Scheme for Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage

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-a-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 up to Rs. 10 lakh. For individuals, the amount of assistance would be up to 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.

Publicity/ advertisement of the Scheme

An advertisement will be placed both on the websites of the Sangeet Natak Akademi/ Ministry of Culture as well as in the print media for inviting applications under the Scheme. A period of 60 days from the date of publication of the advertisement will be given for submission of applications for a given financial year.

Submission of Applications

The application, in the prescribed format as Annexed, will have to be addressed to the “Secretary, Sangeet Nataka Akademi, 3rd Floor, Rabindra Bhawa (Opp.Madi House Doordarshan Kendra), 35 Firoz Shah Road, New Delhi -110001”, (website: as per the details mentioned thereon. Iincomplete application or application received after the prescribed last date of submission of application will not be considered.

Processing of applications

  1. After receipt of the applications, the applications will be processed by the Sangeet Natak Akademi.
  2. Any proposal/ application that can be covered under the specific schemes under Ministry of Culture will not be considered under this scheme, and the applicant would be intimated accordingly. For this purpose, a Sub Committee/ Sub Group out of the Expert Committee, mentioned under the Scheme, will be formed to scrutinize/ screen the proposals/ applications.
  3. The complete applications will be placed before an Expert Committee constituted every two years.
  4. The Expert Committee, while recommending the project, may/ shall fix also the time lag for completion of the activity proposed for submission of claims for 2nd/ 3rd instalments.
  5. The recommendations of the Expert Committee would be sent to the Ministry of Culture for approval of the competent authority.
  6. After approval of the competent authority, the list of approved proposals/ cases would be displayed at the websites of the Sangeet Natak Akademi/ Ministry of Culture. In addition, separate communications may be sent to the concerned proposers/ applicants.
  7. After approval of the competent authority, 1st installment of the sanctioned amount will be released through electronic transfer.
  8. An appraisal of the project would be undertaken by the members of the Expert Committee, or Sangeet Natak Akademi or by any designated agency/ official including the Ministry of Culture or any of its organisation(s) prior to the release of the 2nd installment of funding. In case time limit is not adhered to, as mentioned in para 11(iv) above, the disqualification/ recovery clause may be imposed.
  9. The final installment of funding will be released after completion of the project and submission of documents as proof thereof. The installments will be released in the ratio of 50:25:25.

Documents to be furnished along with the application

  1. For organisations/ Institutions/ Groups
    1. Copy of the Registration Certificate/ Act/ Government Resolution or Order whereby the Organization became a legal entity.
    2. Constitution of the Organization, Memorandum of Association, Rules and Regulations, where applicable.
    3. Present composition of the Board of Management and/ or Governing Body.
    4. Copy of the latest available Annual Report.
    5. A detailed proposal including description of the proposal for which assistance is requested along with its duration and the qualifications and experience of the staff/ person(s), if any, to be engaged for the project ; and
    6. Financial statement of the proposal giving item wise details and the source(s) from which funds will be obtained.
    7. An undertaking that no proposal of the similar nature has been made under any other Scheme of the Ministry of Culture or its organisations.
    8. A Statement of income and expenditure of the applicant Organization/ Institution for the previous three years and a copy of the Balance Sheet for the previous year certified by a Chartered Accountant or Government Auditor.
    9. An Indemnity Bond in the prescribed Pro forma on a stamp paper of appropriate denomination, duly signed by the authorized signatory of the applicant Organization.
    10. Details of the bank account in the prescribed Pro forma to enable electronic transfer of sanctioned funds.
  2. For individuals
    1. For proposals submitted by individuals, out of the documents specified above, the documents mentioned at (i) to (iv) above will not be required to be submitted. The applicant will instead furnish his/her personal particulars and a brief description of the activities/work done by him/her in the ICH of India in the last five years.
    2. One attested copy of degrees, diplomas and certificates, etc. if any, in support of the statement made regarding education qualifications, experience, etc. in the application. In no case should the original documents be attached.
    3. One recent passport size photograph;
    4. Attested copies of documents/ photographs of the work done and achievements in the ICH of India.

Disqualification Clause

The applicant shall be liable for disqualification if any of the clauses/ conditions of the undertaking given by him/ her is subsequently found to be false/ incorrect.

The Expert Committee

  1. The Expert Committee will be constituted, with the approval of the competent authority in Ministry of Culture, for a period of two calendar years
  2. The members including Chairman of the Expert Committee will be nominated from different domains of ICH/ diverse cultural traditions of India as proposed by the Sangeet Natak Akademi and approved by the competent authority.
  3. Renowned expert of ICH/ diverse cultural traditions of India would be the Chairman of the Expert Committee.
  4. Joint Secretary concerned in the Ministry of Culture and Secretary, Sangeet Natak Akademi would be the ex-officio members of the Committee. Secretary, Sangeet Natak Akademi or In-charge thereof would be the convener of the meetings of the Expert Committee.
  5. The number of members of the Expert Committee would be proportionate to the population of various States/ Union Territory (UT). Normally, one member would be selected for every four crore population of the respective State/ UT. This criteria may be relaxed in case of States/ UTs in order to ensure that at least one member is selected from each State/ UT.
  6. Sub-Committee(s)/ Group (s) may be formed from amongst the EC members with reference to the objectives of the Scheme. Each Sub Committee/ Group will have at least 7 members.

Creation/ development of infrastructure

No fund will be granted for creation of infrastructure and physical assets under the scheme.

Release of the Fellowship Amount

Fellowship amounts may be released on a monthly basis to each Fellow by the Nodal Institution. All Fellows will submit a work plan for the period of research to the Head of the Nodal Institution. The Fellow would be required to submit six-monthly progress reports to the Nodal Institution and these will be placed before the NSC by the Nodal Institution along with its comments thereon. If the review of a six-monthly progress report submitted by the Fellow results in a finding that the work done is unsatisfactory and if the NSC is of the opinion that further grants need to be stopped or curtailed, then instruction would be given to the Nodal Institution accordingly. The fund flow to the Fellows should continue smoothly, otherwise.

Monitoring Mechanism

An appraisal/ inspection of the beneficiary may be done by the Expert Committee/ Sub-Committee or any other designated agency/ officials including Ministry of Culture or any of its organisations at any point of time. Ministry of Culture will be kept informed, through periodical reports/ returns, etc. of the progress of the implementation of the scheme. Joint Secretary concerned in the Ministry of Culture may call at any time, any detail/ information including officials concerning the Scheme.

Compliance of financial regulations

All financial regulations/ instructions including provisions of GFRs/ DFPRs, including that concerning advance settlement of due UCs etc. from the grantee/ beneficiary, as applicable, will be complied with. Accordingly, accounts of the implementing agency will be open to audit/ inspection by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India including internal audit by the CCA/ Ministry of Culture.

Relaxation/ amendment in guidelines

Any relaxation/ amendment to these guidelines may be carried out by the competent authority after following the procedure followed under the scheme i.e. Secretary (Culture), with the concurrence of IFD/ AS&FA.