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Mission to Map Rural India’s Cultural

  Apr 09, 2023

Mission to Map Rural India’s Cultural Assets

Q- Why in News?

Ans- In a bid to harness the unique cultural heritage of rural India, the government has identified and documented distinctive features of more than one lakh villages across the country.

  • The entire exercise has been carried out under the ‘Mera Gaon Meri Dharohar‘ (My Village My Heritage) programme of the National Mission for Cultural Mapping (NMCM).


Q- What is the Mera Gaon Meri Dharohar Programme?


  • About Cultural Mapping:
    • The process involves identification and mapping the cultural assets and art repositories of the nation i.e., art expressions, crafts and skills, wisdom tradition and other cultural practices whether oral, aural, visual or kinetic.
    • Information about the ritual, social and economic status of artists and craftsmen within the community is also of relevance and is to be noted during the cultural mapping.
  • Categories of Villages:
    • Villages have been categorized into seven to eight categories based on ecological, developmental, and historical significance, as well as cultural aspects such as famous textiles or products or connected to some historical or mythological events such as the Independence struggle or epics like the Mahabharata.
    • Ecological Category:
      • Bishnoi village in Rajasthan is a case study for living in harmony with nature.
      • Raini village, which is famous for the Chipko movement.
    • Developmental Importance:
      • Modhera in Gujarat is the first solar-powered village in India.
    • Historical Villages:
      • Kandel in Madhya Pradesh, the site of the famous "Jal Satyagraha".
      • Hanol in Uttarakhand and Vidurashwathar of Karnataka, which are linked to the Mahabharata.
      • Suketi in Himachal Pradesh, Asia's oldest fossil park.
      • Pandrethan in Kashmir, the village of Shaivite mystic Lal Ded
  • Survey Process:
    • The cultural asset mapping of villages was carried out through field surveys by joint teams of the Ministry of Culture and the Common Services Centres (CSC), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
    • Citizens were involved in sharing what makes their village, block, or district unique.
    • The survey process involved a CSC Village Level Entrepreneur (VLE) conducting meetings with locals and uploading interesting facts about their village on a special application.
  • Future Plans:
    • The Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts plans to cover all 6.5 lakh villages in the country and create special films on 6,500 village clusters showcasing their unique heritage.
      • Short films have been made on 750 cluster villages using drones.
    • The detailed dossiers on these villages, as well as the films, will be made available on a web portal called "The National Cultural Work Place".
    • The web portal will contain a virtual living museum of all villages documented and a facility for uploading a village through crowd-sourcing and allowing villagers to edit and upload village data themselves.


Q- What is National Mission for Cultural Mapping?


  • The NMCM was launched by the Ministry of Culture in 2017 to develop a comprehensive database of art forms, artists, and other resources across the country.
  • The programme got off to a slow start and was handed over to the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) in 2021.
  • The budget approved for the mission was ₹469 crore for a period of three years.