Category Archives: Research

INTACH Scholarship 2019

One of the key objectives of the Academy will be to undertake and promote a wide range of research, taking advantage of the strong multidisciplinary ethos at INTACH. The structure of INTACH is organised around the following aspects related to art and cultural heritage:
  • Architectural Heritage
  • Natural Heritage
  • Material Heritage
  • Intangible Cultural Heritage
  • Conservation Training and Capacity Building
  • Heritage Tourism
  • Heritage Education and Communication
  • Craft, Community and Heritage
In 2014, INTACH launched a major international Research Scholarship Programme under three categories:
  • INTACH (UK) Scholarships: to enable UK citizens to travel to India and to follow in India any course of conservation study/research which will be beneficial to either or both countries
  • INTACH Research Grants: to support advanced research in the field of heritage conservation in India
  • INTACH Capacity Building Grants: to its staff and members towards building their capacities as individual professionals, or the Chapter or Division within which they are working
Grants can be for specific discipline in the Humanities (with a preference for archaeology, ancient Indian art, architecture, conservation studies, cultural geography, cultural history, numismatics, museum studies, intangible cultural heritage and scientific application to the humanities). Call for applications for the 2018 – 19 cycle is now open. The application deadline is 30th November 2018. Download application form here: INTACHScholarship_ApplicationForm2019 Download Brochure 2017: IHA Scholarships Brochure 2018 12

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Heritage, People and Law

14 November 2018

Venue: INTACH, New Delhi
The broad aim of this master class is to introduce the participants to the understanding of heritage regulations and policies related to protected and unprotected heritage sites and interpreting them to implement and make a strong case for protection and preservation. 
India is a diverse country with vast heritage. People from different countries, religions, cultures, dynasties have peacefully co-existed in India for several centuries. It has shaped up India’s large and unique heritage. However, there are currently about 3650 ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains under the protection of Archaeological Survey of India. To make the situation worse, the heritage falling in the more popular areas are in good upkeep, but the heritage in remote towns and villages are not even maintained properly. With sudden “development”, the natural and built environment has been under tremendous pressure; hence a lot has been destroyed already. Heritage protection through legislation and regulation is probably one of the reasonable way to preserve heritage.  The need for understanding of Acts, Laws, Legislation, Regulation and Public Interest Litigation as a tool to conservation has led to the development of this master class.
Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this Master class the participants will be able to:
  • develop an understanding of the Heritage Legislation and Regulations
  • gain introduction to the notions of value and significance associated with various nuances of heritage
  • develop basic knowledge of the approaches to legal aspects in conservation
  • start thinking critically about the present and future of heritage in the view of legislation and policies
The Master Class will be taught by the staff at INTACH Heritage Academy and invited guest speakers on specific aspects of the Master Class.
Registration Fees
Rs. 1200 + applicable Govt. taxes. [This includes registration charge, delegate packs, any handouts for the course, refreshments, tools etc.]
Registration Form
Concessional Charges
  • 10 % less for INTACH members and employees
  • 20 % less for students
For any queries and further details, please contact:
  • Mr. Navin Piplani
Principal Director
  • Ms. Sneha Kishnadwala
Capacity Building Assistant

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The Agenda 21 for Culture is the first document with a worldwide mission that advocates establishing the groundwork of an undertaking by cities and local governments for cultural development. It was agreed by cities and local governments from all over the world to enshrine their commitment to human rights, cultural diversity, sustainability, participatory democracy and creating conditions for peace. It was approved by the 4th Forum of Local Authorities for Social Inclusion of Porto Alegre, held in Barcelona on 8 May 2004 as part of the first Universal Forum of Cultures


Brief background to Agenda 21 for Culture

The initial idea to form guidelines for local cultural policies was brought during the first World Public Meeting on Culture in September 2002 in Porte Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. This document was comparable to what the Agenda 21 meant in 1992 for the environment. Two years later on 8 May 2004, the final document was approved in Barcelona and consequently submitted to the UN-HABITAT and UNSECO in September 2004. However, from October 2004, the world organization United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) assumed the coordination of the Agenda 21 for culture.

UCLG Culture Summits

The United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) is an umbrella organization which represents and defends the interests of local governments on the world stage, regardless of the size of the communities they serve. Their mission is to“be the united voice and world advocate of democratic local self-government, promoting its values, objectives and interests, through cooperation between local governments, and within the wider international community”. The UCLG Culture Summit is the main meeting point at global level of cities, local governments and other stakeholders that are committed to the effective implementation of policies and programs on culture and sustainability. The UCLG organized its first culture summit in Bilbao, Spain 18th-20th March 2015 with the title “Culture and Sustainable Cities” while, the second summit was organized recently 10th-13th May 2017 in Jeju, Special Administrative Province, South Korea with the title “Commitments and Actions for Culture in Sustainable Cities”.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are officially known as the “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” is a set of 17 “Global Goals” which were adopted by world leaders in September 2015 after the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These goals have specific targets which are aimed to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity over the next 15 years. Amongst the 17 Global Goals, it is the eleventh goal and, specifically Action Point 4 that is of significance from culture sector perspective.

 The Eleventh Goal

The Eleventh goal of the SDG is to “Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” includes an action point to Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage. This action point is where INTACH can contribute in promoting and realizing Agenda 21 in India, and as a result, contribute to the International discussion on SDG 2030.


Sustainable development has been defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It calls for a concerted effort towards building an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future for people and planet”.Source: United Nations
Three Pillars of Sustainability
For sustainable development, it is crucial to harmonize three core elements: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. These elements are interconnected and all are crucial for the well-being of individuals and societies.
Fourth Pillar of Sustainability
To create a new culturally sensitive urban development model, the role of cultural practices and values in sustainable development must be explicitly recognized, supported, and integrated into planning and policy in a systematic and comprehensive way.
Fig1: The three roles of culture (represented in orange) in sustainable development (the three circles represent the three pillars). Culture added as a fourth pillar (left diagram), culture mediating between the three pillars (central diagram) and culture as the foundation for sustainable development. The arrows indicate the ever-changing dynamics of culture and sustainable development (right diagram). Source: Dessein et al., 2015″


The mission of the Agenda 21 for Culture is to promote Culture as the Fourth Pillar of Sustainable Development through the international dissemination and the local implementation of Agenda 21 for culture. The network of UCLG is spread across Europe, Latin America, Africa, North America, Middle East, Asia-Pacific and West Asia. However, no Indian city is a part of this network. The agenda has a total of 67 articles, divided into three sections – Principles (16 articles), Undertakings (29 articles) and Recommendations (22 articles). Thematically, it can also be divided into five sections – Culture and Human Rights; Culture and Governance; Culture, Sustainability and Territory; Culture and Social Inclusion; and Culture and Economy.
 Culture 21 Actions
The Culture 21 Actions is an international guide and tool that promotes knowledge, facilitates the exchange of good practices, and strengthens a global network of effective and innovative cities and local government. In order to provide achievable and measurable international guidelines and standards, the UCLG has conceived nine “Commitments” to provide guidance for the work of the local governments linked to the Agenda 21 for Culture. These commitments aim to promote processes of self- evaluation leading to the better fulfilment and more effective implementation of public policies and strategies. The “Commitments” are as follows, each with their own Action Points:
  1. Cultural Rights;
  2. Heritage, diversity and creativity
  3. Culture and education
  4. Culture and environment
  5. Culture and economy
  6. Culture, equality, and social inclusion
  7. Culture, urban planning and public spaces
  8. Culture, information, and knowledge
  9. Governance of culture


INTACH Heritage Academy proposes “INTACH Cities for Culture” along the lines of the Agenda 21 for Culture, its nine Commitments and their Action Points. These Commitments will aim to be a Chapters Guide which will promote knowledge, facilitate the exchange of good practices, and strengthen the Chapter network of effective and innovative cities and local government. This is an ambitious program to run over the next three years. It will provide an integrated action plan and a larger mission that will connect all INTACH Chapters, Technical Divisions, and the Headquarters. For more detailed information, please see – Agenda21_for_Culture Pilot Event in Bhopal
 International Award “UCLG – Mexico City – Culture 21”
UCLG presents an award that is unique and the only one at a global level to recognise a city, local or regional government whose cultural policy has contributed significantly to linking the values of culture (heritage, diversity, creativity and transmission of knowledge) with democratic governance, citizen participation and sustainable development
UCLG Competetion
        Related Sites:

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Navin Piplani and Tejaswi Mehta (2017)

…Throughout history, the common strategy for intervention in the existing city has been to transform the inner city with different ideas of urban improvement. Today, the question of preserving the old city has become key.

            ~ Prof. Dr Juan Luis de las Rivas (ICCROM Best Practices Manual in Cultural Heritage Management)

“Preserving the historic core” is an idea that recognises the value of heritage and strives to safeguard the authenticity of a place. However, the pace and pattern of urbanisation and modernisation ignores this idea and suggests a standard approach to ‘development’ that erodes the existing fabric, character and experience of the place. This impacts the quality of life of the people of the city at social, cultural and economic level. The current and most popular scheme launched by the Government of India – ‘Smart City’, is a driver of mega-scale infrastructure development in ninety cities across the country. The Smart City Mission Statement outlines: ‘ The purpose of the Smart Cities Mission is to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people by enabling local area development and harnessing technology, especially technology that leads to Smart outcomes. Area-based development will transform existing areas (retrofit and redevelop), including slums, into better-planned ones, thereby improving the livability of the whole City. New areas (Greenfield) will be developed around cities in order to accommodate the expanding population in urban areas. Application of Smart Solutions will enable cities to use technology, information and data to improve infrastructure and services. Comprehensive development in this way will improve quality of life, create employment and enhance incomes for all, especially the poor and the disadvantaged, leading to inclusive Cities.’ (National Institute of Urban Affairs)  
This does not acknowledge the existence of a historic layer(s) in a city. As a result, the heritage of a city remains isolated from the elements of change and is forced to remain frozen in time.

The evolving concept of cultural heritage renders it dynamic, which means it includes not only ancient monuments and sites but also historic buildings, social spaces, cultural traditions, local narratives and community lifestyles. People of a city and their cultural heritage are inextricably linked to the present and future of the city. Hence, if a city is on the path to becoming ‘Smart’, why should its heritage remain static and frozen? In 2014, at the International Biennial of Art and Heritage Management (AR&PA) in Valladolid, Spain on the theme of ‘India-Spain Co-operation in the field of Heritage Conservation and Management’, a roundtable was organised on the future of heritage in the context of Smart City. It was here, the concern for addressing the challenges of heritage management in Smart City was expressed. The author of this paper had suggested to initiate a programme wherein heritage experts would meet and discuss the issues and problems faced by heritage in the wake of changing global scenarios, particularly in relation to ‘Smart Cities’.
The term ‘Smart Heritage’ was coined at this meeting in order to facilitate a thematic direction under which these discussions would take place.

  AR&PA Conference, 2014

Since this roundtable, INTACH Heritage Academy (IHA) has undertaken a considerable amount of conceptual work on this subject.

This paper is developed with an aim to initiate a critical discussion on this theme and develop the concept of ‘Smart Heritage’ within the context of ‘Smart City’.
The key objectives behind this initiative are: –  to ensure a pivotal role of heritage for development and promotion of a ‘smart city’, and –  to explore if the ‘smart city’ project can incorporate ‘smart solutions’ for city’s heritage.


The website of Ministry of Urban Development mentions: ‘… there is no universally accepted definition of a smart city. It means different things to different people. The conceptualisation of Smart City, therefore, varies from city to city and country to country, depending on the level of development, willingness to change and reform, resources and aspirations of the city residents. A smart city would have a different connotation in India than, say, Europe. Even in India, there is no one way of defining a smart city.’ However, in a wider international context, the understanding of Smart City idea is not so disappointing. There are a few agencies that have shared useful views on the concept of ‘Smart City’. One such organization is the International Data Corporation (IDC) which states that ‘Smart City is a concept that integrates information and communication technology (ICT) and internet technology (IT) with sustainable development and community engagement, and works to increase the economy of the city by promoting new businesses, talents and investments.’ ( Smart City solutions are expected to use ICT to deliver high-quality services more efficiently, achieve operational cost savings and bring about a change in the behaviour and lifestyle patterns of the users and the community. As per the Urban Europe: Statistics on Cities, Towns and Suburbs (2016 edition), the European Union defines a smart city as ‘a place where traditional networks and services are made more efficient with the use of digital and telecommunication technologies, for the benefit of its inhabitants and businesses‘. Designed and developed upon the cutting-edge technology and innovation, Smart Cities are designed to create a more inclusive, sustainable and connected environment. The report continues to state that, ‘smart cities have the potential to improve the quality of life while ensuring the needs of present and future generations with respect to economic, social and environmental challenges’. Here again, the aspect of ‘culture’ is completely ignored. The quality of life is embedded in social interactions and cultural traditions which are key to shaping the built environment in a city. Any effort towards changing the quality of life of inhabitants of a city will need to consider the cultural needs of the community along with their economic and social aspirations. An interesting perspective on Smart Cities is shared by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). It considers Smart Cities ‘a process rather than a static outcome, in which increased citizen engagement, hard infrastructure, social capital and digital technologies make cities more liveable, resilient and better able to respond to challenges’. (Centre for Cities website – The British Standards Institute (BSI) defines Smart City as ‘the effective integration of physical, digital and human systems in the built environment to deliver sustainable, prosperous and inclusive future for its citizens’. (Centre for Cities website – Broadly speaking, a ‘Smart City’ plan works toward promoting cities that provide:
  • core infrastructural strength
  • a high quality living
  • a sustainable and inclusive environment
In India, the ‘Smart City’ focus has been on addressing the above aspects as well as on sustainable and inclusive development which can be replicated by other cities. However, there has been a considerable oversight where heritage is an integral part of a city’s cultural infrastructure, economic prosperity and social well-being. When cities are aspiring to become ‘smart’, it is imperative for the heritage of the city to also move in the same direction. Why should the heritage of a city remain frozen in time? How does heritage become ‘smart’? What are the parameters of dealing with heritage in the context of smart city? These are a few questions that need urgent and full attention of the decision-makers, policy-makers, city planners, smart city consultants, heritage professionals and concerned stakeholders. To answer these questions, it is essential to develop a broad framework for the understanding of the concept of ‘Smart Heritage’. In the context of heritage, this concept shall include aspects of management, conservation, archaeology, interpretation and experience related to all heritages that are in or around a ‘Smart City’.
The basic premise behind this idea is that a ‘smart city’ approach, whether in a green field or brown field area, cannot ignore the history and culture of a place.

The key aspects that need to be considered whilst making heritage ‘smart’ are:
– the stakeholders responsible for this aspect include the urban local bodies, Centre or State level government organisations, public and private enterprises and local communities
– the stakeholders responsible for this aspect include Archaeological Survey of India, State Department of Archaeology (SDA), INTACH, Aga Khan Trust for Culture, UNESCO heritage experts, art and architectural historians and so forth Archaeology – the stakeholders responsible for this aspect include the Archaeological Survey of India, State Departments of Archaeology, universities and research institutions
– the stakeholders responsible for this aspect include museums, interpretation centers and visitor management and guide services
– the stakeholders responsible for this aspect include visitors to heritage places.
What is most essential is to develop local smart heritage strategies that would integrate with the local smart city plans.
It is here that INTACH Heritage Academy proposes to develop ‘Smart Heritage Strategic Plan’ (SHSP) for every Smart City.

This document will provide a detailed background on the heritage of a city, assess the cultural significance of this heritage, outline conservation and management approaches and suggest ‘smart solutions’ for heritage management, and identify ‘smart tools for making the heritage assets smart.
In conclusion, the key aspect of any Smart Heritage approach will be to establish cultural heritage conservation and promotion as a unique component among smart city plans. This will inevitably require a different line of thinking and will serve different goals than smart city plans. The solutions will engage with information and communication technology for conservation, management, archaeology, interpretation and experience of heritage(s). The historical and cultural context of the city will help position its heritage in the wider context of technology led urban development and a specific role that it can play towards local urban, social and economic development. The Smart Heritage strategies will have conceptual, management and operational implications for the integration of cultural heritage within smart cities.  Each city will call for different course of action depending on the case. This indeed will result in unique, yet diverse, solutions for ‘smart heritage’ in different ‘smart cities’ in India.
 © This concept has been developed by INTACH Heritage Academy. No part of this paper is to be reproduced manually or electronically without prior written permission of IHA. If permission is granted and the paper is reproduced in part or full, the due acknowledgement must be given to the authors of this paper.
Smart Heritage in Smart City – Pune

Smart Heritage_Handout_lowres_Page_1

Smart Heritage in Smart City – Bhopal 

Smart Heritage Bhopal

Smart Heritage in Smart City – Dehradun (Upcoming) Smart Heritage Dehradun

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INTACH Heritage Academy aims to provide leadership, guidance, and support for undertaking research in the field of heritage and related subjects. This will be achieved by –
  • offering INTACH Research Scholarships in specific disciplines in the Humanities (with a preference for archaeology, ancient Indian art, architecture, conservation studies, cultural geography, cultural history, numismatics, museum studies, intangible cultural heritage and scientific applications to the humanities.
  • setting up INTACH Journal of Heritage Studies to augment the breadth and depth of research and understanding of heritage issues in India and to build upon the knowledge and experience that INTACH has gained since its founding in 1984. The Journal aims to encourage critical thinking and debate over the meaning of heritage and its relevance for society at large. It is an interdisciplinary and peer-reviewed journal.