Culture and tourism in India: Since ancient times, India has been known for its culture, heritage, and tradition. India’s glorious traditions and rich cultural heritage are closely related with the development of tourism. Its magnificent monuments attract many tourists from all over the world.
- India’s nomination of the ‘Victorian and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai’ has been inscribed on the World Heritage list of the UNESCO. With this, Mumbai becomes the second city in the country after Ahmedabad to figure in the list.
- The first ever International Kala Mela was held in New Delhi in February 2018; with its aim to promote the spirit of unity in diversity and the relevance of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.
- The Ministry of Culture launched a new scheme, namely, Seva Bhoj Yojana in 2018 to reimburse the central government share of Central Goods and Services Tax and Integrated Goods and Services Tax so as to lessen the financial burden of religious / charitable institutions who provide food free of cost without any discrimination.
- Government of India commemorated the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak at national as well as international level in befitting manner.
The 500th death anniversary of 15th century poet-saint Kabir was held in June 2018 in Maghar, Sant Kabir Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh
LALIT KALA AKADEMI
- Lalit Kala Akademi, the National Academy of Art, was set up in 1954.
- Lalit Kala Akademi is the government’s apex cultural body in the field of visual arts in India. It is an autonomous body, which is fully funded by the Ministry of Culture.
SANGEET NATAK AKADEMI
- Sangeet Natak Akademi, India’s national academy of music, dance and drama, is a pioneer in the creation of modern India.
- In 1961, the Sangeet Natak Akademi was reconstituted by the Government as a society and registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (as amended in 1957).
- The Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards conferred annually on eminent artists and scholars are considered the most coveted honours in the field of the performing arts.
- The Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy (JNMDA) in Imphal, the premier institution in the teaching of Manipuri dance and music was established by it in 1954.
- The Akademi’s other projects of national importance are in Kutiyattam theatre of Kerala, commenced in 1991. The project on Chhau dance of Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal began in 1994.
NATIONAL SCHOOL OF DRAMA
- The National School of Drama (NSD)-one of the foremost theatre institutions in the world and the only one of its kind in India was set up by Sangeet Natak Akademi in 1959.
- Later in 1975, it became an autonomous organization, totally financed by Department of Culture.
- Since 1998, the School has organized National Theatre Festival for Children christened ‘Jashne Bachpan’ every year.
- Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of Letters promotes literature in 24 languages of India recognized by it.
- Sahitya Akademi publishes three journals, Indian Literature (bi-monthly in English), Samkaleena Bhartiya Sahitya (bi-monthly in Hindi) and Sanskrit Pratibha (quarterly in Sanskrit).
- The Akademi organizes Festival of Letters every year to celebrate Indian writing.
Literary Awards instituted by the Akademi:
- Sahitya Akademi Award is awarded to the most outstanding book(s) of literary merit published in the 24 Indian languages recognized by the Akademi.
- Bhasha Samman is given to writers/ scholars / editors collectors / performers / translators who have made considerable contribution to the propagation and enrichment of languages that have not been recognized by the Akademi.
- Translation Prize is given to outstanding translations in all the 24 languages recognized by the Akademi.
- Bal Sahitya Puraskar is given to outstanding contributions to children’s literature in 24 languages.
- Yuva Puraskar is given to young Indian writers in 24 languages.
INDIRA GANDHI NATIONAL CENTRE FOR THE ARTS (IGNCA)
- IGNCA is a national level academic research centre encompassing the study and experience of all the arts, classical and folk, written and oral, ancient and modern.
- Located in the heart of New Delhi, IGNCA is an autonomous trust under the Ministry of Culture.
CENTRE FOR CULTURAL RESOURCES AND TRAINING (CCRT)
- CCRT is one of the premier institutions working in the field of linking education with culture.
- CCRT was set up in 1979 as an autonomous organization by the Government of India, headquartered in New Delhi.
- CCRT implements the Cultural Talent Search Scholarship Scheme, which provides scholarships to outstanding children in the age group of 10 to 14 years to develop their talent in various cultural fields particularly in rare art forms.
ZONAL CULTURAL CENTRES (ZCCs)
- Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs) aim to arouse awareness of the local culture and performing arts.
- The seven Zonal Centres were established under this scheme during 1985-86 at Patiala, Kolkata, Thanjavur, Udaipur, Allahabad, Dimapur and Nagpur.
EK BHARAT SHRESHTHA BHARAT
- Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat was announced in 2015 on the occasion of the 140th Birth Anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
- The broad objectives of the initiative are to promote the spirit of national integration through a deep and structured engagement between all states and union territories through a year-long planned engagement between states.
CULTURAL HERITAGE OF THE HIMALAYAS
- The aim of Buddhist Tibetan Institutions (BTI) is to help preserve, promote and propagate the intangible of Buddhist/Tibetan/Himalayan cultural heritage of the country. The scheme was revised in 2011.
- The Central Institute of Buddhist Studies (CIBS), Leh Ladakh was established in 1959. The Institute has obtained the Status of Deemed University in January, 2016.
- The Nava Nalanda Mahavihara (NNM) in Nalanda, Bihar is an institution of post graduate studies and research in Pali and Buddhism. It is an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Culture and accorded Deemed University status in 2006.
- The Central University of Tibetan Studies, Sarnath, Varanasi was established in 1967 with a view to educating the youths of Tibet and Indian students of Himalayan border areas. The Institute was declared as a “Deemed to be University” in 1988.
- The Central Institute of Himalayan Culture Studies (CIHCS) has been registered as a Society in 2010 under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA
- The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) was established in 1861. It functions as an attached office of the Ministry of Culture.
- Under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, the ASI has declared 3,686 monuments/sites to be of national importance in the country which includes twenty-one properties that are inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO.
- The Epigraphy Branch at Mysore carries out research work in Sanskrit and Dravidian languages while the one at Nagpur carries out research work in Arabic and Persian.
NATIONAL MISSION ON MONUMENTS AND ANTIQUITIES (NMMA)
- The National Mission on Monuments and Antiquities (NMMA) was launched in 2007 with the objective to prepare a National database on Built Heritage and Sites (BH&S) and antiquities from different sources and museums.
- As part of the mandate, NMMA has to prepare two national registers’ viz., (i) National Register on Built Heritage and Sites and (ii) National Register on Antiquities.
NATIONAL MISSION FOR MANUSCRIPTS (NMM)
- It was launched in 2003 with the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) as the nodal agency to reclaim India’s inheritance of knowledge contained in the vast treasure of manuscripts.
- The National Museum, functions as a subordinate office under the Ministry of Culture since 1960, houses over 2.6 lakh art objects dating from pre-historic era onwards.
- The National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), New Delhi was founded in 1954 to promote and develop contemporary Indian Art.
- National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Culture, is the largest network of science centres/museums in the world functioning under a single administrative control.
- The concept of ‘Museum on Wheels’ was introduced in India in 1965 when Mobile Science Exhibition (MSE) programme started as Mobile Science Museum (MSM) at Ramkrishna Mission School, Kolkata.
- The Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata (VMH), was founded principally through the efforts of Viceroy Lord Curzon, in 1921 as a period museum in memory of Queen Victoria with particular emphasis on Indo-British history. The VMH was declared an institution of national importance by the Government of India Act of 1935.
- National Museum Institute of History of Art, Conservation and Museology is the only Museum University in India and is presently functioning at the first floor of National Museum, New Delhi.
- National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Property (NRLC) was established in 1976, as a subordinate office of the Department of Culture and is recognized by the Department of Science and Technology as a scientific institution of the Government of India.
ANTHROPOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA (An.S.I.)
- An.S.I. is an institution one of its unique kind anywhere in the world. It has been mandated to study the biocultural attributes of the Indian populations since its establishment, about 65 years before. It’s head office is in Kolkata.
NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF INDIA
- The National Archives of India is the custodian of the non-current records of the Government of India and is holding them in trust for the use of the records creators and the users at large.
- It is the biggest repository of the non-current records in south-east Asia.
- The major activities of the National Archives of India include: making public records accessible to various Government agencies and research scholars; an online search portal “www.abhilekh- patal.in” now facilitates to access records.
- The National Library, Kolkata was founded in 1891. It enjoys the status of an institution of national Importance.
- The Central Secretariat Library (CSL) was established in 1891. Since 1969 the library has been housed at Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi.
- National Mission on Libraries has been set up by Ministry of Culture, in 2012 in pursuance of National Knowledge Commission recommendations for sustained attention for development of libraries and information science sector.
- Performing Arts Grants Scheme: Under this scheme, financial assistance is provided to dramatic groups, theatre groups, music ensembles, children’s theatre and for all genres of performing arts activities.
- Tagore Cultural Complexes Scheme: Under this scheme, financial assistance is provided for the setting up of new cultural complexes of varying scales as also for modernization, renovation and upgrade of existing Tagore auditoria etc.
- Gandhi Heritage Sites Mission was created in 2013 to preserve for posterity the 39 core sites as well as some important sites from the master list (consisting of 2000 sites visited by Mahatma Gandhi).
- Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti was formed in 1984 as an autonomous body, and is functioning under the financial support from the Ministry of Culture. Gandhi Smriti is the place where Mahatma Gandhi lived the last 144 days of his life, and where the epic life of Gandhiji ended on January 30, 1948.
- Foreign Tourist Arivals (FTAs) during 2018 were 10.56 million (prov.) with a growth of 5.2 per cent over the same period of the previous year.
- A National Medical and Wellness Tourism Board has been set up to work as an umbrella organisation to govern and promote medical tourism in India.
- A task force on Adventure Tourism was formed in 2016 to resolve the issues related to adventure tourism which includes safety and security of tourists.
- As of now, there are 42 institutes of Hotel Management (IHMs), comprising 21 Central IHMs and 21 state IHMs, and 10 Food Craft Institutes (FCIs), which have come up with the support of the Ministry.
- The Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM) is an autonomous body under the Ministry with its headquarters at Gwalior.
- The Ministry of Tourism has set up the Indian Culinary Institute (ICI) at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.
- Swadesh Darshan Scheme: Under it thirteen thematic circuits have been identified for development, namely: North-East India Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit and Heritage Circuit.
- Under PRASAD scheme, 25 sites of religious significance have been identified for development
- “Swachh Paryatan Mobile App” operated by the Ministry of Tourism for 25 Adarsh Smarak Monuments has been also made available.