[Arts & Heritage Institutions #2] INTACH

Of late, UPSC has shown a liking for asking questions on Institutions beyond that of Government. Few examples include International NGOs such as Amnesty International in 2015 and Domestic charities such as Bombay Natural History Society in 2014.

Keeping prelims in mind, within the context of ongoing series of Heritage Institutions, let us understand about INTACH. It is also important from Mains GS-2 perspective (Role of NGOs) because some call it a Civil Society alternative to Archaeological Survey of India <we’ve already covered that in detail in the 1st part of this series, do read up on it>



  • INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) was founded in 1984, is an autonomous NGO for preservation of Indian Art and Cultural Heritage
  • Its motto is “Dedicated to Conservation

Tasks undertaken by INTACH

  • Restoration of monuments that fall outside the coverage of Archaeological Survey of India and other government agencies <Remember that ASI hasn’t shown much interest towards working with INTACH>
  • Advocacy for heritage property conservation
  • Public awareness through heritage walks and buses <Just like Bombay Natural History Society does, its a common feature of these type of NGOs>
  • Establishment of heritage clubs in schools
  • Holding of awareness workshop for teachers of schools and colleges

Some notable works done by INTACH

  1. It had developed Raghurajpur, Orissa, a place famous for its ‘Pattachitra’ artists and ‘Gotipua’ dance troupes as a heritage village, which has now become a major rural tourist destination
    • Pattachitra is a cloth-based scroll painting of Odisha. Patta = Cloth and Chitra = Picture. Most of these paintings depict stories of Hindu deities of Jagannath and Vaishnava Sect. It has also been given a GI tag. To know more about GI tags, click here to read.
    • Gotipua is a traditional dance form of Odisha, and the precursor of Odissi. Its name comes from Gopi (Single boys), who dress as women to praise Jagannath and Krishna. The dance is executed by a group of boys who perform acrobatic figures inspired by the life of Radha and Krishna.
  2. It later used the same pattern to develop Padmanabhpur village, Ganjam district, Orissa, famous for its weavers and folk dancers, into another heritage destination

What can we learn from INTACH’s mission?

  • Sensitizing the public about the pluralistic cultural legacy of India
  • Instill a sense of social responsibility towards preserving India’s common heritage <Similar to our Fundamental Duty as per Article 51A>
  • Undertake emergency response measures during natural or man-made disasters and support the local administration whenever heritage is threatened

In the next article, we will learn about few notable Autonomous Institutions promoting Arts under Ministry of Culture. This will include Sahitya Akademi and others.


Published with inputs from Amar | Pic: Hindu, Tvsarts

By B2B

Revisiting the Basics

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