India’s Nomination for World Heritage List for 2022-2023

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    • Hoysala temples of Belur, Halebid and Somnathapura in Karnataka have been finalised as India’s nomination for consideration as World Heritage sites for the year 2022-2023.
    • All three Hoysala temples are protected monuments of the Archaeological Survey of India.
      • Earlier, the UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre (WHC) had agreed to publish Hindi descriptions of India’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites on the WHC website.

    About 

    • The ‘Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysala’ are on the UNESCO’s Tentative list since 15th April 2014”.
    • A team from UNESCO will soon visit the sites and conduct an inspection. After the inspection, it will be decided whether the monuments can be declared as heritage sites.
    • If the Hoysala temples attain this status, these monuments will be fourth on the state’s list of World Heritage Sites. 
      • The other three include the Hampi Monuments of Vijayanagara, Pattadakallu Temples complex of the Chalukyan era and the Western Ghats.

    Hoysala Temples 

    • They are sometimes called hybrid or vesara as their unique style seems neither completely Dravida nor nagara, but somewhere in between.
      • The Hoysala temples have a basic Darvidian morphology but show strong influences of the Bhumija mode widely used in Central India, the Nagara traditions of northern and western India, and the Karntata Dravida modes favoured by the Kalyani Chalukyas.
    • They are easily distinguishable from other medieval temples by their highly original star-like ground-plans and a profusion of decorative carving.
    • Hoysala architecture is the building style developed under the rule of the Hoysala Empire between the 11th and 14th centuries, mostly concentrated in southern Karnataka.
    • The Hoysala temples, instead of consisting of a simple inner chamber with its pillared hall, contain multiple shrines grouped around a central pillared hall and laid out in the shape of an intricately-designed star (stellate-plan).

    What is the World Heritage List? 

    • A World Heritage site is classified as a natural or man-made area or a structure that is of international importance, and a space that requires special protection.
    • These sites are officially recognised by the UN and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation, also known as UNESCO.
    • UNESCO believes that the sites classified as World Heritage are important for humanity, and they hold cultural and physical significance.

    Selection criteria to be included on the World Heritage List

    • To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria.
    • Selection criteria
    • To represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;
    • To exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;
    • To bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;
    • To be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;
    • To be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
    • To be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria);

    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

    • UNESCO was formed in 1945, is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris. 
    • It works for achieving peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter.
    • It has 195 member states and ten associate members. India is a founding member of the Organisation.

    Mission

    • UNESCO’s World Heritage mission is to
      • encourage countries to sign the World Heritage Convention and to ensure the protection of their natural and cultural heritage;
      • Encourage States Parties to the Convention to nominate sites within their national territory for inclusion on the World Heritage List;
      • Encourage States Parties to establish management plans and set up reporting systems on the state of conservation of their World Heritage sites;
      • Help States Parties safeguard World Heritage properties by providing technical assistance and professional training;
      • Provide emergency assistance for World Heritage sites in immediate danger;
      • Support States Parties’ public awareness-building activities for World Heritage conservation;
      • Encourage participation of the local population in the preservation of their cultural and natural heritage;
      • Encourage international cooperation in the conservation of our world’s cultural and natural heritage.

    Steps Taken by India 

    • Adopt Heritage Project
      • It was launched in 2017 as a collaborative effort by the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), State/UTs Governments.
      • It envisages the development and maintenance of tourist amenities at heritage sites and makes them tourist-friendly.
      • The project primarily focuses on providing basic amenities that include cleanliness, public conveniences, safe drinking water, ease of access for tourists, signages, illumination, Wi-fi etc.
    • HRIDAY Scheme
      • The Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, launched the Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) scheme, with a focus on the holistic development of heritage cities. 
      • The scheme aims to preserve and revitalise the soul of the heritage city to reflect the city’s unique character by encouraging an aesthetically appealing, accessible, informative & secured environment.
    • Role of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)
      • The  Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), as an attached office under the Department of Culture, Ministry of Tourism and Culture, is the premier organization for archaeological research and protection of the cultural heritage of the nation. 
      • It regulates all archaeological activities in the country as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958. It also regulates the Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972.

    Source: IE