Various initiatives in Art and Culture: news and updates


Preserving National Archives annexes of India

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Synopsis- The government proposes to remove the National Archives of India’s Annexes as a part of the Central Vista redevelopment project. But the government proposal to remove the National Archives annexes required proper planning and execution to manage the process of shifting invaluable archives.

Introduction
  • A group of archivists, scholars, historians, students, among others from across the world filed a petition. The petition has urged for greater transparency in the proposed removal of National Archives annexes.
  • The petition also mentions that there has been no public consultation regarding the National Archives annexes. Further, the government proposal also not mentioned how to manage the process of shifting invaluable archives.
Importance of National Achieves of India

The National Archives of India contains records that contained several centuries of Indian history.

  • The archival records include 4.5 million files, 25,000 rare manuscripts, 100,000 plus maps, treaties, 280,000 pre-modern documents and several thousand private papers.
  • It also preserved the cartography section and 1,50,000 oriental records in Persian, Arabic and Urdu.
  • According to UNESCO, the National Archives birchbark and clay-coated Gilgit Manuscripts are India’s oldest surviving manuscripts.
  • So, The National Archives of India documents are naturally brittle and require delicate, expert handling. The loss or damage to a single object or archival record would be an irrevocable loss.
The present condition of NAI

Read Also :-Central Vista Project – Demolition of National Institutions

  • Poor maintenance of Archives:  A series of articles published in The New York Times in 2012, highlighted the vulnerable state of the National Archives. The articles mention that Indian archives are exposed to humid weather, staff negligence and mishandling, and improper preservation methods. This led to ruining of national archives. The articles especially mentioned the vulnerability of letters penned by Mohandas K. Gandhi, B.R. Ambedkar, Gopalkrishna Gokhale, and other eminent Indian nationalists in particular.
  • At present, there is a lack of expertise to manage certain national archives. This leads to the locking up of some rare documents in Persian, Urdu, Arabic, Sanskrit, Prakrit, Tamil, Malayalam, and Modi (records from Maharashtra).
Suggestion to shift the National Archives annexes
  • Wider public consultation is the need of the hour: The Indian government should arrange for public consultation. For example, the Federal Government of the United States decided to move the National Archive, there were extensive public consultations. No such measures were taken in India.
  • Required careful planning and execution in moving the Archives
    • Experts need to produce a detailed report on how to move the contents and share it with the government.
    • They should also recommend an integrated national strategy to archival management that includes state archives, as state archives are also in bad condition.
  • Getting adequate information from global practices: Many best global practices are available on shifting national archives. For example, The British Library’s guide on “Moving Library and Archive Collections” is concise and comprehensive. India can follow such a guide to shift the national archives without any disruption.

Source – The Hindu

Read Also :-National Archives of India

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Issue of shifting National Archives of India’s annexes – Explained, pointwise

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Introduction

The Government of India’s Central Vista redevelopment project is being treated as a national priority amid a pandemic. The project will shift the National Museum of India, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA). The project will also remove the National Archives of India’s annexes and rebuild them.

Thus, last month nearly 76 scholars, artists, writers, curators, and museum professionals highlighted major concerns associated with the project. Further, the government is also required huge government expenditure to complete the project. Shifting the National Archives of India’s annexes presents some inherent challenges to the government.

About National Archives of India(NAI)
  • National Archives of India (NAI) is a custodian of the non-current records of the enduring value of the Indian Government. It holds them in trust for the use of administrators and scholars.
  • Origin: It was originally established as the Imperial Record Department in 1891 in Calcutta(Kolkata). This department was then transferred to the new capital, New Delhi, in 1911. Later, it was shifted into the present building in 1926.
  • Nodal Ministry: It functions as an Attached Office of the Department of Culture under the Ministry of Culture.
  • Headquarters: New Delhi. It also has a Regional Office at Bhopal and three Record Centres at Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, and Pondicherry.
  • Abhilekh patal is an online portal to access the National Archives of India’s reference media and its digitized collections via the internet.
    • The name ‘Abhilekh patal’ comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Abhilekh’ meaning the records of ancient times and the word ‘patal’ meaning the platform, board, or surface.
Significance of National Archives of India:

Several centuries of India’s history lie in the documents that make up the National Archives of India. It has a vast corpus of records viz., public records, oriental records among others which constitute an invaluable source of information.

  • The archival records include 4.5 million files, 25,000 rare manuscripts, more than 100,000 maps, treaties, 280,000 premodern documents, and several thousand private papers. It is the biggest archival repository in South Asia.
  • According to UNESCO, the birchbark and clay-coated Gilgit Manuscripts in the National Archives are, “the oldest surviving manuscripts in India”. These include “canonical and non-canonical Buddhist works that throw light on the evolution of Sanskrit, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Mongolian, Manchu and Tibetan religion-philosophical literature”.
  • The annexe also houses the cartography section and 1,50,000 oriental records in Persian, Arabic, and Urdu.
  • The National Archives Annexe also hosted technical training in the preservation and allied subjects for archivists across India.
  • Further, The National Archives’ “Annexe” is also called as the “Research Room” among historians. They conduct their historical research, Ph.D research in the Annexe building.

The loss or damage to any single object or archival record will cause an irrevocable loss.

Justifications in shifting the National Archives of India’s annexes
  1. Better maintenance of Archives:  A series of articles published in The New York Times in 2012, highlighted the vulnerable state of the National Archives. The articles mention that Indian archives are exposed to humid weather, staff negligence and mishandling, and improper preservation methods. This led to ruining of national archives. The articles especially mentioned the vulnerability of letters penned by Mohandas K. Gandhi, B.R. Ambedkar, Gopalkrishna Gokhale, and other eminent Indian nationalists in particular.
    • With the shift to a new place, the new annexe building can provide a better environment for maintaining the archives in a better way.
  2. Enhanced display potential of national archives in the future: At present, there is a lack of expertise to manage certain national archives. This leads to the locking up of some rare documents in Persian, Urdu, Arabic, Sanskrit, Prakrit, Tamil, Malayalam, and Modi (records from Maharashtra). With the new annexe building, these factors can also be considered and provide better access to Indian historians and students.
  3. The move is in line with international practices. For instance, the Egyptian Government is planning to replace the crowded Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square in Cairo with an impressive Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza.
Challenges in shifting the National Archives of India’s annexes
  1. Division of cultural buildings: the vision of a single, linked cultural district is disregarded in the Central Vista Redevelopment Project.
    • For instance, the existing architecture plan has four cultural buildings which are arranged to form a single, linked cultural district. (Archaeological Survey of India, the National Museum, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, the National Archives).
    • However, according to the Central Vista Redevelopment Projectall four cultural buildings will be set up in different places. Similarly, the new annexe building may not be physically connected to the National Archives of India
  2. The scale of arranging packers and movers for each of the archives poses a big logistical challenge. The packers and movers have to count the moisture, humidity, temperature changes, etc. that can impact the archives.
  3. Lack of safety: Many buildings in the North and South Blocks are structurally unsafe. They are also ill-equipped to meet even the basic fire and earthquake safety norms. Moving prestigious assets such as national museums and national archives to that location will make the assets more vulnerable.
  4. Lack of public data: National Archives of India website as of now do not have any notification about the demolition, plans for the safe removal of materials, and any indication of how long access might be cut off for the public.
  5. Make Indian historians in a disadvantaged state in a short time: Outside India, the British Library is one of the largest repositories for India’s Colonial archives. To shift the National archives of India to a new place, it has to be closed for an indefinite time (until the proper shift to a new place is done). Historians around the world have access to British libraries have the exclusive right to write Indian history as Indian historians cannot access national archives. This will create differential access among students, researchers, and scholars located in India and abroad
Suggestions to shift the National Archives of India’s annexe building
  1. Wider public consultation is the need of the hour: The Indian government should arrange for public consultation. For example, the Federal Government of the United States decided to move the National Archive, there were extensive public consultations. No such measures were taken in India.
  2. Getting adequate information from global practices: Many best global practices are available on shifting national archives. For example, The British Library’s guide on “Moving Library and Archive Collections” is concise and comprehensive. India can follow such a guide to shift the national archives without any disruption.
  3. Bring in private talent: The government can bring in the private sector to construct a world-class building within the next two years as part of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). This will not only reduce government expenditure but also bring in new talents, faster completion of projects, etc.

The National Archives is the primary repository of documents on India’s past. With the advancement in technology, the speed of excavations in the country increased manifold. This would generate greater artefacts in the future, that would require bigger storage space. So, the government has to use the pandemic to shift not only the National Archives of India but also the National Museum and the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.

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Reason behind the decision to shift the National Museum

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Synopsis:

The government is planning to shift the National Museum in Delhi to the North and South Blocks. This would serve the collection, comfort, and audience experience needs of the Museum in a better way.

Background:
  • The National Museum in Delhi is a repository of India’s rich history and proud heritage.
  • However, now the government has planned to shift it to the North and South Blocks.
Why the national museum is being shifted?
  • Bigger space: The new location is four and a half times bigger than the current space. This would enable organizing bigger and better cultural events. Bigger space would also allow hosting national and international travelling exhibitions, which is not possible in current space.
    • Advancement in technology has increased the speed of excavations in the country. This would generate greater artefacts in future which would require bigger storage space.
  • Enhanced display potential: Current building only displays 6% of its 2 lakh cultural collections available with the museum. The new museum would enable the creation of additional galleries for enhancing display potential.
  • Expansion of National Museum Institute: The new building would enable the expansion of the National Museum Institute (NMI). The students of NMI would benefit from a large increase in laboratory, gallery and teaching facilities. 
    • Further, it will allow incorporation of NMI’s programmes in Museology, Art History and Conservation along with other programmes in Archaeology, Archival Studies and so on.
  • Vulnerable & old design: The current building is of outdated design and more vulnerable to disasters and pests attacks.
  • The move is in line with international practices. For instance, the Egyptian Government is planning to replace the crowded Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square in Cairo with an impressive Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza.
Way Ahead:
  • There are certain challenges associated with the National Museum. But, the revamped National Museum would become the foundation for a vibrant museum movement in India. 
  • The government should duly preserve the artefacts until the new building is completed. Upon completion, there should be careful movement of artefacts with safe packing and robust transportation facilities.

Source: The Hindu

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, PUBLICTagged

Challenges involved in Shifting the  National Museum of India

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Synopsis:  Shifting the National Museum of India as per the Central Vista Redevelopment Project has many issues and challenges.

Background

According to the plans of the “Central Vista Redevelopment Project”, the National Museum of India will be shifted to the South Block offices as well as the North Block offices of the Indian government.

What are the issues and challenges involved in shifting the National Museum of India?
  1. First, the major issue is that the vision of urban planning for a single, linked cultural district is disregarded in the Central Vista Redevelopment Project.
    • For instance, the existing architecture plan in which the four cultural buildings are arranged form a single, linked cultural district. (Archaeological Survey of India, the National Museum, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, the National Archives).
    • However, according to the Central Vista Redevelopment Project, all four cultural buildings will be set up in different places.
  2. Second, implementing the Central Vista Redevelopment Project results in Disaggregation, rather than the unification of India’s cultures. For instance, The National Museum’s collections have to be split up. Some in the Red Fort, some in storage, some in new buildings.
  3. Third, the scale of arranging packers and movers of each of the Museum’s artifacts poses a big logistical challenge.
  4. For instance, the Museum houses a variety of artifacts, from small delicate objects to as heavy as a tonne. For example, paintings on birch-bark, palm leaf, and paper, Pallava and Chola sculptures weigh many tonnes.
  5. Fourth, there is absence of more qualified conservation personnel and trained staff. They are required to file the documentation about the condition of the artifacts at the time of packing. For example, recently, Vacancies for 92 posts at the National Museum were closed as finding qualified specialists in India could not be completed for years.
  6. Fifth, the lack of public information about the collections in a museum will reduce accountability and transparency in the shifting process. For instance, in many world museums, each artifact is connected to an online location index by providing a way barcode number.
    • It allowed curators, the conservators, and researchers with access to the collections even while they were in storage.
    • More importantly, they allowed the inventory to be safeguarded. However, the National Museum has more than 2,06,000 objects, but the official Museums of India website still only has a fraction of the collection on it.
  7. Sixth, issue of cost and time. Refurbishing old buildings such as the North and South Blocks to provide the facilities for a museum will cost money and time. Also, it demands exceptional skill, and few architects have the necessary experience in adapting historic buildings.
  8. Seventh, lack of safety. Many buildings in the North and South Blocks are structurally unsafe. They are also ill-equipped to meet even the basic fire and earthquake safety norms.

Source: The Hindu

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, PUBLICTagged

Installation of “Reclining Buddha” Statue Postponed

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What is the News? On the occasion of Buddha Jayanti, India’s largest statue of the Reclining Buddha was scheduled for installation at the Buddha International Welfare Mission temple in Bodh Gaya. However, the ceremony has been postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

What is Reclining Buddha?
  • Reclining Buddha is a statue or image of Buddha lying down on his right side. It represents Buddha during his last illness i.e. about to enter Parinirvana.
Note:
  • Parinirvana is the stage of great salvation after death that can only be attained by enlightened souls.
  • The Buddha’s death came when he was 80 years old, in a state of meditation, in Kushinagar in eastern Uttar Pradesh, close to the state’s border with Bihar.

Iconographic Representation of Reclining Buddha:

  • The statues and images of the Reclining Buddha show him lying on his right side, his head resting on a cushion or on his right elbow.
  • It is a popular iconographic depiction in Buddhism. It shows that all beings have the potential to be awakened and release from the cycle of death and rebirth.
 Origin of Depiction of Reclining Buddha:
  • Firstly, the Reclining Buddha was first depicted in Gandhara art which began in the period between 50 BC and 75 AD. It peaked during the Kushana period from the first to the fifth centuries AD.
  • Secondly, however, since Buddha was against idol worship, his representation was through symbols, in the centuries immediately following his parinirvana (483 BC).
  • Thirdly, but as the devotional aspect subsequently entered Buddhist practice, the iconographic representations of the Buddha also began.

Statues of Reclining Buddha Outside India: Reclining postures are more prevalent in Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia.

  • The largest reclining Buddha in the world is the 600-foot Winsein Tawya Buddha built-in 1992 in Mawlamyine, Myanmar.
  • The Bhamala Buddha Parinirvana in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province dates back to the 2nd century AD. It is considered the oldest statue of its kind in the world.
Statues of Reclining Buddha in India:
  • Cave No 26 of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ajanta contains a 24-foot-long and nine-foot-tall sculpture of the Reclining Buddha. It is believed to have been carved in the 5th century AD.
  • Kushinagar where the Buddha actually attained parinirvana has a 6-metre-long red sandstone monolith statue of the Reclining Buddha inside the Parinirvana Stupa.
Other depictions of the Buddha in India:
  • Firstly, At the Mahabodhi temple, the Buddha is sitting in the bhoomi-sparsha mudra. His hand is pointing towards the ground. It symbolises earth as being witness to his enlightenment.
  • Secondly, At Sarnath, where the Buddha gave his first sermon, the stone statue has a hand gesture called the dharma-chakra mudra which signifies preaching. This is also the most popular depiction in India along with the Bodhi tree depiction.
  • Thirdly, the Walking Buddha is either beginning his journey toward enlightenment or returning after giving a sermon. This is the least common of the Buddha postures and is seen mostly in Thailand.

Source: Indian Express

 

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Need to revive the Cultural Mapping project

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Synopsis:

The situation of cultural ministry in the country is in bad shape. It is facing an acute shortage of funds and resources. A little relief can be given to the artists if the proposed Cultural Mapping project is completed in due time.

Background:
  • The culture ministry has received a marginal budget in the last decade. Further, the budget has been declining for the last 5 years and currently stands at 0.07% of the total budget.
    • For 2021-22, it is just 2,688 crores that equal the amount of just 1.5 Rafael jets. The government slashed the budget by 21% since last year while other major countries like the UK, China, Singapore enhanced their cultural budgets. 
  • Further, the government’s cultural institutions are plagued by vacancies (ranging from 30% to 70%) and a lack of trained manpower. This has enhanced the troubles for artists and cultural institutions.
  • Experts believe that the timely completion of the 2017 cultural mapping project can provide significant relief to the artists.
About National Mission on Cultural Mapping:
  • The mission was proposed in 2015 but was officially approved in 2017.
  • It seeks to envision and address the necessity of preserving the threads of rich Indian Art and Cultural Heritage. It also aims to convert the vast and widespread cultural canvass of India into an objective cultural mapping.
  • Under this Mission, there are three important objectives as follows:
    • To undertake the cultural mapping (i.e. database of cultural assets and resources) via running a nationwide cultural awareness programme called Hamari Sanskriti Hamari Pahchan Abhiyan (National Cultural Awareness Abhiyan).
    • To run a Nationwide Artist Talent Hunt/Scouting Programme called Sanskritik Pratibha Khoj Abhiyan
    • Lastly, to establish a National Cultural Working Place (NCWP) portal. It would be a Centralised Transactional Web Portal with a database and demography of cultural assets and resources including all art forms and artists.
Benefits of Cultural Mapping:
  • Firstly, it would create an open database that could be used as a resource by the media, researchers, and funders.
  • Secondly, it would help locate a derelict cinema and renovate it as an auditorium in a town where there are none.
  • Lastly, it would help create transport and tourism infrastructure around a declining crafts village.
    • For instance, the European Capitals of Culture program picked Glasgow for a cultural revival. Earlier, the city was surrounded by poverty and crime, but the program converted it into a cultural marvel.
Issues with Cultural Mapping Project:
  • First, the mission hasn’t received sufficient funds for implementation. Out of the promised 3,000 crore, it has received only 42.78 crores till 2019-20.
  • Second, there exists a problem of under utilisation of funds. Out of 42.78 crores, only 1.17 crores have been utilised so far.
  • Third, there is no IT infrastructure that can enable the proper identification of artists at the block level.
  • Fourth, some of the mission’s objectives deviate from the core theme of cultural mapping. For instance,
    • It calls for roping artists into the Swachh Bharat and Namami Gange schemes.
    • It creates a grading process for artists in which officials decide which artist is “good” or “not so good.
    • Also, It focuses on imparting digital literacy to artists and running talent hunt competitions.
  • Fifth, the mission proposes a Unique Identification Code for every artist/ institution, apparently to facilitate schemes. However, this may enhance surveillance and control over the artists.
Way Forward:
  • There should be a deeper survey and understanding of the diversity of the cultural base, without caste, communal and regional hierarchies.
  • The government should allocate sufficient resources to the Ministry of Culture in order to realise the true potential of the mission.

Source: TheHindu.

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, CURRENT AFFAIRS, daily news, Daily News Updates, PUBLICTagged

How UNESCO Grants World Heritage Site tag?

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What is the News?

The Maharashtra government has submitted a list of 14 fort sites to be included in the Tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These sites are from the era of 17th century Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. UNESCO has accepted the nomination in Tentative Lists of its World Heritage Site.

What is a Tentative list?
  • Tentative list is an inventory of properties a country believes deserves to be a World Heritage Site.
  • UNESCO includes the properties in the Tentative List. It is the first step before the identification of a site as a World Heritage Site. After that, a country has to prepare a nomination document that will be considered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for a World Heritage Site.
  • A site identified as a World Heritage Site becomes a location of an “outstanding universal value”. This signifies the exceptional cultural and/or natural significance of the site which is of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity.
About 14 Forts in Maharashtra’s Proposal:
  • Raigad Fort: It was originally called Rairi. It is built on a large wedge of a hill in the Sahyadris separated from the main range by a ravine. The fort was the capital of the Maratha Empire.
  • Rajgad Fort: It was the capital of the Maratha Empire under Chhatrapati Shivaji for almost 26 years before the capital moved to the Raigad Fort.
  • Shivneri Fort: It was Shivaji’s birthplace. It consists of 7 gates. Similarly, it is an example of Bahamani/ Nizamshahi architecture providing a backdrop to the narrative of guerrilla warfare.
  • Torna Fort: It was captured by Shivaji in 1646 when he was 16. This fort marked the beginning of the Maratha empire.
  • Lohagad: It is one of the most picturesque valleys and is believed to have been built in the 14th century. It is an example of Maratha hill fort architecture until the Peshwa period.
  • Salher Fort: It is one of the highest forts in the Sahyadris located in Dolari range of Nashik.The fort witnessed a key battle in 1672 between Marathas and Mughals.
  • Mulher Fort: It is one of three forts situated on a hill flanked by Mora to the east and Hatgad to the west. The surrender of Mulher ended the third Maratha War.
  • Rangana Fort: It is the site that Aurangzeb tried to conquer along with Bhudargad and Samangad in his Deccan campaign. But he did not succeed.
  • Ankai Tankai Forts: Ankai and Tankai are separate forts on adjacent hills with a common fortification wall.
  • Kasa Fort: It is popularly known as Padmadurg. It is built on a rocky island off the coast of Murud and provides a base for naval military operations.
  • Sindhudurg Fort: It was built by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1668, This sea fort is considered a masterpiece in military defense.
  • Alibag Fort: It is popularly known as Kulaba Fort. It was chosen as one of the forts to be modelled as a naval base by Chhatrapati Shivaji.
  • Suvarnadurg: It was built on an island. It was repaired and strengthened by Shivaji Maharaj in 1660.
  • Khanderi Fort: Khanderi was officially named Kanhoji Angre Island in 1998. It was built in 1679 and was the site of many battles between Shivaji Maharaj’s forces and the navy of the Siddhis.

Source: Indian Express

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged

Concerns Associated with demolition of National Archives of India’s Building

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Synopsis: Many experts have raised their concerns on the demolition of the National Archives of India’s Annexe building. There is a need for public scrutiny and public consultation on this matter.

Background

  • A part of the National Archives of India (NAI) complex, Annexe building, is planned to be demolished during the Central Vista redevelopment project.
  • The lack of clarity around the plans for preservation, transfer, and access of these national records is the cause of concern.

Significance of National Archives of India

  • The National record archives reportedly houses several public records, private papers, departmental records etc.
  • Archives are essential to the relationship between a state and its citizens. For instance, the production, storage, and use of information about the population is central to the work of governance.
  • The NAI has a broader, material relevance. For instance, people looking for land records, bureaucrats looking for an older government order, a lawyer seeking a legal precedent are dependent on NAI.
  • Finally, it supports Historical research. Thus, any changes to the National Archives of India (NAI) will impact the future of historical research.

What is the current issue?

  • Lack of Transparency: For example, the National Archives’ website does not have notification about the pending demolition, plans for the safe removal of materials etc.,
  • Lack of Public consultation: For instance, when the Federal Government of the United States decided to move the National Archive, there were extensive public consultations. No such measures were taken in India.
  • Lack of public access: The British Library is the only alternative repositories for archival resources for colonial India. If the NAI is inaccessible for an indefinite period, scholars who have the privilege of access to the British Library, will have exclusive rights to write about Indian history. It perpetuates differential access among students, researchers and scholars located in India and abroad.

Source: Indian Express

Posted in 9 PM Daily Articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, PUBLICTagged

National Archives of India

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What is the News?

A group of archivists and scholars have called for transparency in the proposed demolition of annexes that form part of the National Archives of India(NAI) in order to make way for the Central Vista project.

About National Archives of India(NAI):
  • Firstly, National Archives of India (NAI) is a custodian of the non-current records of enduring value of the Indian Government. It holds them in trust for the use of administrators and scholars.
  • Secondly, Origin: It was originally established as the Imperial Record Department in 1891 in Calcutta(Kolkata). This department was transferred to the new capital, New Delhi, in 1911. Later, it was shifted into the present building in 1926.
  • Thirdly, Nodal Ministry: It functions as an Attached Office of the Department of Culture under the Ministry of Culture.
  • Fourthly, Significance: It is the biggest archival repository in South Asia. It has a vast corpus of records viz., public records, oriental records among others which constitute an invaluable source of information.
  • Fifthly, Headquarters: New Delhi. It also has a Regional Office at Bhopal and three Record Centres at Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, and Pondicherry.
Abhilekh Patal :
  • Abhilekh patal is an online portal to access the National Archives of India’s reference media and its digitized collections via the internet.
  • Meaning: The name ‘Abhilekh patal’ comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Abhilekh’ meaning the records of ancient times and the word ‘patal’ meaning the platform, board, or surface.

Source: Indian Express

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged ,

Six sites added to the “tentative list of UNESCO” world heritage sites

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What is the News?

Archaeological Survey of India has submitted nine sites for their inclusion in the tentative list of UNESCO. Recently the UNESCO has accepted six of the nine sites.

Which are those six sites? The six Indian sites included in the UNESCO Tentative list are:

  • Ganga ghats in Varanasi, U.P.
  • Temples of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu.
  • Satpura Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh,
  • Maratha military architecture in Maharashtra
  • Hire Bengal megalithic site in Karnataka and
  • Bhedaghat-Lameta Ghat of Narmada Valley in Madhya Pradesh.
 What is the tentative list of UNESCO world heritage sites?
  • Firstly, If a state considers a monument/site has cultural and/or natural heritage of outstanding universal value and therefore suitable for inscription on the World Heritage List. Then the state prepares a list of such sites and sends it to UNESCO. The UNESCO after preliminary inspection accepts/rejects the monument and form a tentative list.
  • Secondly, a position on a country’s tentative list does not automatically tender that site with world heritage status.
  • Thirdly, it is mandatory to put any monument/site on the Tentative List (TL) before it is considered for the final nomination dossier.
  • Fourthly, the sites will remain on the tentative list for a year, after which the government will decide which one of them to push for in their final dossier to UNESCO.
  • Lastly, the tentative list is extremely important. This is because the World Heritage Committee cannot consider a nomination for the World Heritage List unless the property has already been included on the State party’s tentative list.
What is a World Heritage Site?
  • A World Heritage site is classified as a natural or man-made area or a structure that is of international importance and requires special protection.
  • These sites are officially recognised by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation also known as UNESCO.
  • At present, India has 38 World Heritage Sites. These include 30 Cultural properties, 7 Natural properties and 1 mixed site.

Source: The Hindu

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged

Ministry of Culture is reprinting “Mongolian Kanjur” manuscripts

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What is the News?

The Ministry of Culture has taken up the project of reprinting 108 volumes of Mongolian Kanjur under the National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM). Recently the Ministry announced that the reprinting of about 100 sets of Mongolian Kanjur will be completed by next year. These reprinted ones will be distributed in the main centres of Buddhism in Mongolia.

About Mongolian Kanjur:
  • Firstly, Mongolian Kanjur is a Buddhist canonical text that has 108 volumes. It is considered to be the most important religious text in Mongolia.
  • Secondly, in the Mongolian language ‘Kanjur’ means ‘Concise Orders’– the words of Lord Buddha in particular.
  • Thirdly, regarding language, Mongolian Kanjur has been translated from Tibetan. The language of the Kanjur is Classical Mongolian.
  • Fourthly, Importance: Mongolian Kanjur is held in high esteem by the Mongolian Buddhists. They worship the Kanjur at temples and recite the lines of Kanjur in daily life as a sacred ritual.
National Mission for Manuscripts(NMM):
  • The National Mission for Manuscripts was established in February 2003, by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of India.
  • Objective: It aims to unearth and preserve the vast manuscript wealth of India. This will help India to connect its past with its future. It also helps to connect India’s memory with its aspirations.
  • National Nodal Agency for the Mission: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi.
What are Manuscripts?
  • A manuscript is a handwritten composition on paper, bark, cloth, metal, palm leaf or any other material dating back at least seventy-five years. They also have significant scientific, historical or aesthetic value.
  • Manuscripts are distinct from historical records such as epigraphs on rocks, firmans, revenue records. These historical records provide direct information on events or processes in history.
  • Further, Lithographs and printed volumes are also not considered manuscripts.

Source: PIB

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged

Interpol’s “ID-Art App” to help protect cultural property

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What is the News?

INTERPOL has launched an app called ‘ID-Art’ to protect cultural heritage better.

About ‘ID-Art’ App:
  • ID-Art’ App aims to help identify the stolen cultural property, and reduce smuggling. The app will also increase the possibility of recovering stolen works and artefacts.
Key Features of the App:
  • INTERPOL’s database: The app enables users to get mobile access to the Interpol database of stolen works of art. Further, the user can be a law enforcement agency or a general public
  • Create an inventory: The app allows museums and private collectors to capture images and record features of their works of art on the App. This will also help to keep track of their collections.
  • Stolen Works of Art Database: More than 52,000 items registered as stolen in Interpol’s “Stolen Works of Art” database. The app allows users to immediately cross-check an object among the database.
  • Document Heritage Sites: The app allows persons on the front line of protecting heritage to document the state of heritage sites. They can document also the historical monuments and archaeological sites.
  • Record Geographical Location of a Heritage Site: The ‘ID-Art app enables users to record the geographical location, a detailed description and images in order to capture the condition of a heritage site. This will result in the creation of ‘Site Cards’. These ‘site cards’ can be used as evidence or basis for reconstruction if ever the site is looted or destroyed.

Source: The Hindu


 

What is a “Currency Chest”?

Posted in CURRENT AFFAIRS, Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged

Webinar on “Khajuraho Temples” Under Dekho Apna Desh

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What is the News? 

The Ministry of Tourism organizes a webinar on “ Khajuraho Temples of Architectural Splendour” under Dekho Apna Desh.

About Dekho Apna Desh webinar

The Ministry of Tourism launched the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ webinar series in April 2020. Its objective is to create awareness about and promote various tourism destinations in India. It is also an effort to showcase India’s rich diversity under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.
Read Also- Coal sector reforms to reduce CO2 emissions

About Khajuraho Temples:
  • Khajuraho Group of Monuments is a group of Hindu and Jain temples in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Built by: the Chandella rulers between AD 900 and 1130.
  • Situated in: within the Vindhya Mountain range in Central India.
  • UNESCO Site: The temple got the status of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in 1986.
  • Style: The temples are famous for their Nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures.
  • Temples: The temples are categorized into three groups that are Eastern, Western and Southern.
    • To name a few temples are Kandariya Mahadev Temple, Chaunsat Yogini Temple, Brahma Temple, Chitragupta Temple, Devi Jagdamba Temple, Lakshmana Temple, Matangeshwar Temple, Parsvanath Temple.
  • Significance: These temples are famous for intricate & exceptional carvings and surprising architectural skills. The first documented mention of Khajuraho was made in 641 by Xuanzang, a Chinese pilgrim.
    • Later, Khajuraho temples also found mention by Abu Raihan al Biruni in AD 1022 and the Arab traveler Ibn Battuta in AD 1335.
  • Government Initiatives: The Ministry of Tourism included Khajuraho Temples as one of the sites under the “Iconic Tourist Sites Initiative”.
    • Iconic Tourist Sites Initiative announced in Budget 2019-20. It aims to develop the selected sites into world-class tourist destinations to serve as a model for other tourism sites.

Note: The 10th-century Bhand Deva Temple in Rajasthan was built in the style of the Khajuraho monuments and is often referred to as ‘Little Khajuraho’.

Source: PIB

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged ,

“St. George’s Orthodox Church” is set to become Monument of National Importance

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What is the News?

St. George’s Orthodox Church in Kerala is set to become a Centrally-protected monument of national importance. The Archaeological Survey of India(ASI) will recognise the church for protecting it.

Impact of this recognition: This will stop the demolition of the St. George’s Orthodox Church. The demolition started after the road widening project in National Highway(NH) 66.

About St. George’s Orthodox Church:

  • St George Orthodox church is believed to be established in AD 950 but some experts say it was built in AD 1050.
  • The church was rebuilt in 1952. But, the eastern part of the church was retained (not rebuilt) to preserve the murals.
    • The mural is any piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other permanent surfaces.
  • Significance: The most attractive feature of the church is the murals paintings (around 47). These paintings are considered to be over 600 years old. Further, they reflect the blend between traditional Kerala mural art and Persian art.

Monuments of National Importance:

  • Nodal Authority: Monuments of National Importance are designated by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
  • What is a National Monument? ‘Ancient Monument’ is defined under the Ancient Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act,1958. The Act defines Ancient Monument as any structure or monument or any cave, rock-sculpture, an inscription that is of historical, archaeological interest. Further, Ancient Monument has to be in existence for not less than 100 years.
  • Maintained by: The Central Government is authorised to maintain, protect and promote the Monuments of National Importance.
  • Sites: Currently, 3,691 monuments nationwide are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India(ASI). The highest number of them were in Uttar Pradesh followed by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Click Here to Read More about Monuments of National Importance

 Source: The Hindu

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged

“Swachh Iconic Places”-12 sites to be transformed into ‘Swachh Tourist Destinations’

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What is the News?

The Ministry of Jal Shakti has announced 12 iconic sites. Sites will be covered under Phase IV of the Swachh Iconic Places(SIP) Initiative.

Swachh Iconic Places(SIP) Initiative:

  • It is an initiative of the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Ministry of Jal Shakti under Swachh Bharat Mission(Grameen).
  • Aim:
    • It aims to improve the sanitation and cleanliness standards at and around the sites. The initiative will ensure a distinctly higher level of Sanitation/Cleanliness at these places, especially on the peripheries and in the approach area.
  • Ministries Involved: The initiative is being coordinated by the Ministry of Jal Shakti in association with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture, and the concerned State/UT governments.

Places covered under Phase IV: The 12 sites covered under Phase IV are:

  • Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra
  • Sanchi Stupa, Madhya Pradesh
  • Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan
  • Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan
  • Ramdevra, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
  • Golconda Fort, Hyderabad, Telangana
  • Sun Temple, Konark, Odisha
  • Rock Garden, Chandigarh
  • Dal Lake, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir
  • Banke Bihari Temple, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh
  • Agra Fort, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
  • Kalighat Temple, West Bengal

Click Here to know about the Places covered under other Phases

 Source: PIB

Posted in Daily Factly articles, daily news, Daily News Updates, Miscellaneous, PUBLIC, SCHEMESTagged

Risa textile of Tripura

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Why in News?

The Tripura government is planning to promote Risa textile as the signature textile of Tripura nationally.

Risa

What is Risa textile?

The traditional Tripuri female attire comprises three parts — risa, rignai and rikutu.

  • Risa: It is a handwoven cloth used as a female upper garment, and also as headgear, a stole, or a present to express respect. As an upper garment, it is wrapped around the torso twice.
  • Rignai: It is primarily worn as the lower garment and literally translates into ‘to wear’. It can be understood as an indigenous variety of the sari of mainland India.
  • Rikutu: It is mainly used as a wrap, or like a ‘chunri’ or a ‘pallu’ of the Indian sari. It is also used to cover the head of newly married Tripuri women.

Significance of Risa:

  • Risa has been in circulation as an honorary stole among indigenous community leaders and tribal political leaders.
  • It is common in almost all 19 indigenous tribal communities of Tripura. However, each community has its own designs.
  • The garment is made in handloom or loin looms at homes. Usually, only one or two pieces are prepared in a month. Most of this art is handed down through generations. However, many of the designs were lost with the passage of time, and only a few remain.
  • Adolescent Tripuri girls are first given a risa at age 12 to 14, to wear in an event called Risa Sormani.
  • It is also used for other purposes such as;
    • in religious festivals such as Garia Puja by tribal communities,
    • In weddings and festivals as a turban by men,
    • headscarf by young girls and boys and
    • during winters as a muffler.

Source: Indian Express

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged

Government organises a ‘DekhoApnaDesh’ Webinar on “Exploring Buddhist Circuit by Train”

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News: The Ministry of Tourism has organised an interesting webinar titled “Exploring Buddhist Circuit by Train”  as a part of the ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ Webinar series.

 

Facts:

  • Dekho Apna Desh Initiative: It is an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism launched in January 2020.
  • Objective: To promote domestic tourism in India which is intended to enhance tourist footfalls in places of tourist interest so as to help develop the local economy.
  • Dekho Apna Desh Webinar series: During the pandemic, the Ministry of Tourism as part of its ongoing engagement with the industry and its audiences is organising webinars on the overall theme of ‘DekhoApnaDesh’.
    • Objective: To create awareness about and promote various tourism destinations of India – including the lesser-known destinations and lesser-known facets of popular destinations.

Article source

 

 

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Miscellaneous, SCHEMESTagged

Government launched virtual toy hackathon ‘Toycathon 2021’

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News: Union Education Minister and Union Minister for Textiles and Women & Child Development jointly launched the Toycathon 2021.

Facts:

  • Toycathon 2021: It’s a kind of hackathon for the toy industry. It has been organized by the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), Ministry of Textile, Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Ministry of MSME, Ministry of I&B and All India Council for Technical Education(AICTE).
  • Aim: To conceptualize innovative toys based on the Indian value system which will inculcate the positive behavior and good value among the children.
  • Themes: It is based on nine themes viz. Indian Culture, History, Knowledge of India and Ethos; Learning, Education and Schooling; Social and human values; Occupations & specific fields; Environment; Divyang ; Fitness and sport; Out of the box, creative and logical thinking and Rediscovering/redesigning traditional Indian toys.

Why is Toycathon being organized?

  • Toycathon is being organized to develop India as the global Toy manufacturing hub.
  • India is home to 25% of global children belongs to the age group of 0 to 12 years.
  • India is home to several toy clusters and thousands of artisans produce indigenous toys which not only have cultural connect but also helps in building life-skills and psychomotor skills among children especially at an early age.
  • India’s share in the global toy market is estimated to be at $90 billion, which is just 0.5 per cent of the global share. Apart from that 80 per cent of the toys sold in India are imported from China.

Article Source

Posted in Daily Factly articles, Factly - Indian Economy, Miscellaneous, PUBLICTagged , , ,

Union Minister reviews “Adopt a Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan” Project

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Source: PIB

News: Union Minister for Tourism has held a review meeting review meeting of the “Adopt a Heritage: Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan” project.

Facts:

  • Adopt a Heritage Project: It is an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and the Archaeological Survey of India. It was launched in September 2017 on World Tourism Day.
  • Aim: To ensure quality & inclusive provision of amenities and facilities across heritage, natural, & tourist sites through active participation of private and public sector organizations and individuals. These organizations would be known as “Monument Mitras” for their collaboration initiative.
  • Objectives of the Project:
    • Developing basic tourism infrastructure in and around heritage sites, monuments, natural sites and tourist sites.
    • Develop facilities and amenities to improve the tourist experience at heritage sites, monuments, natural sites and tourist sites.
    • Promote cultural and heritage value of the country and develop avenues to create awareness about the heritage/natural/tourist sites in the country
    • Develop and promote sustainable tourism infrastructure and ensure proper Operations and Maintenance therein.
    • Develop employment opportunities and support livelihoods of local communities at heritage sites.
  • Eligibility: Private and Public Sector Companies, Trusts, NGOs and Individuals are eligible for adopting heritage site (s)/ monument (s) under this project.
  • Key Features of the Project:
    • The sites/monuments are selected on the basis of tourist footfall and visibility and can be adopted by private and public sector companies and individuals known as Monument Mitras for an initial period of five years.
    • 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.
    • There is no financial bid involved. The corporate sector is expected to use corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds for the upkeep of the site.
Posted in SCHEMESTagged