Indian Tourism Ministry plans to boost its potential by developing a mobile application to be an audio-video guide. The proposal is to launch the app for five Indian iconic sites. These heritage monuments include Amer Fort in Rajasthan, Kaziranga National Park in Assam, Mahabodhi Temple in Bihar, UNESCO World heritage Sites in addition of Colva Beach in Goa and the backwaters town of Kumarakom in Kerala.
The proposed mobile application will be developed in collaboration with a technology firm under the Centre’s ‘Adopt a Heritage’ scheme. The initiative of the Ministry of Tourism, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and the Archaeological Survey of India. Launched on World Tourism Day by President Ram Nath Kovind, this scheme involves heritage sites to be adopted by public and private sector companies, corporate citizens or individuals. The adopted heritage sites will be under the care of the ‘Monument Mitras’ to protect, preserve and even develop the country’s heritage and tourism.
In a recent event, Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons, handed over a Memorandum of Understanding to M/s Resbird Technologies for developing the mobile Audio-Video Guide App. Also in the same function, Letters of Intent were given to seven agencies shortlisted to become ‘Monument Mitras’.
If the proposal to include the agencies in the panel gets sanctioned then it will cover sites like the Aalampur Temple in Telangana. Other heritage sites in Madhya Pradesh, UNESCO World heritage site of Bhimbetka Rock Shelters and Khajuraho group of Monuments and the Maharaja Chhatrasal Museum Complex. In Gujarat, the heritage sites comprise Buddhist Caves in Uparkot, UNESCO listed heritage sites of Rani ki Vav in Patan and Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, the European tomb near Katargam Darwaja in Surat, site of remains of Indus Valley civilization in Lothal. Also on this list is UNESCO listed heritage site of the Mahabalipuram Group of Monuments.
On approval, these agencies would become ‘Monument Mitras’. In accordance of the innovative concept of ‘Vision Bidding’, this status will give them the opportunity to associate in CSR (company social responsibility) activities with a heritage site.
Keeping in mind today’s time, the government took up the step to develop such an app (mobile application). The app will make it easier for tourists to explore the sites on their own. This will cut back the need of expensive guided tours, moving in groups and follow the availability of such tours. One can easily spend as much as time they want to soak in the heritage site, history and experience it, rather than just exploring. The Ministry of Tourism also have previously issued Letters of Intent (LoI) in five ceremonies to the 37 shortlisted agencies for their interest in 107 sites across India. Till date, 10 MoUs have been executed with various ‘Monument Mitras’. Now they a responsible for development, operation and maintenance of tourist amenities at heritage and tourist sites across India.
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