The Narendra Modi government today launched an initiative that provides pre-loaded SIM cards to foreign tourists on their arrival in India on e-Visa. This initiative was launched by Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism and Culture. Also present on the occasion were Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Shri JS Deepak, Secretary, Ministry of Communications and other senior officers. Dr Sharma said that this unique initiative will facilitate tourists in communicating with friends, relatives, near and dear ones soon after their flight terminates in India.
Prior to the pre-loaded SIM card facility, the Ministry of Tourism had also launched a 24×7 Tourist Helpline number 1800111363 in 12 foreign languages to cater to the required information the foreign tourists need in their respective languages during times of distress, medical emergency, etc. Dr Sharma presented the first kit containing a SIM to a representative of Travel and Tourism sector.
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The pre-loaded SIM card facility has been launched in association with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, (BSNL). BSNL will distribute these SIM cards to foreign tourists on their arrival in India through e-visa. This facility has been made available initially at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (T3 Terminal), New Delhi. However, later the remaining 15 international airports will be covered, where e-visa facilities are available.
BSNL will collect the e-visa copies and the first page of passport from foreign tourists on their arrival, in order to avail pre-loaded SIM cards. This facility has been made available only for tourists visiting India on e-visa. The SIM cards will be pre-loaded with a talk-time of Rs 50 and data value of 50 MB and will be activated on immediate basis.