Established as an UNESCO, New Delhi programme in September 2006 at an international conference held in Jaipur, IHCNF has traversed a long way and now encompasses as many as 32 Indian Cities and 9 French Cities and several academic institutions and NGOs as members and partners of its network. With the endorsement of the Ministry of Urban development, Government of India and the Government of Karnataka, the headquarters of IHCNF was shifted to Mysore in the year 2012 and recently it has been shifted to Bangalore in July, 2014. IHCNF has now registered as foundation and is independently working towards building awareness and a consensus on the importance of heritage preservation across the country. For its significance role in matters related to heritage, UNESCO has also accorded it the recognition of partner organization in India.
IHCF is actively working in four States of India, namely Karnataka, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, and is planning to expand its programme to other states as well. The Government of Karnataka has extended its support to IHCNF till the end of 2015 and the Action Plan has been amended to include many more new projects in the State. IHCNF is launching several training and capacity building programmes building programmes in Karnataka in the coming months. The demonstrative projects in the city of Bidar in northern Karnataka have been very successful till now. In a significant development, the historic city of Bidar has been included in the World Monuments Watch List for 2014. It is one of the three Indian sites to be included in this year’s list, and IHCNF has been largely instrumental in bringing this recognition to the important yet neglected capital city of the Bahmani Dynasty of the Deccan region. In Udaipur Heritage House has also been inaugurated recently, which has functioned as Heritage interpretation center. The City-to-City Cooperation between Udaipur and Strasbourg has also been continuing and is providing good results. In case of Madhya Pradesh, recently an MoU was signed between Government of Madhya Pradesh and IHCNF for taking up heritage-based projects in the State.
The newsletter is an important medium to present the activities and efforts of the IHCNF, and is expected to generate awareness by highlighting the heritage-based, sustainable urban development initiatives undertaken by various urban authorities, institutions, NGO’s and individuals. It aims to focus and discuss, under a single platform, the challenges faced by Indian Cities in protecting and discuss, under a single platform, the challenges faced by Indian Cities in protecting and enhancing the urban heritage and thus provide an impetus on the policy-making and planning for development of Urban Areas, thereby improving he lives of people living therein. The newsletter will also provide a foundation for knowledge-sharing which will enhance the mandate of IHCN to build a nation-wide platform for solution exchange, a single platform for generation and sharing information and best practices, and a focal point for international cooperation between cities and regions throughout the world.
I am happy to present the In-Heritance. Your comments and future contributions to the newsletter will be highly appreciated, and will help us make this a successful attempt.
Rathi Vinay Jha