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Scheme for “Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage and Diverse Cultural Traditions of India”


India has a vast basket of living and diverse cultural traditions, traditional expressions, intangible cultural heritage comprising masterpieces which need institutional support and encouragement with a view to addressing areas critical for the survival and propagation of these forms of cultural heritage. Though, such preservation efforts are being carried out in a scattered form, a need is being felt to have an institutionalized and centralized Scheme for concerted efforts in the direction of professionally enhancing awareness and interest in Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), safeguarding, promoting and propagating it systematically.

For this purpose, the Ministry of Culture has formulated a Scheme titled “Scheme for Safeguarding the Intangible Heritage and Diverse Cultural Traditions of India”, with the objective of reinvigorating and revitalizing various institutions, groups, individuals, identified non-MOC institutions, non-government organisations, researchers and scholars so that they may engage in activities/ projects for strengthening, protecting, preserving and promoting the rich intangible cultural heritage of India.

The Scheme will cover all recognized domains of ICH such as 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 etc.


The objective of the Scheme is to support and strengthen the efforts of various stakeholders vis-à-vis wider recognition and acceptance, dissemination, preservation and promotion of the rich, diverse and vast ICH of India including recognition of the same by the UNESCO. The Scheme aims to support

  1. Institutions/ Universities/ State Govts/ UT Administrations/ non-MoC Institutions/ Societies/ Non-government organisations, involved in the preservation and propagation of intangible cultural heritage, cultural expressions etc.
  2. Individuals, researchers, scholars, professionals who are involved in the research, training, preservation, perpetuation, dissemination, and propagation of intangible cultural heritage, cultural expressions etc.

Assistance under the Scheme:

Assistance under the scheme will be provided in the form of non-recurring grants, honoraria, infrastructure grants, etc. with a view to address areas critical for the survival and propagation of all forms of ICH by strengthening organisations/ individuals etc., mentioned in para 4 above, involved in keeping these cultural traditions/ expressions alive, also for preserving, disseminating, propagating etc. them by giving training support to students, artists, performers, to practitioners for workshops, performers documentation, database creation, and integration of education & culture etc.

Assistance will also be provided for short research and referencing work of relevance to ICH, its presentation, promotion as well as for projects in the field of heritage education, heritage popularization and publication work etc. focusing on ICH.

Activities that can be supported under the Scheme:

The Scheme is very comprehensive in nature since it covers all the ICH forms of India. Ministry of Culture is already administering several schemes like Cultural Functions Grant Scheme, Salary/ Production Grant Scheme, Scholarship/ Fellowship Schemes. These Schemes cover only specific areas for preserving and promoting the ICH of India. The scheme accordingly adopts a comprehensive approach and covers complete range of all recognized domains of ICH as well as diverse cultural traditions of India. Financial assistance will accordingly be provided for the following activities relating to intangible cultural heritage/ diverse cultural traditions of India:

  1. Documentation/ data creation/ cataloguing, etc. for the purpose of creating a National/ State/ District/ Local Level Register for Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
  2. Preservation, support and safeguarding of intangible cultural expressions/ diverse cultural traditions of India that are masterpieces, including preparations of nomination dossiers of intangible culture heritage for inscriptions by UNESCO, in order to address areas critical for the survival and propagation of these forms, giving training support to students and artists in these areas, support to practitioners for workshops, performances documentation and database-creation through various media, support for dissemination, etc.
  3. Activities for integration of education and culture with reference to ICH/ diverse cultural traditions of India.
  4. Support to initiative of Ministry of HRD in setting up Sector Skill Councils relating to art under National Vocational Educational Qualifications Framework (NVEQF)

Eligibility criteria/ conditions:

The detailed eligibility criteria and amount of financial assistance under the scheme are as under:

  1. The applicant organisations/ institutions/ Societies/ State or UT administrations should have a properly constituted managing/ governing council/ body, having facilities & resources, past experience(s) etc. They will also have to submit a statement of their audited accounts for the last 3 years.
  2. For organisations/ institutions/ registered bodies/ State Govts/ UT administration, Academies/ Universities, Societies, the amount of financial assistance for specific projects will be upto Rs. 10 lakh. For individuals, the amount of assistance would be upto Rs.5 lakhs.
  3. The grant will be released in three installments – 50% in advance, 25% as 2nd installment after appraisal and balance 25% after completion of the project/ activity and submission of relevant documents as proof thereof.
  4. The fund release will be done by electronic transfer.

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