International flights, January: On a contrary to its earlier decision of temporary banning the UK flights, the Indian government had announced the resumption of the flights with the UK from January 8. However, the Centre has announced that all the international passengers must undergo a mandatory self-paid RT-PCR Test on the arrival at the airports.
These measures are to be taken against the new coronavirus strain that has been found internationally in many countries and now in India as well. The statement came after the air activities between the 2 countries were temporarily halted on December 22as it claimed 38 travellers in India. The Centre issued some safety guidelines and said that the passengers travelling between January 8 and 31 would be ‘mandatorily subjected to self-paid RT-PCR tests on their arrival at Indian airports.’
The guidelines further added, “Adequate arrangements for passengers waiting for their RT-PCR test as well as test results duly following effective isolation may also be made at the airports in conjunction with the airport authorities.” According to the SOPs, the passengers are asked to submit a self-declaration form on the online portal newdelhiairport.in before at least 72 hours of their flights. Also, they must carry their negative test with them. Other than this, the airlines are asked to ensure a strict availability of negative test report of each passenger prior to allowing them on-board.
Passengers being found positive at the airport during the International flights will be isolated in an institutional isolation facility set up by the State Health Authorities. Union Civil Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Saturday took to Twitter to share the news, “Resumption of flights between India & UK: India to the UK from 6 Jan 2021. The UK to India from 8 Jan 2021. 30 flights will operate every week. 15 each by Indian & UK carriers. This schedule is valid till 23 Jan 2021. The further frequency will be determined after review.”
Tripura government aims recovery with Agartala Tourism Festival
January: Giving a hope to provide a reviving tourism, the 5 day Agartala Tourism Festival undergoing at the Swami Vivekananda Maidan in Agartala has been attracting several visitors. Beginning on the 9th January, it was an initiative by the Tripura government aiming to boost the state tourism.
Several mind-refreshing activities have been taking place for the tourist under the festival. Rock climbing, hot air balloon rides, archery, ziplining, jet skiing and rope climbing were available for the tourists.
Spending a day at the festival, Tourism Minister Pranajit Singha Roy said, “Tripura is a small state but it is blessed with several natural gifts. This festival is part of the government’s efforts to make Tripura a tourist hub.”
Quoting the experience, a tourist said, “I am really glad to see such events taking place in Tripura. This is the first time we have had a festival for adventure sports. I’m sure that this will attract more tourists to our state.” Another tourist expressed, “We are so glad that we can come out and participate in this festival after the Covid-19. The tourism sector and the economy are in bad shape, so this is a good initiative by the government to start the recovery process.”
The widespread coronavirus has snatched the tourism opportunities amongst those many in the past year. However, with the unlocking phase taking place, the states, brands and several industries are hoping to have an improved scenario gradually.
Madhya Pradesh wishes to implement Kerala’s responsible tourism model
January: Walking over the footsteps of Kerala’s successful responsible tourism, Madhya Pradesh government wishes to implement the model in the state. The government aims at developing the local communities and village, lessen poverty and also to give emphasis to women empowerment. The Kerala Tourism department quoted on Sunday that a Memorandum of Understanding will be formed between the 2 states over this development on 13 January.
A high-level 13 member delegation will arrive on January 12, led by Madhya Pradesh Tourism minister Usha Thakur. They will be taking a 7-day tour to various spots in order to understand the RT mission model. State Tourism Secretary Rani George said that the Kerala mission has established 20,000 units with 1,09,000 beneficiaries and has given the local population an income of Rs. 38 crore from the tourism sector only.
The mission was launched in 2017 and it is the nodal agency to spread and implement the ideologies of responsible tourism across the state. Other than this, a Kerala delegation will also visit Madhya Pradesh to help implement the mission model.
The MoU contains a 16-point programme for creation of a masterplan, developing, and training the human for the initiative, to locate sustainable tourism projects, formulating the social and economic security measures among others.
Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said, “It’s gratifying to watch other states implementing the community-oriented and heritage-preserving responsible tourism mission activities of Kerala. Apart from Madhya Pradesh, many other states too have expressed their interest in the project.”
Suriname proposes removal of permits, allowing visa free travel with India
January: A small yet beautiful country in South America, Suriname has proposed to remove visa permits and promote ‘visa free travel’ between India and Suriname. President Chandrikapersal Santokhi on 8 January said that the country is ready to take the first initiating step to strengthen the bilateral bonds between the 2 countries. Expressing his wish, the President spoke on the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention organised by India on January 9.
This convention is organised every year by India to commemorate the Mahatma Gandhi arrived in India. This year, amid the covid scare, the event took place virtually. On the occasion, Suriname’s India origin leader also spoke at the external affairs ministry’s flagship event in Bhojpuri dialect.
Santokhi also quoted that Suriname is preparing to take the step in doing so by ending visa permits for visitors from India to Suriname. The president further said that the country diaspora has been a crucial part of India’s soft power and also, India is an integral part of Suriname’s soft power. The president is allowing free movement between the two countries and believes that this step will bring prosperity and add to various sectors including education and science.
The president said, “The importance of the Indian diaspora can and must be one of the mutual benefits. If we approach the opportunities in this way, we can achieve great things for our countries. In this interconnected world we all live in, we value international relationships based on respect and mutual benefits.”
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