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Agra Fort (1983) Ajanta Caves (1983) Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989) Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park (2004) Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) (2004) Churches and Convents of Goa (1986) Elephanta Caves (1987) Ellora Caves (1983) Fatehpur Sikri (1986) Great Living Chola Temples (1987) Group of Monuments at Hampi (1986) Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram (1984) Group of Monuments at Pattadakal (1987) Hill Forts of Rajasthan (2013) Humayun's Tomb, Delhi (1993) Khajuraho Group of Monuments (1986) Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya (2002) Mountain Railways of India (1999) Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi (1993) Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat (2014) Red Fort Complex (2007) Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003) Sun Temple, Konârak (1984) Taj Mahal (1983) The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (2010) Great Himalayan National Park (2014) Kaziranga National Park (1985) Keoladeo National Park (1985) Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (1985) Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks (1988) Sundarbans National Park (1987) Western Ghats (2012)
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Culture plays an important role in the development of any nation. It represents a set of shared attitudes, values, goals and practices. Culture and creativity manifest themselves in almost all economic, social and other activities. A country as diverse as India is symbolized by the plurality of its culture. Article 29 of the Constitution of India, 1950 forebears the dictum of Unity in Diversity to which this ancient civilization adheres to:

"...Any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same".

Article 29 (2) of the Constitution of India speaks of Cultural and Educational Rights also refer to the protection of interests of minorities:

“...No citizen shall be denied admission into any educational institution maintained by the State or receiving aid out of State funds on grounds only of religion, race, caste, language or any of them”.

The plurality and multiplicity of the Indian Culture is evident to the whole World as India has one of the world’s largest collections of songs, music, dance, theatre, folk traditions, performing arts, rites and rituals, languages, dialects, paintings and writings that are known, as the ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ (ICH) of humanity. Thus, on this premise was born the philosophy and the concept of having academies of national importance.

The year 1950 was a milestone to an epoch-making decade in India’s history, since that was the year India declared itself as a sovereign republic. The Planning Commission of India was set up on 15 March 1950. This Commission in its very first plan envisaged that culture is integral to the Planning process as a whole. That it is intrinsic to the concept of planned national development.

With every subsequent Plan periods, the Government of India founded a number of institutions that determined its cultural policy and also thereby determined, for several other agencies, the dominant paradigms for the ‘arts & culture’ field as a whole. Among the major ones are the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (1950), the Sangeet Natak Akademi (1953), the National Museum, the Sahitya Akademi, the National Gallery of Modern Art and the Lalit Kala Akademi (all set up in 1954, following a Parliamentary Resolution initiated by India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru and first Education Minister, Maulana Azad), the Film Institute of India (1959), the National School of Drama (1959) and the National Institute of Design (1961).

The role of these cultural institutions fits mainly within a very different concept of cultural nationalism. In brief, national cultural policy, as guided by the Planning Commission of India, in the period right after Independence adhered to the following five definitional criteria:

  • First, that India’s cultural policy presumes that India’s cultural resources, represented by the artisans, stakeholders, practitioners and craftsmen, are a repository of national resources as well, and as such are central to the very enterprise of nationalism, informing all of its programmes.
  • Second, that they contribute a crucial component to India’s nationalist project of identifying and protecting its national heritage.
  • Third, while the protection and sustenance of the artisan has a cultural justification as representative of national heritage, it is nevertheless its economic component that gives it such visibility and has to be adequately dealt
  • Fourth, that the administrative elements of culture that arise from such a cultural policy therefore most directly impact the field of education
  • And five, that under the Nehruvian Socialism, the philosophy of then cultural policy sought a synergy between the support and development of artisanal practices on the one hand and the stated nationalist goals of industrialism and the emphasis on science and technology on the other.

Based on these guiding principles Government of India has formulated and undertaken several measures to take care of the development of Tangible/Intangible Arts of the State. After ratification of the Convention of Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2005, Government has placed further serious efforts through its various agencies, Semi-Government agencies, and Regional Government agencies, NGOs that support the elements of Intangible Cultural Heritage by various ways for their growth, sustenance, further visibility, and development.

The intangible cultural heritage constitutes a set of living and constantly recreated practices, knowledge and representations enabling individuals and communities, at all levels, to express their broad conception through systems of values and ethical standards. The following multi-pronged system has been delineated to safeguard the Intangible cultural heritage of India:

  • At National level: Academies (Sangeet Natak Akademi, Sahitya Akademi & Lalit Kala Akademi), autonomous bodies (Like I.C.C.R.), Subordinate Bodies (Like Anthropological Survey of India) and various autonomous institutions, missions and surveys are constituted
  • At State level: various Zonal Cultural Centres, covering the states of India zone wise, are ordained- East Zone, North Zone, North Central Zone, South Central Zone, South Zone and the West Zone
  • Creates among communities a sense of belonging and continuity by fostering community participation at regional, district and grassroots level

For more information please visit http://en.unesco.org/ external link

UNESCO ICH

For more information please visit www.unesco.org external link

  • National Culture Fund
  • http://india.gov.in/
  • http://www.incredibleindia.org/
  • http://ngodarpan.gov.in/
  • http://nmi.nic.in/
  • http://mygov.in