Protection of Culture and Tradition of North-East
New Delhi: To protect and promote the rich and diverse traditions and culture of NE Region, the Government of India has set up North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC) at Dimapur and Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre (EZCC) at Kolkata (autonomous organizations under Ministry of Culture). Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura are the member States of NEZCC, Dimapur and Assam, Manipur, Sikkim and Tripura are also the member States of EZCC, Kolkata. These ZCCs organize various cultural activities and programmes in North-East Region on regular basis. For this purpose, artists of the North East region are engaged by ZCCs to showcase the rich cultural heritage of North East. Further ZCCs are implementing a number of schemes viz. Award to Young Talented Artistes, Guru Shishya Parampara, Theatre Rejuvenation, Research & Documentation etc. 93% of the budget allocation provided to the ZCCs is incurred on the folk and tribal art forms.
In addition, there is one autonomous organization namely Central Institute of Himalayan Culture Studies, Dahung (Arunachal Pradesh) and the following three grantee bodies located in the North Eastern States which are engaged in preserving and promoting the folk art and culture of the NE Region: Centre for Buddhist Studies, Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh; Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Gangtok; and GRL Monastic School, Bomdila, Arunachal Pradesh.
Further Ministry of Culture implements various financial grant schemes to preserve, promote and protect various forms of art and culture including that of NE Region by way of extending financial support to individuals and organizations.
As per North Eastern Council (NEC) General Guidelines 2020, promotion of North Eastern Region (NER) is one of the focus sectors under ‘Schemes of NEC’. Projects relating to art and culture of the region are supported under the scheme. During the last five years, 10 projects costing Rs.36.40 crore and three tribal festivals costing Rs.0.34 crore were sanctioned under the scheme.
Projects/events under ‘Schemes of NEC’ are subject to monitoring and evaluation by states and implementing agencies/departments as well as NEC through periodical review meetings. A third-party evaluation of Schemes of NEC was undertaken by Centre for Good Governance (CGG), Hyderabad during 2019-20.
NEC has been supporting various festivals organised by State Governments of NER and NGOs including state festivals like Sangai Festival (Manipur), Behdienkhlam Festival (Meghalaya), Hornbill Festival (Nagaland) etc. across the region to ensure greater participation of the people from various parts of the country, promote tourism as well as enhance cultural connection with other parts of the country. “Destination North East”, an annual affair of showcasing the rich art and culture of NER to attract tourists from other parts of the country has been conducted successfully in various cities, including Chandigarh (2017), Delhi (2018) and Varanasi (2019). Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the event was organised in virtual mode during 2020.
OCTAVE is a festival of the North East that is organized by all Zonal Cultural Centres to promote folk culture of the North Eastern States and connect these States with the rest of India. This information was given by The Minister of Development of North Eastern Region, Shri G. Kishan Reddy in the Rajya Sabha in a written reply today.