Bharat – Towards Fostering Cultural Connectivity

Published By : Admin | February 24, 2024 | 17:45 IST

Since assuming office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become a catalyst in bringing much-needed change in the cultural sphere, bringing different communities together and imbibing a sense of cultural pride in youth and old alike. There has been an unprecedented push towards the revival of ignored traditions and cultural values and the restoration of connectivity in the form of corridors and infrastructures under the leadership of the PM. The government under PM Modi has delivered on its promises by giving unwavering attention to the revival of our faith and culture by revamping once-neglected pilgrimage places and corridors.

The need for the revival and redevelopment of connectivity is driven by a multitude of factors, such as preserving one's identity and heritage, instil a sense of pride in India's cultural heritage and wisdom, reconnecting with roots, rekindling pride and patriotism, promoting cultural diplomacy, and boosting tourism and the economy.
The government has been making positive strides towards enhancing accessibility to pilgrimage places and corridors by developing infrastructure and encouraging religious tourism, which plays a significant role in creating jobs and upscaling the circular economy. The government has undertaken considerable infrastructure development projects to enhance connectivity, accessibility, and overall quality of life. These initiatives promote tourism, boost economic growth, and address the needs of the rapidly growing population. These infrastructure works collectively contribute to the socio-economic development of the region, making it more resilient, connected, and capable of meeting the needs of its residents and visitors.

In order to transform India into a world-class destination for spiritual tourism, the government under PM Modi has undertaken several redevelopment projects. Tourism initiatives such as the SWADESH DARSHAN and PRASHAD schemes have been taken to promote tourism by developing theme-based circuits.

One of the most notable initiatives is the PRASHAD scheme, which the Indian government launched through the Ministry of Tourism in 2014–2015. PRASHAD scheme stands for Pilgrimage Rejuvenation And Spiritual Augmentation Drive. This project focuses on establishing and identifying pilgrimage sites around India to boost the religious tourist experience. It strives to integrate pilgrimage places in a prioritised, planned and sustainable manner to deliver a holistic religious tourism experience.
The PRASHAD program aims to facilitate the growth and advancement of religious tourism in India. The main goal of the scheme is to improve pilgrimages and spiritual experiences for visitors by providing well-planned tourism infrastructure that allows for visitor comfort, accessibility, security, and cleanliness. To rejuvenate pilgrimages and heritage cities by preserving their souls through integrated, inclusive, and sustainable development that creates jobs for the local population.

Under the PRASHAD scheme, the Ministry offers financial support to Union Territory Administrations and State Governments to construct infrastructure at tourist attractions. The Ministry has approved 46 projects totalling Rs. 1629.17 crore to date. Furthermore, 26 additional locations have been identified for development under the PRASHAD Scheme.

While heritage cities are chosen based on their high heritage values, tourist traffic, number of monuments, and accreditations, pilgrimage destinations are selected based on pilgrimage lineage and pilgrim footfall.

From investing in infrastructural works, be it Roadways or Ropeways, or enhancing the connectivity through Char Dham Projects, the government has left no stone unturned to connect the once inaccessible terrains to the masses. This includes constructing and widening highways, bridges, and rural roads. Efforts have also been made to enhance and improve rail and air connectivity in Uttarakhand.

With the government embarking on this marvellous journey of restoring the lost glory to once forgotten cultural heritage and traditions, the people of the nation are getting connected to their roots again. Along with bringing an overhaul in the cultural and heritage development, the government has been successful in the revival of not just our traditions, heritage, and culture but also the creation of infrastructural landmarks and marvels simultaneously. Today, not only are the nation's citizens in awe of their restored cultural heritage, but Bharat, triumphantly, has managed to put herself on the global cultural pedestal where the whole world is taking note of her ever-evolving nature.

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PM Modi’s Vision Fuels Delhi’s Development
April 12, 2024

“Delhi has the good fortune to get an opportunity of keeping the flag of nations' prestige flying high.”
- PM Narendra Modi as Delhi prepared to host the G20 Summit

The last ten years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government have set in motion the creation of a New India—from rural to urban, from water to electricity, from houses to health, from education to employment, from castes to classes—a comprehensive plan bringing growth and prosperity to each doorstep.

The National Capital Territory of Delhi has emerged as a pivotal part of this dynamic developmental momentum spearheaded by PM Modi throughout this transformative decade.

The city has been at the heart of the infrastructural shift that has given a dedicated facelift to the entire nation. Today infrastructural marvels like Atal Setu, Chenab Bridge, Statue of Unity, and Zojila Tunnel dot India’s ever-evolving landscape.

With its focus on revamping transportation networks, upgrading urban amenities, and expanding digital infrastructure, the Modi government has launched an array of transformative initiatives. From railways, highways to airports, these initiatives have been key in galvanising inclusive and sustainable development across the length and breadth of the country.

The impressive expansion of the metro rail network has revolutionised urban commuting in India. From a mere 5 cities in 2014, the metro rail network now serves 21 cities across the nation—expanding from 248 km in 2014 to 945 km by 2024, with 919 km of lines under construction in 26 additional cities.

The Union Cabinet has recently approved two new corridors of Delhi Metro Phase-IV—Lajpat Nagar to Saket G-Block and Inderlok to Indraprastha. Both the lines have a combined length of over 20 kms with a project cost of over Rs. 8,000 crore (funding being sourced from the Union Govt, Govt of Delhi, and international agencies). The Inderlok- Indraprastha line will play a significant role in enhancing connectivity to the Bahadurgarh region of Haryana. Additionally, India’s first Namo Bharat train, operating on the Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) corridor further underlines the Modi government’s commitment to enhancing regional connectivity and upgrading its transportation infrastructure.

Further, the Bharatmala Pariyojana envisages improved logistics efficiency and connectivity via the development of nearly 35,000 km of National Highway corridors. 25 greenfield high-speed corridors have been planned under the plan out of which four intersect with Delhi’s growing infra capacity: Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, Delhi-Saharanpur-Dehradun Expressway, and the Urban Extension Road-II. The total project length sanctioned for Delhi is 203 km with an allocation of over Rs. 18,000 crore.

Over the past decade, the Modi government has consistently dedicated efforts towards augmenting capacity and decongestion of airports. After the IGI Airport Delhi became the first airport in the country to have four runways and an elevated taxiway, the expanded state-of-the-art Terminal 1 has also been inaugurated recently. In addition, the upcoming Noida International Airport (Jewar) shall further contribute to decongestion of the Delhi airport which is serving millions of passengers annually.

Besides, the inauguration of the New Parliament has further added civilisational yet modern connotations to the city’s landscape. Inauguration of the Yashobhoomi (India International Convention & Expo Centre) has given Delhi India’s largest convention and exhibition centre, offering a mixed purpose tourism experience. Along with Yashobhoomi, the Bharat Mandapam, a world-class convention and exhibition centre, showcases India to the world.

In terms of welfare, the Modi government has launched several schemes benefitting people hitherto on the margins of growth and development. Women’s safety in Delhi has been a key concern. To address the same, the Modi government strengthened the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 by increasing the quantum of punishment for rape, including capital punishment for rape of a girlchild below the age of 12.

The Union Home Ministry established a separate Women Safety Division back in 2018. One-stop centers, Sakhi Niwas, Safe City Project, Nirbhaya Fund, SHe-Box, Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences, and Cri-MAC (Crime Multi-Agency Center) among others are significant additions in the government’s campaign towards women safety.

In addition, Swachh Bharat Mission, PM Ujjwala Yojana, PM Matru Vandana Yojana, and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao have further led to the empowerment of Nari Shakti in India.

As India becomes the 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world, Delhi is also contributing significantly towards this development. Today over 13,000 DPIIT-recognised startups are functioning in Delhi even as the government is promoting self-employment through PM MUDRA Yojana with over 2.3 lakh loans sanctioned worth over Rs. 3,000 crore for FY2023-24 (as on 26.01.2024).

PM SVANidhi, which provides collateral free loans to street vendors, is supporting over 1.67 lakh beneficiaries in Delhi. Further, under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana, launched in 2020 to incentivise employers for creation of new employment and restoration of loss of employment during Covid-19 pandemic, over 2.2 lakh employees benefitted in Delhi.

Further, nearly 30,000 houses have been sanctioned and completed in Delhi under PM Awas Yojana (Urban).

Air pollution has been a recurring problem for the people of Delhi. Conscious of this reality, the central government has launched the National Clean Air Programme as a national level strategy to reduce air pollution level across the country.

The Modi government's tenure over the last decade has brought about a remarkable transformation in Delhi across various fronts. From infrastructure development to governance reforms, from education to employment, the government's initiatives have left an indelible mark on the capital city. As Delhi continues on its journey of progress and development, the contributions of the Modi government are set to shape its future trajectory for years to come.