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Project 'Mausam': India Proposes to 39 Indian Ocean Countries for Cultural Linkage
Mar 13, 2015

The Government of India has proposed to establish cross cultural linkages and to revive historic maritime cultural and economic ties under Project Mausam with 39 Indian Ocean countries. The 39 countries include Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Iraq, Mauritius, Singapore, Thailand, Yemen, South Africa, Philippines, Pakistan among others. 

Key Points

  • On India’s initiative, Project ‘Mausam’ was launched in the 38th Session of World Heritage Committee meeting which was held at Doha, Quatar in June, 2014.

  • Since then it has received positive response from countries such as China, UAE, Qatar, Myanmar, Iran and Vietnam. 

  • Archaeological Survey of India in collaboration with State Government of Kerala organized a National Conference on Project ‘Mausam’ in Kochi in November 2014.

  • Indira Gandhi National Centre for Art (IGNCA) has constituted an Academic Committee and a temporary research unit in this regard. 

  • The Government has formulated action plan for achieving a World Heritage transnational nomination for Indian Ocean Maritime Routes. 

  • The Plan envisages joint initiative of India and various member states for implementation of UNESCO Cultural Conventions of World Heritage and Intangible culture.

  • It further promotes joint research and selection of appropriate sites to prepare application of trans-national nomination of Maritime Routes & Coastal Cultural Landscape sites.

  • The Standing Financial Committee (SFC) memorandum is under consideration.

Project Mausam

⇒ Focusing on monsoon patterns, cultural routes and maritime landscapes, Project ‘Mausam’ is examining key processes and phenomena that link different parts of the Indian Ocean littoral as well as those that connect the coastal centres to their hinterlands. 

⇒ Broadly, Project ‘Mausam’ aims to understand how the knowledge and manipulation of the monsoon winds has shaped interactions across the Indian Ocean and led to the spread of shared knowledge systems, traditions, technologies and ideas along maritime routes. 

⇒ These exchanges were facilitated by different coastal centres and their surrounding environs in their respective chronological and spatial contexts, and simultaneously had an effect on them.

The endeavour of Project ‘Mausam’is to position itself at two levels: 

1. At the macro level, it aims to re-connect and re-establish communications between countries of the Indian Ocean, which would lead to an enhanced understanding of cultural values and concerns;

2. At the micro level, the focus is on understanding national cultures in their regional maritime milieu.

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