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UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

2022 JUL 8

Preliminary   > Art and Culture   >   Miscellaneous   >   Miscellaneous

Why in news?

  • Recently, India got elected to the Intergovernmental Committee of UNESCO’s 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

More about the News:

  • India has been elected as a member for the 2022-2026 cycles.
  • Against the four seats falling vacant within the Asia-Pacific group, six countries, namely, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Thailand had presented their candidature.

UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage:

  • The Intergovernmental Committee of the 2003 Convention consists of 24 members.
  • It is elected in the General Assembly of the Convention according to the principles of equitable geographical representation and rotation.
  • States Members to the Committee are elected for a term of four years.
  • Some of the core functions of the Intergovernmental Committee include:
    • Promoting the objectives of the Convention,
    • Providing guidance on best practices, and
    • Making recommendations on measures for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage.
    • The Committee also examines requests submitted by States Parties for the inscription of intangible heritage on the Lists as well as proposals for programmes and projects.

Intangible Cultural Heritage:

  • As per UNESCO, Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) includes traditions or living expressions inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts.
  • UNESCO established its Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage with the aim of ensuring better protection of important intangible cultural heritages worldwide and the awareness of their significance.
  • The list was established in 2008 when the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage took effect.


  • In total, 14 Intangible Cultural Heritage elements from the country have now been inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List.
    • Tradition of Vedic chanting
    • Ramlila, the traditional performance of the Ramayana in Uttar Pradesh
    • Kutiyattam, Sanskrit theatre in Kerala
    • Ramman, religious festival and ritual theatre of the Himachal Pradesh
    • Mudiyettu, ritual theatre and dance drama of Kerala
    • Kalbelia folk songs and dances of Rajasthan
    • Chhau dance of Eastern India
    • Buddhist chanting of Ladakh
    • Sankirtana, ritual singing, drumming and dancing of Manipur
    • Durga Puja (latest addition)



Which of the following pair is incorrectly matched?

(a) Kutiyattam      : Kerala

(b) Chhau dance   : Rajasthan

(c) Sankirtana      : Manipur

(d) Ramman         : Himachal Pradesh