New Delhi: Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) flagship Regional Connectivity Scheme UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) has been awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration 2020 under the category 'Innovation (General) – Central.' The award was given away by Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya M Scindia to the UDAN team led by Joint Secretary Usha Padhee in presence of MoCA’s Secretary Rajiv Bansal and Airports Authority of India’s (AAI) Chairman Sanjeev Kumar.
The government of India has initiated this award to acknowledge, recognise and reward extraordinary and innovative work done by districts and organisations of the state or government. This scheme emphasises good governance, qualitative achievements, and last-mile connectivity rather than only on achievement of quantitative targets. The award consists of a trophy, scroll and an incentive of Rs 10 lakhs.
Launched in 2016, the UDAN scheme aims to fulfil the aspirations of the common man by following the vision of Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik. Airports Authority of India is the implementing agency of the scheme and has been working towards the development of aviation infrastructure and enhanced air connectivity in tier II and III cities. In a short span of five years, on Wednesday 419 UDAN routes connect 67 underserved and unserved airports, including heliports and water aerodromes, and over 92 lakh people have benefited from it. More than 1 lakh 79 thousand flights have flown under this scheme. UDAN scheme has immensely benefitted several sectors pan-India including the Hilly States, North-Eastern region, and Islands.
UDAN has a positive impact on the economy of the country and has witnessed an excellent response from industry stakeholders, especially airlines operators and state governments. More than 350 new city pairs are now scheduled to be connected under the scheme, with 200 already connected and are widely spread geographically providing connectivity across the length and breadth of the country as well as ensuring balanced regional growth resulting in economic growth and employment to the local population.
The scheme also led to the development of new Green Field Airports such as Pakyong near Gangtok in Sikkim, Tezu in Arunachal Pradesh, and Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh. The scheme also led to 5 percent incremental growth in domestic passenger share of non-metro airports.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation plans and commits to construct 100 new airports by 2024 in India with 1,000 new routes under the UDAN RCS scheme by the year 2026.
Recently, the Ministry of Civil Aviation tableau was named as the Best Central Ministry Tableau for Republic Day 2022. The tableau of the Ministry of Civil Aviation showcased Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) – UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) as its central theme.
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