Bharat Gaurav Scheme

Bharat Gaurav Scheme or Bharat Gaurav Trains is launched by the Indian Railways to tap the vast tourism potential of India. The Minister of Railways Shri AshwiniVaishnaw announced the Bharat Gaurav Scheme.

The scheme has been in news recently hence it forms an important part of the UPSC current affairs section.

Bharat Gaurav Scheme – Why in news?

India’s first private train service under the Bharat Gaurav Scheme flagged off on Tuesday June 14 to be operated between Coimbatore and Shirdi. Around 1100 passengers boarded the maiden round trip service.

This article will give further details about Bharat Gaurav Trains and Bharat Gaurav Scheme within the context of the IAS Exam.

Bharat Gaurav Scheme – Overview

  1. The scheme was launched by the Railway Ministry in November 2021, which allowed private entities to operate theme-based train services across different circuits.
  2. In Indian Railways there were two segments until now i.e. passenger segments and goods segments but through this scheme one more segment that is third segment for tourism is also added.
  3. The trains under Bharat Gaurav scheme are not regular trains that will run as per the timetable rather they will be more on the lines of the Ramayana Express being run by the IRCTC.
  4. The scheme was announced under the theme-based tourist circuit trains. That means the trains under the scheme will cover the places related to a particular theme, such as Guru Kripa trains for covering important places of Sikh culture, Ramayana trains for places connected with Lord Shri Ram, etc.
  5. These trains will be run by both private players and IRCTC.
  6. The Southern Railway became the first zone in Indian Railways to get the first registered service provider under the ‘Bharat Gaurav’ scheme.
  7. The Shri Ramayana Yatra train will also be run under the Bharat Gaurav scheme from Delhi. It will be launched by IRCTC on 21 June and the journey will cover prominent places associated with Lord Rama.
What is a Tourist Circuit? 

Tourist Circuit is defined as a route on which at least three major tourist destinations which are not in the same town, village or city and not separated by a long-distance as well. Tourist circuits should have well-defined entry and exit points. So, a tourist who enters should get motivated to visit most of the places identified in the circuit.

Now, Theme-based Tourist Circuits are circuits around specific themes such as religion, culture, ethnicity, niche, etc. A theme-based circuit can be confined to a state or can also be a regional circuit covering more than one state or Union territory.

Features of Bharat Gaurav Scheme

  • It allows any operator or service provider, or virtually anyone, to lease trains from Indian Railways to run on a theme-based circuit as a special tourism package.
  • Private players and tour operators can procure trains from railways on lease and operate them on any circuit of their choice.
  • The core strength of the professionals of the tourism sector would be leveraged to develop or identify tourist circuits and run theme- based trains.
  • The tenure of this public-private arrangement is a minimum of two years and maximum of the service life of the coach.
  • Under the Bharat Gaurav scheme, the operator holds the freedom to decide the route, the halts, the services provided and the tariff. However, the railways will ensure that there is no abnormality in the prices.

Bharat Gaurav Scheme – Aim 

  • It will help realize the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to showcase India’s rich cultural heritage and magnificent historical places to the people of India and the world.
  • They will also help in tapping the vast tourism potential of India.

Who can apply for the Scheme?

From individuals to societies, trusts, groups, tour operators and even state governments can apply to take these trains and run them on special tourism circuits based on a theme.

Scope of Service Providers under the Scheme

  • Service Providers would be free to decide themes of the tours.
  • Service Providers will offer all inclusive packages to tourists including rail travel, hotel accommodation, sightseeing arrangement, visit to historical and heritage sites, tour guides etc.
  • Full flexibility to decide package cost based on level of services being offered.
  • Choice of coaches suiting the clientele, different segments like luxury, budget etc.
  • Free to design or furnish the interior of the coaches based on the theme.
  • Branding and advertisement permitted both inside and outside of the train.
  • The railways have allocated around 190 trains for these theme-based circuits. Train composition will be of 14 to 20 coaches including 2 SLRs(Guard Vans).
  • The process of applying for these trains will be through a one-step transparent online registration process with a fee of Rs 100,000.

Candidates can check in detail various Government Schemes which will be helpful for UPSC aspirants and for other competitive exams.

Bharat Gaurav Trains – Essential Points

  • India’s first private train, under the Bharat Gaurav Scheme, began its journey from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu to Sainagar Shirdi in Maharashtra.
  • The services for this train are provided by South Star Rail. This registered company is part of Future Gaming & Hotel Services Private Limited.
  • The first Bharat Gaurav train has Sleeper, 3-AC, 2-AC, and 1-AC coaches.
  • The trains will be Completely Toxic-free and Smoke-free
  • The train will cover several historical destinations on the route while giving the passengers an insight into the cultural heritage of the country.
  • The coaches are fitted with high bass-sounding speakers and an on-rail Radio Jockey to keep the passengers entertained during the journey. There will be devotional songs, spiritual stories and live interviews to keep the journey pleasant.
  • There will be a Doctor on board to attend any emergency
  • Electricians and AC Mechanic, Fire and Safety Officers will be onboard
  • Private securities will be engaged along with the Railway Police Force to protect the train from any kind of harm.

Related Schemes

  • Swadesh Darshan Scheme – is a Central Sector scheme launched by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India for the integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits. The scheme aims to promote, develop and harness the potential of tourism in India.
  • Dekho Apna Desh’ Initiative – It is an initiative to encourage the citizens to travel widely within the country and explore the wonders of India thus enabling the development of Domestic Tourism, tourist facilities and infrastructure in tourism spots in the country. Candidates can go through the updated list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India on the linked page.
  • PRASAD Scheme – The Ministry of Tourism launched the PRASAD scheme that aims at integrated development of pilgrimage destinations in a prioritized, planned, and sustainable manner in order to provide a complete religious tourism experience. 
  • Buddhist Conclave – Buddhist Conclave is organized every alternate year with the objective of promoting India as a Buddhist Destination and major markets around the globe. Check the details on Buddhist Circuits here. 

Knowing the facts associated with  Bharat Gaurav Scheme is important for candidates appearing for various Government Exams. Aspirants might be asked questions based on the scheme under the general awareness of various competitive exams. 

Aspirants preparing for the UPSC exam can check the links given below –

  1. UPSC 2022
  2. UPSC Calendar 2022
  3. UPSC Syllabus
  4. Analysis of the Press Information Bureau

You can also check out the preparation strategies for competitive exams to fine-tune your exam prep.

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