India has a vast basket of living and diverse cultural traditions, traditional expressions, intangible cultural heritage comprising masterpieces which need institutional support and encouragement with a view to addressing areas critical for the survival and propagation of these forms of cultural heritage.
In this regard, the following initiatives have been taken by GoI to promote and preserve art, culture and heritage of India:
- 1. National Mission On Pilgrimage Rejuvenation And Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) Scheme:
- -The scheme aims at infrastructure development such as entry points (road, rail and water transport), last mile connectivity, basic tourism facilities like Information/ Interpretation Centers, ATM/ money exchange, eco-friendly modes of transport etc.
- -It aims to harness pilgrimage tourism for its direct and multiplier effect upon employment generation and economic development.
- -It will help in enhancing the tourist attractiveness in a sustainable manner by developing world class infrastructure in the religious destinations and promote local art, culture, handicraft, cuisine, etc.
- 2.Guru Shishya Parampara Scheme:
- -It strives to preserve and promote rare and vanishing art forms whether classical or folk/tribal.
- -The young talents shall be nurtured to acquire skills in their chosen field of art through some financial assistance by the ZCCs in the form of scholarship under the guidance of Experts and Masters in these fields.
- 3. Adarsh Smarak:
- -It aims to provide amenities of international standard around monuments such as provide Interpretation and audio-video centre, streamline waste water and garbage disposal, etc. It is being implemented by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
- 4. National Mission on Manuscripts:
- -It was established in 2003 as a unique project for identifying documenting, conserving and making accessible the manuscript heritage of India.
- -It aims to establish a digital National Manuscripts Library at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA).
- -It promotes ready access to these manuscripts through publication, both in book form as well as electronic form.
- 5. Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) and Diverse Cultural Traditions of India:
- -The objective is to reinvigorate and revitalizing various institutions, groups, individuals, identified non-MOC institutions, non-Government organisations, researchers and scholars so that they may engage in activities/ projects for strengthening, protecting, preserving and promoting the rich Intangible Cultural Heritage of India. Assistance under the scheme is provided in the form of non-recurring grants, honoraria, etc. with a view to address areas critical for the survival and propagation of all forms of ICH.
- 6. Swadesh Darshan Scheme:
- -It aims at integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits. This scheme is envisioned to synergise with other schemes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Skill India, Make in India etc. with the idea of positioning the tourism sector as a major engine for job creation, the driving force for economic growth, building synergy with various sectors to enable tourism to realise its potential.
- 7. Adopt a Heritage:
- -This project is envisioned to fulfill the objective to provide an enhanced tourism experience to all travellers.
- -It aims at ensuring quality & inclusive provision of amenities and facilities across heritage, natural, & tourist sites through active participation of private and public sector organizations and individuals.
- 8. Iconic Tourist Sites initiative:
- -It aims at overall development from the tourism point of view in and around the chosen sites which includes roads and infrastructure, hotels and lodges, connectivity and access.
- -Sites: Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri (Uttar Pradesh), Ajanta & Ellora (Maharashtra), Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort and Qutub Minar (Delhi), Colva (Goa), Amer Fort (Rajasthan), Somnath and Dholavira (Gujarat), Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh) etc.
- 9. Dekho apna Desh: It is a webinar series. The purpose of starting the webinar series was to maintain a dialogue and introduce the citizens to the history, culture, cuisine, heritage, architecture, etc.
Apart from the above mentioned schemes, India has successfully inscribed 14 ICH elements in the UNESCO Representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity under the 2003 Convention to recognize the diversity of Indian Culture embedded in its Intangible Heritage. It aims to raise awareness about the various Intangible Cultural Heritage elements from different states of India at National and International level and ensure their protection.