At the 22nd meeting of the SCO council in Samarkand on September 16, 2022, Varanasi city has been nominated as the first cultural and tourism capital during 2022-2023. The nomination of Varanasi as SCO tourism and cultural capital was announced at the meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State in Samarkand. PM Modi also attended the meeting. 

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation 2022, was the first in-person meeting of the regional group after the Covid-19 pandemic which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The rotating presidency of the grouping has been handed over to India for the year 2022-23 by Uzbekistan.

Varanasi as SCO tourism and cultural capital: Why is it significant?

Nominating Varanasi as the first SCO Tourism and Cultural Capital will boost tourism and cultural and humanitarian exchanges between India and SCO member countries. It also emphasizes India&rsquo’s ancient civilizational links with Member States of SCO, especially the Central Asian Republics.

Varanasi as the SCO tourism and cultural capital: Objective

At the Dushanbe SCO Summit in 2021, the regulations for nominating SCO tourism and capital were adopted with an objective to promote cooperation between the SCO member states in the field of culture and tourism. 

Various events will also be organized under the framework of a major cultural outreach program in Varanasi during 2022-23. A number of guests will also be invited to participate from the SCO Member States. 

The events are expected to fascinate scholars, musicians, Indologists, authors, photojournalists, artists, travel bloggers, and other guests. 

What is the significance of Varanasi?

  1. Varanasi is also known as Banaras or Kashi and is one of the oldest living cities in the world.
  2. The city’s prominence in Hindu mythology is virtually unrevealed.
  3. The land of Varanasi(Banaras) has been an important and ultimate pilgrimage spot for Hindus for ages. 
  4. Ganga in Varanasi is believed to possess the power of washing away the sins of mortals.
  5. Varanasi has also been a great place of learning for ages. 
  6. The city is linked with the promotion of mysticism, spiritualism, yoga, Hindi, and Sanskrit language and honored authors such as Prem Chand and Tulsi Das.

    SCO Summit 2022: Prime Minister Modi attends summit in Uzbekistan





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