To preserve heritage, government planning special centre

December 2nd, 2008 - 7:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Ambika SoniNew Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) The government is planning to set up a Centre for Management of Cultural Resources and also a network of Indian Institutes of Art and Culture on the lines of the IITs to safeguard India’s rich heritage, Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni said here Tuesday.Speaking at the Asian Regional Cooperation Conference on heritage conservation and tourism here organised by INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) Tuesday, Soni said an integrated approach is required for a successful movement of heritage preservation and promotion.

“Heritage cannot be preserved in isolation. We need to emphasize its strong linkages with other fields, particularly education and tourism, to succeed in our endeavour. In other words, an integrated approach is required for a successful movement of heritage preservation and promotion,” the minister said.

“We need to emphasize its strong linkages with other fields, particularly education and tourism to succeed in our endeavour,” she added.

The minister said the culture ministry has proposed in the 11th Five year plan to set up a Centre for Management of Cultural Resources.

“There are also suggestions to set up a network of Indian Institutes of Art and Culture on the lines of IIMs and IITs,” she added.

The conference organised by INTACH will focus on the important areas of heritage management, art conservation, education and tourism and their linkages.

She said that heritage belongs to the entire humanity and not to one particular nation or community.

She hoped for a new regional co-operation in the field of heritage and culture.

“Perhaps there is no better way of initiating this cooperation than amongst the countries of Asian region, which share with each other a close historical, cultural and economic links. India is quite conscious of its shared history and bonds with the nations of Asian region and is making all endeavours to expand, strengthen and deepen these links through its ‘Look East’ policy,” she added.

Incidentally, a three-member delegation from Pakistan did not attend the conference in the wake of the Mumbai attack in which 183 people lost their lives, including 22 foreigners.

Soni said there was a need to create a partnership with the civil society and local communities in heritage preservation so that they develop a stake and sense of belonging.

For this, she said, the ministry is soon launching a Cultural Heritage Young Leadership Programme, with an objective to reach schools, colleges and universities and inculcate among the younger generation a deeper understanding and awareness about culture and heritage.

India has large numbers of monuments and heritage sites spread across the length and breadth of the country but only a small fraction of these are protected.

She said the culture ministry has already launched a National Mission on Monuments and Antiquities at an estimated cost of Rs.900 million, which would be revised to Rs.4 billion-5 billion to cover the entire country.

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