Need of Cultural Mapping Project – UPSC GS1

Facts:
  • Budget for Ministry of Culture is 0.07% of the total budget.
  • Budget has been declining for past 5 years.
  • For 2021-22, it is just 2,688 crores that equal the amount of just 1.5 Rafael jets.
  • The government slashed the budget by 21% since last year while other major countries like the UK, China, Singapore enhanced their cultural budgets.
  • Government’s cultural institutions are plagued by vacancies (ranging from 30% to 70%) and a lack of trained manpower.
National Mission on Cultural Mapping:
  • The mission was proposed in 2015 but was officially approved in 2017.
  • It seeks to envision and address the necessity of preserving the threads of rich Indian Art and Cultural Heritage.
  • It aims to convert the vast and widespread cultural canvass of India into an objective cultural mapping.
  • Under this Mission, there are three important objectives as follows:
    • To undertake the cultural mapping (i.e. database of cultural assets and resources) via running a nationwide cultural awareness programme called Hamari Sanskriti Hamari Pahchan Abhiyan (National Cultural Awareness Abhiyan).
    • To run a Nationwide Artist Talent Hunt/Scouting Programme called Sanskritik Pratibha Khoj Abhiyan
    • To establish a National Cultural Working Place (NCWP) portal. It would be a Centralised Transactional Web Portal with a database and demography of cultural assets and resources including all art forms and artists.
Benefits of Cultural Mapping:
  • It would create an open database that could be used as a resource by the media, researchers, and funders.
  • It would help locate a derelict cinema and renovate it as an auditorium in a town where there are none.
  • It would help create transport and tourism infrastructure around a declining crafts village.
Issues with Cultural Mapping Project:
  • Mission hasn’t received sufficient funds for implementation. Out of the promised 3,000 crore, it has received only 42.78 crores till 2019-20.
  • Underutilisation of funds. Out of 42.78 crores, only 1.17 crores have been utilised so far.
  • No IT infrastructure that can enable the proper identification of artists at the block level.
  • Some of the mission’s objectives deviate from the core theme of cultural mapping. For instance,
    • It calls for roping artists into the Swachh Bharat and Namami Gange schemes.
    • It creates a grading process for artists in which officials decide which artist is “good” or “not so good.
    • It focuses on imparting digital literacy to artists and running talent hunt competitions.
Way Forward:
  • There should be a deeper survey and understanding of the diversity of the cultural base, without caste, communal and regional hierarchies.
  • The government should allocate sufficient resources to the Ministry of Culture in order to realise the true potential of the mission.