India to Hand Out Free SIM Cards With Tourist Visas
Don't spend your money on SIM cards if you're heading to India this fall.
Distribution is expected to begin September 27 here's what you need to know.
If you're visiting India and planning on buying a SIM card to use in your own phone for the duration of the trip, you might want to consider postponing your travels until late September. For years, it's been notoriously difficult to procure a SIM in the subcontinent from sourcing a retailer who's even willing to sell to a non-resident to endless paperwork, passport photos, documentation, and a complicated activation protocol. That's why the government has decided that, starting at the end of September, anyone arriving in India on an e-tourist visa- visa that's available to residents of over 113 countries, including the United States will be automatically be issued a SIM card, along with a welcome packet that includes a dos and don'ts list, maps, and emergency contact information. The government will issue the SIM cards through BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited), a state-owned telecommunications company that's the sixth-largest mobile service provider in the country.
'We had a number of meetings with the Home Ministry with regard to providing SIM cards to foreigner tourists when they land in India,' Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma told Indian news agency PTI. 'The ministry has finally agreed to our proposal. Now, it will take some time to start the facility.'
The initiative is expected to launch on September 27, the United Nations's World Tourism Day. According to a recent report issued by the World Travel & Tourism Council, tourism comprised more than 6 percent of India's total GDP in 2015. The unprecedented move to provide tourists with SIM cards 'comes as India attempts to attract more tourists,' Mashable reports.
'It will make things hassle-free for international tourists as it is not easy to procure a SIM for foreigners in the country,' a government official told the Daily Mail when the scheme was first proposed early this year. Having access to a working cell phone while traveling in a foreign country 'can also be helpful from the security point of view,' said the source.
Shatabadi Express Jaipur - Agra - Jaipur
We are delighted to inform you that finally the SHATABADI EXPRESS between Jaipur / Agra / Jaipur via Bharatpur has started wef 28th November, 2012 and shall operate six days a week EXCEPT Thursday as per train route enclosed with timings.
It has Ac Executive Class ( 41 seats ) and Ac Chair Car ( 345 seats )
. The train will be operating on all the days of the week. Departure from Jaipur is at 0705hrs and arrival at 1035hrs at Agra Fort. And departure from Agra Fort is at 1620hrs arrival at Jaipur at 1950hrs. The trains will be running via Bharatpur halt.
Indian tourists travelling to Thailand after September 27, 2016 will be charged 2000THB for Visa on Arrival (VoA), according to the Royal Thai Embassy, New Delhi.. The reason for the doubling of the Visa on Arrival fee, which earlier stood at 1000THB, is to encourage tourists to apply for visas at Thai embassies or consular offices .