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Politics
04 May 2018

Get over it, 'Adopt a heritage' scheme actually makes sense

'Adopt a Heritage' project? Not a bad Idea

Government's 'Adopt a Heritage' (AaH) project stirred the Internet after Dalmia group signed an MoU to adopt the Red Fort.

In mere seven months, 33 agencies have shown interest in becoming a 'Monument Mitra' for 98 monuments.

The ongoing controversy is superbly misplaced and is making an unnecessary political furore in projecting the move as anti-India.

Let's discuss why India actually needs this scheme.

In context

'Adopt a Heritage' project? Not a bad Idea
State of Indian heritage sites

Not that great

State of Indian heritage sites

In a country where culture is fast losing value, heritage sites are a welcome change.

However, a mere UNESCO tag is not enough. The cost of preserving these sites is humongous and private companies' CSR activities can certainly help them.

As a matter of fact, according to the CAG, the World Heritage sites haven't been properly maintained by its guardian, the Archaeological Survey of India, in all these years.

Desperate times

"The World Heritage Sites did not receive appropriate care and protection. There were numerous cases of encroachment and unauthorized construction in and around these sites. The comprehensive assessment of preservation works that were required had never been carried out," a CAG report said.

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Concerns

But, what concerns the Left libertarian?

Many are worried that the move will allow privatization of these monuments. However, it needs to be pointed out that the government is not selling the monuments, it is only "handing over" their adoption.

Another concern is that the ticket costs will rise, but it can't happen without the respective ministry's approval.

Finally, the Red Fort will become Dalmia Red Fort. Now that's a joke for your WhatsApp groups.

Reality check: How 'Adopt a Heritage' can actually help?

Free branding

Reality check: How 'Adopt a Heritage' can actually help?

The inclination for Monument Mitra is the free advertisement that adoption offers.

So if they were to not do a good job, it will automatically affect their brand value.

Moreover, the ASI that administers over 3,000 monuments lacks cash and is extremely overworked.

Private players can jump in, they are anyway obliged to do public service under CSR and AaH fits the bill.

UNESCO itself is working with private players for heritage preservation

Private players like Panasonic, Google, Kaercher, etc. are themselves World Heritage partners with the UNESCO. We also have an incredible example of the newly restored Humayun's Tomb that boasts 20,000 saplings and breathtaking green space, done entirely by the Aga Khan Foundation.

Whose responsibility?

There's a big BUT - The Indemnity clause

What if the monument incurs a significant damage, will the Monument 'Mitra' be held responsible?

Firstly, Dalmia Group's MoU with the government includes an 'indemnity clause' that will protect them in case of any damage to the ancient structures.

Secondly, the official circular of AaH appropriates no penalty, and says that the "fourth party" will be held "harmless" against any loss, costs and expenses.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee's vision

It was Atal Bihari Vajpayee who envisaged the involvement of corporates in running the national monuments. In fact, Ratan Tata and Ananth Kumar (then Minister for Culture) exchanged an MoU in 2001 to allow the group to preserve the symbol of love.

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Most asked questions

How have the monuments been categorized for 'Adopt a Heritage' programme?

Which all monuments have been put up for adoption under 'Adopt a Heritage'programme of government?

When was 'Adopt a Heritage' programme launched?

'Adopt a Heritage' was whose idea?

What is ‘Monument Mitra’?

More questions

How have the monuments been categorized for 'Adopt a Heritage' programme?

Asked on 04-05-2018 by Anonymous -

Answered by NewsBytes

The monuments have been divided into 3 categories- Green, Blue, and Orange. The division of these categories is on the basis of tourist footfall and visibility.

Which all monuments have been put up for adoption under 'Adopt a Heritage'programme of government?

Asked on 04-05-2018 by Anonymous -

Answered by NewsBytes

More than 93 monuments across India including Fatehpur Sikri, Chand Baoli, Pangong Tso, Sundarbans National Park and others have been put up for up for adoption by the government.

When was 'Adopt a Heritage' programme launched?

Asked on 04-05-2018 by Anonymous -

Answered by NewsBytes

The 'Adopt a Heritage' programme was launched by our president Mr. Ram Nath Kovind last year on the occasion of World Tourism Day.

'Adopt a Heritage' was whose idea?

Asked on 04-05-2018 by Anonymous -

Answered by NewsBytes

The idea of 'Adopt a Heritage' is the brainchild of Ministry of Tourism, along with the Ministry of Culture and the Archaeological Survey of India. The idea is to give a heritage monument up for adoption.

What is ‘Monument Mitra’?

Asked on 04-05-2018 by Anonymous -

Answered by NewsBytes

'Monument Mitra' is a term coined for an entity which is partnering with the government under its project called 'Adopt A Heritage'.

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