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1st March 2023 (8 Topics)

‘Adopt a Heritage’ scheme

Context

In a view to conserve the cultural heritage in the country, the government aims to include the ‘Adopt a Heritage’ scheme as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) for businesses in India.

Background

  • The President of India launched the Adopt a Heritage Scheme on World Tourism Day i.e., 27th September 2017.
  • The scheme will allow private and public sector corporations to adopt most of India’s top heritage sites and improve tourism in such areas.
  • It is clarified that ‘The Adopt a Heritage’ is essentially a non-revenue generating project.

The agency will be selected on the basis of the unique concept of vision bid and no financial bid is involved in the scheme.

About the scheme:

  • Private firms, companies, and public sector units can enter into agreements with the Union Ministry of Culture to adopt and maintain State-owned archaeological sites or
  • Businesses that enter such agreements are going to be known as Monument Mitras.
  • The scheme can lead to the adoption of 500 protected sites by August 15 2023, and another 500 sites shortly after that.
  • Fund allocation: Businesses may use their Corporate Social Responsibility funds at select sites to construct and maintain ticket offices, restaurants, museums, interpretation centres, toilets, and walkways.
  • The Ministry of Tourism has the power of term of MoU of Monument Mitras in case of non-compliance with guidelines and expression of interest (EoI), or any other reason for non-performance.

Concerns associated:

  • Lack of skilled professionals in business: The current plan sidelines the mandate of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and abandons the Sarnath Initiative, guidelines devised by the ASI.
  • Local community participation backed: The adopt a heritage scheme will allow the business to employ their candidates for taking care of monuments, however, the local community of that place will leave behind.

List of 10 Monuments adopted by companies under the Adopt a Heritage scheme:

  • Red Fort
  • Gandikota Fort
  • The area surrounding Gangotri Temple and Trail to Gaumukh
  • StokKangri Trek in Ladakh
  • Jantar Mantar
  • SurajKund
  • Qutub Minar
  • Ajanta Caves
  • Leh Palace
  • Hazara Rama Temple in Hampi
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