India - Art & culture overview
- India ranked 25th in the world for Cultural Influence in the 2020 Best Countries rankings. Cultural Influence Ranking is based on an equally weighted average of scores from eight country attributes that relate to a country's cultural influence: culturally significant in terms of entertainment, fashionable, happy, has an influential culture, has strong consumer brands, modern, prestigious and trendy.
- India ratified The UNESCO World Heritage Convention in 1977. There are 38 Indian Properties inscribed on the World Heritage List.
- India ratified The Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in 2006.
- India has a unique assimilation of ethnic groups displaying varied cultures and religions. The Constitution of India has recognized 22 different languages that are prevalent in the country. Other than these 22 languages, there are hundreds of dialects that add to the multilingual nature of the country.
- As per UNESCO’ s Diversity and the film industry report, India stands out for the wide spectrum of local languages in its movies, none of which have a share over 17%, while most countries have monolingual or bilingual film production in their respective official languages. India was the 7th largest box office market in 2020.
- Invest India reports that India is among the top five mobile gaming markets in the world and the second largest online market in the world, with over 560 million online gamers, 250 million mobile gamers, 15,000 game developers and 275 game development companies.
- The Jaipur Literature Festival held annually in India is considered as the world’s largest literary events.
- The Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kerala, is the largest of its kind art exhibition and festival in South Asia and includes Australian representation in its exhibitions.
Policies and initiatives
- Article 29 of the Indian Constitution states that “Any group of citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof, having a distinct language, script or culture of their own, shall have the right to conserve the same”.
- Article 51 A(F) of the Constitution dictates that “It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture”.
- The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 provides for the preservation of ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance, for the regulation of archaeological excavations, and for the protection of sculptures, carvings and other like objects. The Act was amended in 2018 to allow construction of public works in ‘prohibited areas’ for public purposes.
- In its 2020-2021 budget the Government of India provided funds for the establishment of the Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation, and also set aside Rs 3150 crore (AUD 558 million) for the Ministry of Culture.
- The National Policy for Conservation of Ancient Monuments, Archaeological Sites and Remains (NPC – AMASR) is the key policy for the protection and conservation of India’s ancient monuments, and archaeological and heritage sites protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.
- NITI Aayog’s Working Group Report on Improving Heritage Management in India is an effort to understand the current challenges of heritage management in India and to provide a future roadmap along with an appropriate branding of India’s invaluable Archaeological and Built Heritage.
- The Young, Upcoming and Versatile Authors (YUVA) scheme is a mentorship program aimed to train 75 aspiring writers under 30 years, who are ready to express themselves and project India and its culture and literature globally.
- The Scheme for Pension and Medical Aid to Artistes aims to improve the financial and socio-economic status of older artists and scholars in penury who have contributed or are continuing to contribute significantly culturally in their areas of specialisation respectively.
- The Scheme for Scholarships to Young Artistes in Different Cultural Fields seeks to give assistance to young artists with outstanding promise in classical music, Indian classical dance, theatre, mime, visual art, folk, traditional and indigenous arts and light classical music for advanced training within India.
- The Ministry of Culture offers scholarships and financial assistance through various schemes to promote Indian art and culture and also to promote International Culture Relations.
- Financial Assistance for Cultural Activities in Performing Arts for Building Grants Including Studio Theatres is provided by the Government of India to support voluntary cultural organisations and government-aided cultural organisations in their efforts to create appropriately equipped training, rehearsal and performance spaces for artists.
- The Government of India has taken various steps to facilitate diaspora engagement, and in 2016 launched the Know India Program (KIP) which aims to familiarise Indian-origin youth (18-30 years) with their Indian roots and contemporary India (including Indian culture and history).
- The Scheme for Safeguarding the Intangible Heritage and Diverse Cultural Traditions of India, aims to reinvigorate and revitalise various institutions, groups, individuals, identified non-Ministry of Culture 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 National Handicraft Development Programme aims to increase market knowledge across the handicrafts sector, and to expand production of handicrafts so as to increase the exports. The 2021 Union Budget proposed to rationalise duty on the import of raw materials as an incentive to exporters of handicraft items to give a boost to the sector. Other initiatives such as the Ambedkar Hastshilp Vikas Yojna, Mega cluster scheme, Marketing support and services scheme and Research and development scheme aim to provide support to artisans and handicrafts.
- The Indian Government has announced that it will set up an Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comic (AVGC) Centre for Excellence in collaboration with IIT Bombay.
India’s Ministry of Culture is responsible for the preservation and conservation of India’s cultural heritage and the promotion of all forms of art and culture, both tangible and intangible. There are two attached offices under the Ministry of Culture of significance, namely the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the National Archives of India. The ASI, is the premier organisation for the archaeological research and protection of the cultural heritage of India. The National Archives of India is the custodian of the records based on their enduring value. The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) under the Ministry of Culture is a centre for research, academic pursuit and dissemination in the field of the arts. The Indian Literature Abroad project initiated by the Ministry of Culture, supports and facilitates the promotion and translation of heritage and contemporary literature from the Indian languages into major foreign languages (especially those recognized by UNESCO). The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is responsible for policy matters related to the private broadcasting sector, also having jurisdiction over the public broadcasting Prasar Bharati network, multi-media advertising and publicity of the policies and programs of the Union Government, film promotion and certification and regulation of print media. The Press Council of India works towards preserving the freedom of the press and maintaining and improving the standards of newspapers and news agencies in India. The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is a statutory body under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, regulating the public exhibition of films under the provisions of the Cinematograph Act 1952, which manages the screening of films including short films, documentaries, television shows and their promotion in theatres or their broadcasting via television. The National Gallery of Modern Art is the premier art gallery under Ministry of Culture, Government of India. The main museum at Jaipur House in New Delhi was established on 29 March 1954 by the Government of India, with subsequent branches at Mumbai and Bangalore.