or Ramesh Sippy’s ‘Sholay’, you will see that there is acting, characterisation, costuming, action, galloping horses, people falling and yet the emotion of the scene was also (there). What I feel is (they had) David Lean touch in a movie. Sometimes I wish I could make a movie which had all of that,” said Imtiaz, known for making movies with intense love stories.

He is currently working on his next feature film.

“We are not talking about this film except for the fact that it is releasing in February,” he said about his new project.

“I hope that people enjoy the film because I am very intrigued by how love relationships happen today and the baggage that they carry from the previous times, and this movie is about that,” said Imtiaz, who has always written stories for his own directorials.

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The director has also served as a writer on films that have not been helmed by him. Would he like others to write stories for him? “No, I find that I am far more interested in telling the stories that…Even ‘Cocktail’ I had written and not directed. I had written it to direct it actually. I am a writer-director. I like to do both,” he said.

“Cocktail”, a 2012 romantic comedy-drama film, was directed by Homi Adajania and was a huge hit. (IANS)