Intangible cultural heritage in India

Reflections on selected forms of dance

Authored by: Parasmoni Dutta

The Routledge Companion to Intangible Cultural Heritage

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  December  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138860551
eBook ISBN: 9781315716404
Adobe ISBN: 9781317506898


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The tasks of identifying, inventorying and inscribing the elements of intangible cultural heritage in India are carried out under India’s Union Ministry of Culture. Initially, the Ministry had entrusted this responsibility to the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi. However, in 2011, this responsibility was shifted to Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA) – the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama – as IGNCA ‘expressed its inability to continue to perform the role of nodal agency’. 1 Currently, two separate, but not mutually exclusive, inventories of ICH are maintained by both these organizations. Thirty-five elements of ICH have been listed in the inventory maintained by the SNA, whereas the inventory of the IGNCA contains thirty other elements. As far as the inscription on UNESCO’s lists is concerned, as of 2015 ten elements have been inscribed onto the Representative List, with one additional multinational element. There have been no entries onto the Urgent List from India.

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