Memory of the World Programme

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Recently, the Ramcharitmanas, Panchatantra and Sahṛdayāloka-Locana have been included in ‘UNESCO's Memory of the World Asia-Pacific Regional Register’.

About Memory of the World Programme: 

  • It is part of an international initiative launched by UNESCO in 1992 to safeguard the documentary heritage of humanity.
  • This programme aims to recognise significant documentary heritage in a similar fashion to the way UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention and World Heritage List recognises significant natural and cultural sites.
  • The Memory of the World Programme (MoW) aims to:
    • Facilitate preservation of the world's documentary heritage, particularly in areas affected by conflict and/or natural disaster.
    • Enable universal access to documentary heritage worldwide.
    • Enhance public awareness about the significant of documentary heritage among the wider public.
  • Governance: The International Advisory Committee (IAC) is the main body responsible for advising UNESCO on the planning and implementation of this MoW Programme as a whole.
  • It comprises 14 members serving in a personal capacity, appointed by the Director-General of UNESCO, and chosen for their authority in the field of documentary heritage.
  • Nomination for MoW: The call for nominations and inscriptions on the Asia Pacific Register is made every two years unless unexpected circumstances make this impractical. Nominations will normally be called for in the even-number years (to alternate with the International Register).
  • India’s 3 items included in Mow are
    • Ramcharitmanas: It was written by Tulasidas in the 16th century in the Awadhi dialect, which is primarily spoken in the districts of Lucknow, Prayagraj, and Ayodhya.
    • Panchatantra: The Panchatantra of ancient India is a collection of fables originally written in Sanskrit. It has five distinct sections, each of which is focused on a specific principle and is believed to have been written by Vishnu Sharma.

Sahṛdayāloka-Locana: Itis a Sanskrit commentary on the Dhvanyaloka.

Q1: What is the World Heritage Committee?

It is a committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).The Committee is responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, defines the use of the World Heritage Fund, and allocates financial assistance upon requests from States Parties.

Source: Ramcharitmanas, Panchatantra, and Sahṛdayāloka-Locana enter ‘UNESCO's Memory of the World Asia-Pacific Regional Register’