Majuli Island in Assam may get world heritage status

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 12 2010, 01:47am hrs
Work on setting up of Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) as UNESCO Category 1 institute in Delhi is likely to begin this year Also plans are afoot to set up a UNESCO House in Delhi. UNESCOs World Heritage Committee is likely to consider granting putting Majuli Island in Assam in the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The UNESCO director-general, Irina Bokova said : In my discussions with the Indian minister for human resources development, Kapil Sibal he assured me that the work on setting up of the MGIEP will begin this year The government will allot land in Delhi and UNESCO will provide $ 0.5 million assistance. Subsequently land will also be allotted for setting up of UNESCO House in Delhi.

Heritage sites are inscribed in the World Heritage List by the World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO. India has submitted a list of 22 cultural sites in the country. None of them have been put in the List of World Heritage in danger by the WHC.

In the list of cultural sites submitted by India includes, Golconda Fort in Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh, Majuli Island in Assam, tomb of Sher Shah Suri in Sasaram in Bihar, excavated remains at Nalanda in Bihar, Rani Ki Vav in Patan in Gujarat, the Kangra Valley Railway in Himachal Pradesh, Buddhist Monastery Complex in Alchi in Leh (Ladhak) in Jammu and Kashmir, Hemis Gompa in Leh (Ladhak), Mattanchery Palace, Ernakulam in Kerala, group of mountains in Mandu in Madhya Pradesh, the Maharaja Railways of India in Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, Church Gate Extension in Mumbai in Maharashtra, Matheran and its extension in Raigad in Maharashtra, Western Ghats along Indias western coast, Sri Harimandir Shahib in Amritsar in Punjab, Le Corbusier in Chandigarh, Jantar Mantars of Jaipur, Delhi, Ujjain and Varansi, ancient Buddhist site at Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh, Oak Grove School in Massorree in Uttarakhand, group of temples in Bisnupur in West Bengal.

Among the list of natural sites submitted to UNESCO are Namdapha National Park in Aurunachal Pradesh, Wild Ass Sanctury in Gir in Gujarat, Great Himalayan National Park in Himachal Pradesh, Western Ghats along Indias western coast, Bhitarnika Conservation Area in coastal Orissa, Desert National Park in Rajasthan, Kangchendzonga National Park in Sikkim, Neora Valley National Park in West Bengal.

Mrs Bokova said out of this long list of cultural sites the UNESCOs World Heritage Committee is likely to take up the case of Majuli Island in Assam for consideration.

Mrs Bokova is the first lady director-general of UNESCO and this is her first vist to the Asian continent. Earlier she was Bulgarias ambassador extraordinary to France and Monaco She held responsible positions in Bulgarian parliamentary committees.

She said that she discussed with Mr Sibal about the need to cooperate in facing the pressing problems relating to water crisis, Tsunami monitoring, climate change, education for sustainable development through adequate scientific interventions. She also that the children should be taught the ethics of climate change. UNESCO will assist India in implementing the Right to Education Act and its effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

Mrs Bokova informed the UNESCO sponsored Global Monitoring Report on Education will launched in January 19, this year. The report is likely to contain the impact of global financial in least developed countries which has increased school dropouts and decreased the flow of funds to education. The report would strongly advocate greater investments in education

Indias biggest challenge is for developing an inclusive society, she said.

She further stressed upon the need to have quality and education for which the quality of teachers needs to be upgraded. UNESCO has set up a taskforce to study the possibility of private sector participation in improving the quality of education.