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An Inter-Ministerial Coordination Committee for Tourism Sector set up by the Government under the chairmanship the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, had its second meeting in the Prime Minister's Office on 13th August, 2012. Secretaries to the Government of India of important Ministries were present. The Principal Secretary emphasised the importance of tourism as a key sector for employment generation and economic development and stressed the need for all the Ministries concerned to work toward the development of this important sector.
Some of the important decisions taken in the meeting were:
i. A Sub-Committee consisting of Secretary (Tourism), Secretary (Labour & Employment) and Secretary (Rural Development) will identify employment potentialities of tourism and hospitality sector, particularly in rural areas. This Committee will make recommendations regarding specific training and skill development requirements and prepare an action plan.
ii. The Ministry of Culture will expedite the development of essential facilities like tourist facilitation and information centres, souvenir shops, toilet facilities, etc., to begin with, at the 19 World Heritage Sites managed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) through an appropriate agency. The Ministry will also take an early decision on the proposals received, in this connection, by the Archaeological Survey of India from the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC).
iii. State Governments/ UT Administrations will be requested to partner the exercise for creation of tourist facilitation and infrastructure facilities in stages in all 116 ticketed ASI monuments. The committee noted that basic amenities and high standards of hygiene and cleanliness are essential for enhancing quality of experience that the country offers to the visitors.
iv. The ASI will introduce computerized ticketing in 116 monuments and audio-visual guides in 36 monuments in phases over a period of six months.
v. The on-going exercise of rationalization of visa regime will be completed by the Ministry of Home Affairs within two weeks.
vi. The Ministry of Tourism will work out an action plan for imparting training to the Immigration Staff within four weeks.
vii. The Ministry of Railways will start Agra-Jaipur Shatabdi by November, 2012. The Ministries of Railways and Tourism will work jointly to prepare an action plan for up gradation of 5 Railway Stations (Amritsar, Agra, Rai Bareily, Gaya and Trivandrum) within two weeks and 19 other Stations within three months.
viii. The Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Human Resources Development will partner for introducing tourism related vocational courses in the School syllabus of various States/UTs. Efforts will also be made to further enlarge the capacity building base for tourism and hospitality sector under CBSE. Industry stakeholders will be involved to give impetus to this exercise.