India as a member of the Convention for Safeguarding the ICH

This is an important role for India to adorn. Before this, India served as a member of the ICH Committee twice: from 2006 to 2010 and from 2014 to 2018.

This will help India strengthen and foster international cooperation through intangible heritage, promoting academic research on intangible cultural heritage.

The Ministry of Culture has appointed the Sangeet Natak Akademi, an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Culture, as the nodal office for matters relating to the intangible cultural heritage including for the preparation of the nomination dossiers for the Representative List of UNESCO.

    • The Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA) makes it necessary for the stakeholders, experts/officials, etc. prior to the finalization of the dossier in respect of elements identified for the nomination.
    • Being the nodal office the SNA maintains a National Inventory of ICH elements and the inclusion of the identified element for UNESCO in the National Inventory/Register etc. of the applicant member state is also a pre-requisite for inclusion in the UNESCO’s Representative List of ICH.

The Ministry of Culture makes regular Schemes, as well as organizations, make efforts toward the preservation, protection, and promotion of intangible cultural heritage in the country.

Various autonomous bodies under the Ministry of Culture have comprehensive mandates in this regard and are functioning in various spheres of preservation and promotion of intangible cultural heritage and diverse traditions of the country.

Some of the major organizations involved in the preservation of propagation of ICH are named below:

    1. Sahitya Akademi, Lalit Kala Akademi, Sangeet Natak Akademi
    2. Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts
    3. National School of Drama
    4. Centre for Cultural Resources & Training
    5. Zonal Cultural Centres (seven in number)
    6. Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya
    7. Anthropological Survey of India

Apart from these, there are several schemes under the implementation of the Ministry of Culture for providing financial assistance to artists & institutions involved in the promotion/propagation of the various forms of ICH.

In addition, the Ministry of Culture has implemented, since the year 2013-14, a scheme titled “Scheme for Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage and Diverse Cultural Traditions of India” with the aims and objectives of professionally enhancing awareness and interest in ICH, safeguarding, promoting, and propagating it systematically.

India has 14 intangible cultural heritage elements on the UNESCO Representative List.

The latest, Durga Puja of Kolkata was added to the list in 2021 and Garba of Gujarat in 2023.