Published on: July 21, 2022

VARANASI

VARANASI

http://sjfiremuseum.org/history/modern-era/ Why in news?

http://lauraeperjesi.co.uk/family-portraits-gloucestershire-and-london/ The holy city of Varanasi, showcasing India’s culture and traditions over the ages, will be declared the first “Cultural and Tourism Capital” of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

Highlights:

  • The Beijing-headquartered Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is an eight-member economic and security alliance comprising China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.
  • Varanasi will become the “Cultural and Tourism Capital” of the SCO for 2022-23 under a new rotating initiative by the eight-member organisation to promote people-to-people contacts and tourism among the member states.Varanasi, India’s ancient city, will be the first to be granted the title.
  • India hosted the Head of the Government of the SCO meet in 2020.
  • The SCO member states were considering several initiatives to promote tourism to enhance people-to-people contacts once the COVID-19 travel restrictions ease.
  • Kazakhstan has announced a visa-free policy for tourists from India and other countries,

About the initiative:

  • Under this initiative, each year, a city of the cultural heritage of a member country that will take over the rotating Presidency of the organisation will get the title to highlight its prominence.
  • The new initiative will come into force after the Samarkand summit following which India will take over the Presidency and host the next Heads of the State summit.