Rs 100 cr for 'Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat'

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley earmarked Rs 100 crore each for birth centenary of Jana Sang ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya and for 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh.

Jaitley also said the government will launch ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ to link the states and connect people  “through exchanges” in the areas of language, trade, culture, travel and tourism. 

 “I have also allocated initial sums of Rs 100 crore each for celebrating the birth centenary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya and the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh,” the Finance Minister said delivering his budget speech in Lok Sabha.

Noting that India would fulfil the dream of historian Arnold Joseph Toynbee as its celebrates its 70th year of independence in 2017, Jaitley said: “Toynbee had observed that a chapter which had a western beginning will have to have an Indian ending.” 

“My belief is that the year 2017 will unfold the great historian’s dream. Our scheme of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat is part of this vision. We will chalk out milestones for nation’s journey beyond the 70th anniversary of Independence,” the Finance Minister added.

Announcing the launch of the programme mooted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year, Jaitley said it is important to capitalise on the country’s “unity in diversity” for good governance.

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