Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel launches the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of India in New Delhi today

New Delhi: Union Minister for Culture (I/C) Shri Prahlad Singh Patel launched the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of India in New DelhI today . Speaking on the occasion Shri Patel said that India houses a repository of unique Intangible Cultural Heritage(ICH) traditions, 13 of which have also been recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The National ICH List is an attempt to recognize the diversity of Indian culture embedded in its intangible heritage. He said that It aims to raise awareness about the various intangible cultural heritage elements from different states of India at national and international level and ensure their protection. This initiative is also a part of the Vision 2024 of the Ministry of Culture.

Following UNESCO’s 2003 Convention for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, this list has been classified into five broad domains in which intangible cultural heritage is manifested:

■ Oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage;

■ Performing arts;

■ Social practices, rituals and festive events;

■ Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe;

■ Traditional craftsmanship.

The present items in the list have been collated from the projects sanctioned under the scheme for ‘Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage and Diverse Cultural Traditions of India’ formulated by the Ministry of Culture in 2013. As of now the list has more than 100elements, It also includes the 13 elements of India that have already been inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

This national list is a work in progress and may be considered as a draft version. M/o Culture endeavours to update it regularly. Thus, it welcomes suggestions/contributions/amendments to the present content from stakeholders and experts concerned with different intangible cultural heritage practices. Further information on how to contact M/o Culture for the same can be found on its website https://www.indiaculture.nic.in/national-list-intangible-cultural-heritage-ich

It is also hoped that with consultation from experts and other stakeholders like UNESCO, this list could also help strengthen the ICH inventory of India, which functions as a ‘tentative list’ for any potential inscriptions on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

M/o Culture would like to acknowledge the support provided by Sangeet NatakAkademi (SNA) and Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) in building this list. It would also like to thank the researchers under the ‘Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage and Diverse Cultural Traditions of India’ whose work has contributed immensely in this list.