Tourism and Culture Minister launches e-ticketing for Taj Mahal &Humayun’s Tomb& 24x7 Incredible India Tourist Helpline

The Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma launching the ‘E-Ticketing for Taj’, at a function, in New Delhi on December 26, 2014. The Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Dr. Lalit K. Panwar and the Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Shri Ravindra Singh are also seen. 

Tourism and Culture Minister launches e-ticketing for Taj Mahal &Humayun’s Tomb& 24x7 Incredible India Tourist Helpline 

E-visas an historic step, 16000 ETA enabled Tourist Visas on Arrival issued : Dr Mahesh Sharma 

The Union Minister of State of Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, in a major step at tourist facilitation, today launched E-Ticketing at the Taj Mahal in Agra and Humayun’s Tomb in New Delhi. Similarly, in a path breaking initiative, he also launched a 24x7 Incredible India Tourist Helpline along with Special Welcome Cards for foreign tourists arriving at 9 International Airports. At a function held in New Delhi today, Dr. Sharma also inaugurated the Incredible India Calendar 2015 amongst several other initiatives as a part of Good Governance Daycelebrations. 

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Sharma said that the new initiatives taken today have started the process of re-launching tourism and taking India’s rich cultural heritage to all corners of the world. The Minister said that during the period January- November, 2014 India received a total of 6.8 lakh visitors which is the highest number of visitors received till November in any year during the last decade, also showing a commendable increase of 7.1 percent over the previous year. Similarly, during the January to November period of 2014, the foreign exchange earnings from tourism crossed the mark of 1 lakh crore rupees with a growth of 12.1 percent over the foreign exchange earnings of the same period last year. 

The Minister said that 2014 will remain a historic year for tourism industry since the Government implemented the first phase of Tourist Visas on Arrival (TVOAs) enabled by Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). As a result of this, nearly 16,000 visas were processed since its launch on 27th November, 2014. The Government will develop 5 Tourist circuits around specific themes i.e., Ganga circuit, Krishna circuit, Buddha circuit, North East circuit and Kerala circuit under the Rs 500 cr allocation in the Budget this year, he added. Highlighting the importance of spiritualism related tourism, the Minister said that the government has formulated two new schemes PRASAD and HRIDAY for pilgrimage rejuvenation and spiritual augmentation as well as heritage city development. He once again emphasized that there will be no compromise on security, cleanliness and hospitality in the areas of tourism and culture. It is the vision of the Government to combat terrorism by Tourism, he added. 

The other major initiatives which were launched by the Minister today include Swachh Bharat Swacch Smarak E-Poster, booklet on ‘’Badhte Kadam’’-Hunar Se RozgarTak, Swachh Bharat Swachh Pakwan (HunarZayka), Mega Project Destination Development of Gwalior, Braille Book on Delhi Monuments and Adarsh Smarakin which 25 monuments will be developed as model monuments . 

Secretary Culture Mr. Ravindra Singh, Secretary Tourism Dr. LalitPanwar, DG ASI Mr. Rakesh Tiwari and ADG Tourism Mrs. Usha Sharma were among those present at today’s function. 

Centre Extends SoO Pact With NDFB (P) for Further Six Months 

The Centre has extended the Suspension of Operations (SoO) Agreement with the National Democratic Front of Boroland (Progressive), NDFB (P), for six months. This followed tripartite talks with the representatives of NDFB (P) held on December 22, 2014. The meeting was attended by officials of the Assam Government and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. In the meeting, demands of NDFB (P) were discussed. 

After discussion, it was mutually agreed to extend the SoO Agreement for a further period of six months up to June 30, 2015. 


MHA enhances more financial powers to CAPFs and Intelligence Agencies 

The Ministry of Home Affairs has enhanced financial powers in respect of items such as “Major and Minor Works, Special Repairs, Land Acquisition and Hiring of Buildings/Accommodation” to the Directors General of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Directors of Intelligence Agencies. 

The financial powers have been doubled from Rupees Five Crores to Rs. Ten Crores in respect of Major Works that are to be executed by CPWD and Public Works Organisations. The limit for Major Departmental Works undertaken by Organisations having Engineering Wing has been raised from Rs.60 lakhs to Rs.One Crore and from Rs. 10 Lakhs to Rs.15 Lakhs for Organisations without Engineering Wing. 

Limits for Minor Works (petty works and repairs) for Residential Buildings has been hiked from Rs.15 Lakhs to Rs.25 Lakhs and for non-Residential Buildings from Rs.30 Lakhs to Rs.50 lakhs. Financial powers for Land Acquisition has also been raised from Rs.20 Lakhs to Rs.34 Lakhs in each case with a provision that the proposed Land Acquisition should be through State Government only. 

Financial Powers have also been substantially raised in respect of Special Repairs and Hiring of Buildings/Accommodation. 

The CAPFs are Assam Rifles, Border Security Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, National Security Guard and Sashastra Seema Bal, besides the orders are applicable to the Intelligence Bureau and the National Intelligence Agency. 

Modernization and upgradation of the CAPFs is a priority of the Government. Earlier in October, with a view to streamline and expedite processes in this regard, the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh had more than doubled the delegation of financial powers to CAPFs for procurement of Machinery & Equipment and Arms & Ammunition to Rs. 20 crores. 

The Modernization Plan II of CAPFs has a total projected cost of Rs.11,009 crores till March 2017. 

ACC Appointments 

The Competent Authority has approved the following: 

1. Shri Hasmukh Adhia, IAS (GJ:81), Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance will hold additional charge of the post of Secretary, Department of Disinvestment, Ministry of Finance form 24.12.2014 to 02.01.2015 during the absence on leave of Ms. Aradhana Johri, IAS (UP:80). 

2. Shri Anil Swarup, IAS (UP:81), Secretary, Ministry of Coal will continue to hold additional charge of Secretary, Ministry of Mines up to 02.01.2015 during the period of absence of leave of Shri Anup K.Pujari, IAS (KN:80). 
Tourism and Culture Minister launches e-ticketing for Taj Mahal &Humayun’s Tomb& 24x7 Incredible India Tourist Helpline Tourism and Culture Minister launches e-ticketing for Taj Mahal &Humayun’s Tomb& 24x7 Incredible India Tourist Helpline Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 5:05 PM Rating: 5

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