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Adopt a heritage: An overview

Context

Recently Ministry of Culture had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Dalmia Bharat group for the restoration of Delhi’s Red Fort under ‘Adopt a Heritage’ scheme

 

What is Adopt a Heritage Scheme?

The ‘Adopt a Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan’ scheme is key initiative of the Ministry of Tourism, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and the Archaeological Survey of India. It is launched on World Tourism Day (27 September). Under it Public sector companies, private sector firms and individuals are invited to develop tourist selected monuments and heritage and tourists site across India.

Main objective of scheme

  • To provide world class tourist facilities at various natural and cultural heritage sites, monuments and other tourists site in planned and phased manner.
  • Promote cultural and heritage value of the country to generate livelihoods of local Communities of respective heritage sites.
  • Enhance the tourist attractiveness in a sustainable manner by developing world class Infrastructure at heritage sites.
  • Create employment through active involvement of local communities.
  • Harness tourism potential for its multiplier effects in employment generation and economic development.
  • Develop sustainable tourism infrastructure and ensuring proper Operations and Maintenance therein.
  • The Scheme call for providing world class tourist facilities at various natural and cultural heritage sites/monuments

Salient feature ofAdopt a Heritage Scheme

  • The sites/monument are selected on the basis of tourist footfall and visibility.
  • Public sector companies, private sector firms and individuals are invited to develop tourist selected monuments and heritage and tourists site across India known as Monument Mitras
  • The Monument Mitras are selected by the ‘oversight and vision committee,’ co-chaired by the Tourism Secretary and the Culture Secretary, on the basis of the bidder’s ‘vision’ for development of all amenities at the heritage site.
  • The Monument Mitras in turn will get the limited visibility on the site premises and on the Incredible India website.
  • The public and private companies adopting these monuments will also look after their operations and maintenance initially for 5 years subject to review.
  • The corporate sector is expected to use corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds for the upkeep of the site.

NOTE: According to fundamental Duty every citizen should value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture.

Important Facts – Tourism in India

  • Foreign Tourist arrivals during 2017 were 10.18 Million.
  • The growth rate in Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in 2017 is 15.2%, compared to 11.9% in 2016.
  • India’s rank 40th in Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI), 2017 as compared to 52nd in 2015 and 65th in 2013.
  • The growth rate in Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in 2017 is 15.2%, compared to 11.9% in 2016.
  • 3% Growth in Foreign Tourist Arrivals on e-Tourist visa in 2017.

Various initiatives by Government to boost Tourism

  • The Union Ministry of Tourism launched the “Incredible India 2.0” Campaign in 2017-18 to position India as a “Must Experience” destination amongst overseas travelers and to increase foreign tourist arrivals to the country.
  • The Union Ministry of Tourism launched ‘Paryanatn Parv’ in collaboration with Other Union Ministries and State Governments. The event was organized with the objective of drawing focus on the benefits of tourism, showcasing the cultural diversity of the country and reinforcing the principle of “Tourism for All”.
  • Swadesh Darshan – Integrated Development of Theme Based Tourist Circuits aim to develop theme based tourist circuits in the country. These tourist circuits will be developed on principles of high tourist value.
  • PRASHAD (Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive) for development of tourism infrastructure in the country including historical places and heritage cities.

Monument restoration in India

The Taj Mahal Conservation Collaborative

  •  In 2001, the Archaeological Survey of India, the National Culture Fund and the Tata Group of Companies through the Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) signed a major agreement to undertake the conservation, restoration, upgrade and beautification of the Taj Mahal and the surrounding areas.

Humayun’s Tomb restoration

  • The restoration of the Humayun’s tomb was completed in 2013. The restoration was carried out by Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) in partnership with the Archaeological Survey of India. The Humayun’s Tomb was outsourced for ‘Environment Development’ under the National Culture Fund (NCF) trust in 2003.

Concern over the restoration of monuments

  • Historians and the political opposition called the restoration by private firm as an attempt of government towards “privatization” of India’s heritage monuments.
  • The government’s move towards “Adopt A Heritage” scheme is viewed as promoting crony capitalism.
  • The firm involved in the restoration and conservation do have prior experience in restoration.

Way Forward

  • To protect the sanctity of monuments government should invite only those entity who have prior experience in conservation and restoration of monuments
  • The government must consult all the stakeholders and experts before framing any such polices.
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