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National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH)

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  • Published
    29th Apr, 2020

The Ministry of Culture has launched the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of India.


The Ministry of Culture has launched the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of India.


  • The National ICH List is an attempt to recognize the diversity of Indian culture embedded in its intangible heritage.
  • 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 100 elements, 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.

Intangible Cultural Heritage Sites in India:

  • 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.
  • Intangible Cultural Heritage is a UNESCO program initiated in 2001 to recognise and protect various cultures and practices.
  • These cultural vehicles are called "Human Treasures" by the UN. UNESCO divides the list into three different categories:
    • The representative list comprises cultural "practices and expressions that help demonstrate the diversity of this heritage and raise awareness about its importance."
    • The safeguarding list is composed of cultural elements that are threatened and in need of urgent measures to keep them alive.
    • The best practice list is comprised of the best examples by communities and governments of the protection and recognition of intangible cultural heritage.

 About Ministry of Culture:

  • The Ministry of Culture deals with the preservation and conservation of the country's rich cultural heritage and promotion of art and culture.
  • This Ministry is responsible for the protection, development and promotion of both tangible and intangible heritage and culture
  • With regard to tangible heritage, the Ministry takes care of all the centrally protected monuments of national importance, through Archaeological Survey of India.

    Archaeological Survey of India:

    • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), under the Ministry of Culture, is the premier organization for the archaeological researches and protection of the cultural heritage of the nation.
    • Maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance is the prime concern of the ASI.
    • Besides it regulate all archaeological activities in the country as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.
    • It also regulates Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972.


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