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SCO Tourism and Cultural Capital status for Varanasi

A big feather in the cap of India as Varanasi was declared the first-ever Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Tourism and Cultural Capital for 2022-2023. However, there can be questions why Varanasi? Is it because the city also happens to be the Parliamentarian constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi? Could be but there can be no two views to the fact that Varanasi also be one of the oldest cities that can boast of its legacy into art, culture, music, apart from rich vedic tradition.

The announcement was made at the 22nd Meeting of SCO summit at Uzbekistan’s Samarkand on Friday, a day before the birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Immediately, after the announcement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) posted, “The nomination of Varanasi as the first ever SCO Tourism and Cultural Capital will promote tourism, cultural and humanitarian exchanges between India and the SCO member Countries. It also underlines India’s ancient civilizational links with Member States of SCO, especially the Central Asian Republics”.

The MEA said, under this cultural outreach programme several events are lined in Varanasi. Guests will be invited from the SCO member states to participate in these events. These events are expected to attract Indologists, scholars, authors, musicians and artists, photojournalists, travel bloggers and other invited guests.

Notably, the regulations for the nomination of the SCO Tourism and Cultural Capital were adopted at the Dushanbe SCO Summit in 2021 with an aim to promote cooperation between the SCO Member States in the field of culture and tourism.