Karnataka Tourism as part of its initiative has laid out the red carpet to international delegates from over 35 countries attending the Bengaluru leg of the G20 Summit Meet. The visit of international delegates to Karnataka reinforces 'Brand Karnataka' and helps to reinforce the 'One State, Many World' tagline of the tourism department.
All the arrangements are made under the direction of Hon’ble Chief Minister. Sri BasavarajBommai, Chief minister of Karnataka, and guidance of Smt. Vandita Sharma, IAS, Chief Secretary to Government & Sri Kapil Mohan, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism.
The first G20 Energy Transition Working Group (ETWG) meeting under India's presidency will be held in Bengaluru from 5 – 7 February 2023. The meeting will have over 150 participants including G20 member countries, nine special invitee guest countries - Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Spain.
In addition, leading international organisations including The World Bank, Asian Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and International Energy Agency (IEA) will be part of the meeting, the statement read.
Senior government officials from the ministries concerned will also participate in the ETWG meeting for which Karnataka is extending all its support and coordination. The first ETWG meeting will focus on areas like energy transition through addressing technology gaps, low-cost financing for energy transition, energy security and diversified supply chains, energy efficiency, industrial low carbon transitions and responsible consumption, fuels for future and universal access to clean and affordable energy. There will also be a high-level international seminar on 'Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS)'.
Karnataka is hosting 14 G20 meetings (11 in Bengaluru, 2 in Hampi, and 1 in Mysuru). This is the highest after Delhi-NCR and the State is honoured to be given this opportunity. During the meetings and the stay of the delegates, we will be showcasing the State’s many offerings such as spikes, coffee, silk, handicrafts, handlooms etc. Excursion trips are planned within Bengaluru city as
well as for Nandi Hills, BhogaNandishwara Temple, Mysuru, and Hampi. We would like to encourage, the G20 Secretariat to also showcase the Golden Chariot, South India’s only luxury train.
Being the nodal department managing this prestigious event, Karnataka Tourism sees this as a prestigious and landmark occasion to showcase the best of what the state has to offer to a global and well-travelled audience.
Karnataka is taking every step necessary to ensure the successful conduct of the G20 meetings, including venue management, accommodation arrangements, security, transportation, cultural programs, and more. The state will also be providing gifts and souvenirs such as silk scarves, silk ties, spices & coffee of Karnataka to the delegates during their stay in Karnataka.
To facilitate the smooth operations of the event, Nodal officers have been appointed for each vertical under the Chief Secretary with all concerned authorities such as Tourism, Kannada & Culture, Police, State Intelligence, Traffic, DPAR, BBMP, BIAL, and respective DCs. The department has ensured all arrangements have been put in place, with our representatives having regular interactions with the various concerned departments such as Dept. of Economic Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, Indian Council for Cultural Research (ICCR) and all concerned G20 coordinators to ensure G20 meetings in Karnataka are world-class and memorable.
Speaking on occasion of the announcement, Mr. Kapil Mohan, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism Department said "It is an honour to the state of Karnataka to host the delegates of the first G20 Energy Transition Working Group (ETWG) meeting under India's presidency. Karnataka Tourism will be showcasing the state's rich heritage and culture to the visiting delegates."
We have planned Live Performances of 30-45 minutes for each evening of G20 meetings through an eclectic mix of dances, music, and a cultural exhibition showcasing the state. An excursion to the Pavagada Solar Park is also planned during the delegate's visit to Bengaluru. Apart from this a visit to Infosys Crescent Green Campus has also been scheduled.
Dr. V Ram Prasath Manohar, IAS, Director, Tourism Department added “It is an opportunity for Karnataka Tourism and its stakeholders to showcase the best of Karnataka to this prestigious delegation and will help reinforce ‘Brand Karnataka’ as a destination of World-class monuments and heritage, its rich culture and warm hospitality!”
A Karnataka pavilion showcasing Karnataka’s products – silk, coffee, handicrafts, and tourism is also planned at the venue. The event will also display the ‘One District, One Product’ offerings of Karnataka.
Young writers must take risk and dare various things including embarrassment and sentiment to try and tell the possible stories they can, says Irish author Mr Colum McCann. Noting that writers are constantly inventing themselves as long as they are daring to do something new, Mr McCann said young writers should be prepared to rise from failures and continue their creative pursuits. In a conversation on “Empathy in Writing, Seeing Both Sides” with Ms Pooja Nair atthe Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters (MBIFL 2023) here on Friday,Mr McCann, who is residing in New York, said budding writers must write what they don’t know even as people would say that they should write what they know.
“Logically and philosophically the only thing you can write is what you actually know. If you write towards what you want to know, you discover new things. So, you are accessing different parts of yourself like an empathetic leap even into yourself,” he said. Mr McCann said empathy is the ability to live into somebody else’s shoes. “Accessing a part of your own soul that has a kinship with the soul of someone else. It sounds like an act of kindness onto yourself.” Mr McCann said his seventh novel ‘Apeirogon’ (2020) is based on real life incidents during his tour to Israel and West Bank along with a group of artists, including musicians, writers and activists six years ago. The book recounts the lives of Israeli graphic designer Rami Elhanan and Palestinian scholar BassamAramin.”
Recalling the incident, he said “On the edge of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, I saw two men sitting on a long wooden table there. They lost their daughters in separate incidents. I was in tears after listening to their stories.” Mr McCann said after going back to New York, he was haunted by the story. “Writers write towards their obsessions and hence I wrote this book,” he added. MBIFL 2023, (also known as ‘Ka’ in Malayalam), featuresan impressive line-up of Nobel and Booker Prize winners and Jnanpith awardees, among over 400 eminent names in creative fields.0
The Hon’ble Minister for Finance in Kerala KN Balagopalon Friday presented the state budget in the state assembly’s budget session. The minister said that Kerala has bravely overcome the covid challenges and has returned to the path of prosperity and growth. At a time when Kerala is facing a severe financial crunch, the Finance Minister presented the second full budget of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government. The key aspect of the Budget lay in how the minister proposed to decelerate the crisis and turn around the finances. Moreover, the minister, through the budget, has highlighted the importance of tourism.
Key Announcements related to Tourism
Rs.362.15crores allotted for the tourism sector.
Rs.19.30 crores allotted for Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies, State Institute of Hospitality Management, and Food Crafts Institute.
Rs.81 crores allotted for the promotion of domestic tourism.
Rs.2 crores have been allotted for Kochi Biennale. Rs.9.5 crores have been allotted for promoting responsible tourism projects, Rs.12 crores for the Champions boat league, Rs.7 crores for Kerala Travel Mart and Rs.8 crores have been allotted for festivals, and cultural programs including Thrissur Pooram.
Rs.10 crores have been allotted for subsidies regarding electricity in the Tourism sector, Rs.3.70 crores for subsidies in caravan tourism projects and Rs.3 crores allotted for the continuation of the Revolving Fund scheme.
Rs.135.65 crores have been allotted for providing basic development and facilities in the major tourist destinations.
Rs.10 crores have been allotted to Kappad Historical Museum which has the potential for becoming a major tourist spot.
Rs.10 crores have been allotted to build a museum and an oceanarium in the district of Kollam which would provide a major boost to the tourism sector.
Rs.22 crores have been allotted for redeveloping guest houses, stays for travellers and Kerala houses.
Rs.17 crores have been allotted for Heritage and Spice Route projects including Muziris, Alappuzha and Thalasseri heritage projects.
Conservation and eco-tourism projects
The budget allocated Rs.26 crores for forest conservation projects and Rs.7 crores for eco-tourism projects. Moreover, Rs.1 crore has been allocated for Elephant Rehabilitation Centre in Kottoor, Thiruvananthapuram; Rs.5.2 crores for Project Elephant, Rs.4.76 crore for 16 wildlife sanctuaries. Puthoor zoological part in Thrissur will get Rs.6 crores.
Rs.10 crores allocated for implementing work from the home model in the tourism sector.
Other Announcements related to Tourism
Rs. 5 crores set aside for the development of the marina at Alappuzha and Rs. 40.5 crores allotted for developing infrastructure facilities at the minor ports.
Rs. 60,000 crores for the Vizhinjam port area development scheme. Finance Minister proposes land pooling for Vizhinjam port area development. He encourages citizens to hand over land to the government for infrastructural development with reciprocal economic benefits. He also proposes PPP models for Vizhinjam development. The government sets apart Rs. 60,000 for the ambitious port area development scheme, with Rs 1000 crore parcelled out via KIFFB to develop an industrial corridor.
An extensive industrial and commercial centre will be developed in the area around Vizhinjam port
International trade venue for Thiruvananthapuram. A permanent venue for an international trade mela will be set up in Thiruvananthapuram.
Idukki, Wayanad, and Kasargod development projects get Rs. 75 crores each
Rs. 17 crores for the modernization of Government-run cinema theatres. The Minister further announced Rs. 182.14 crores for the culture sector.
The AKG museum is to be set up in Kannur at a cost of Rs. 6 crores. The minister also announced that the Vaikkom Satyagraha Centenary will be celebrated this year, and Rs. 17 crores has been allocated for the modernisation of Government-run cinema theatres and the launching of the Kerala State Film Development Corporation’s OTT platform.
UNION BUDGET 2023
The Union Budget for the year 2023 was declared by the Hon’ble Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs of India Smt. Nirmala Sitharam. The budget presented a vision for Amrit Kaal- a blueprint for an empowered and inclusive economy. The visions for Amrit Kaal include opportunities for citizens with a focus on the youth, growth and job creation, creating a strong and stable macro-economic environment.Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, through the budget, has highlighted the importance of domestic tourism and has focused on the tourism sector in a detailed way.
Key announcements in Travel and Tourism
50 tourist destinations will be selected through challenge mode to be developed as a whole package for domestic and international tourism.
Initiatives will be taken to set up tourism at border villages.
The government will set up a ‘Unity Mall’ where state where prominent centres will mark tourist spots, monuments and spaces for visitors to boost the sector.States will be encouraged to set up a ‘Unity Mall’ in the State capital or the most popular tourist destination in the state.
Promote the ‘One District, One product’ scheme that will encourage GI products and other handicraft products of the states.
50 additional airports, helipads, water aero drones, and advanced landing grounds will be revived to improve regional air connectivity
Other Announcements related to tourism include
Bharat Shared Repository for Inscriptions will be set up in Digital Epigraphy Museum with the digitisation of one Lakh Ancient Inscriptions in the First stage
PM Vishwa Karma Kaushal Samman, a package of assistance for traditional artisans and craftspeople has been conceptualized, to improvethe quality, scale and reach of their products
Govt to spend Rs 10,000 crore per year for urban infra development fund
"50 destinations will be selected in challenge mode. Every destination would be developed as a complete package under the 'Dekho Apna Desh' initiative'
Sector-specific skilling and entrepreneurship development to be dovetailed to achieve objectives of the 'Dekho Apna Desh' initiative.
Govt proposes to increase the benefit of carry forward of losses for start-ups to 10 years
Micro-enterprises with a turnover of up to Rs 2cr, and professionals with a turnover of 50 lakhs can avail the benefit of presumptive taxation
To enhance the limit to Rs 3 crore& 75 lakhs respectively for MSMEs professionals whose cash receipts are no more than 5%
TCS for overseas tour program increased to 20%
For foreign remittances for other purposes under LRS and purchase of overseas tour programs, it is proposed to increase the rates of TCS from 5 per cent to 20 per cent. This will impact outbound tourism significantly
Eco-tourism opportunities:Govt will promote its unique conservation values through Amrit Dharohar, a scheme that will be implemented over the next 3 years to encourage optimal use of wetlands, enhance bio-diversity, carbon stock, eco-tourism opportunities & income generation.
The Leela Raviz Hotel at Kovalam is turning fifty. The hotel, which completed 50 years of serving guests and tourists the world around, announced higher education scholarships for a total of Rs. 1 crore (10 million) for students on the occasion of its year-long golden Jubilee celebrations.
Announcing the scheme, Dr. Ravi Pillai, chairman of the RP Group, said “Students from the Kovalam region would be given adequate priority in the scholarship scheme.”
“A scholarship of Rs.10,000 each will be distributed to thousand students. A total of 70% of this scholarship programme is reserved for girl students. The year-long programme will also tap the tourism potential of Kovalam at the international, national, and local levels” said Mr. Pillai.
Hotel Ashoka, which started operations under the Central Tourism department in 1972, stands tall as Leela Raviz Kovalam today. The capital's first oceanfront five-star hotel played a major role in making Kovalam an important tourist destination in the world. Ashoka Hotel Kovalam was privatised by the then Central government in 2002. First, the M Far Group and then the Leela Group acquired ownership of the hotel and subsequently the RP Group.Owner and RP Group Chairman Ravi Pillai has announced a year-long celebration program to mark the hotel's golden jubilee.
As part of the celebrations, RP Group has announced scholarships for one thousand students for a total of Rs 1 crore scholarship for higher studies. First preference will be given to students from Kovalam. The scholarship is Rs 10000 each for 1000 candidates.
Dr. Ravi Pillai also stated that Kovalam will implement projects that will give a new dimension to Kerala's tourism industry, which is gearing up for a comeback after Covid.