‘Sev­eral pri­vate sec­tor en­ter­prises want to work with us on ASI projects’

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - Front Page - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: Na­tional Cul­ture Fund (NCF) was set up by the Min­istry of Cul­ture to pre­serve and pro­mote In­dian cul­ture and her­itage. It was es­tab­lished in 1996 as a Trust un­der the Char­i­ta­ble En­dow­ments Act, 1890. NCF chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer KL Dhingra spoke to HT on a range of is­sues. Ex­cerpts:

What is the man­date of NCF? NCF has been set up to forge Pub­lic Pri­vate Part­ner­ships (PPP) to raise ex­tra bud­getary re­sources for the preser­va­tion and pro­tec­tion of the In­dian cul­ture and her­itage. NCF has de­vel­oped aims and ob­jec­tives that pro­vide lead­er­ship, ed­u­ca­tion, ad­vo­cacy, and re­sources to save In­dia’s di­verse her­itage and re­vi­tal­ize our com­mu­ni­ties.

Are the ac­tiv­i­ties of NCF cov­ered un­der CSR?

NCF’s ac­tiv­i­ties are cov­ered un­der Sched­ule VII No. (v) of the Com­pa­nies Act, 2013, as re­gards Cor­po­rate So­cial Re­spon­si­bil­ity (CSR). The com­pa­nies cov­ered un­der the am­bit of CSR are now re­quired to con­trib­ute 2% of their prof­its to­wards CSR, which cover the preser­va­tion of our cul­tural her­itage.

How do donors ben­e­fit by join­ing hands with NCF?

The con­tri­bu­tion to the NCF is 100% tax ex­empt un­der sec­tion 80G (2) of the In­come Tax Act. We also of­fer in­stal­la­tion of a plaque at the her­itage project site to ac­knowl­edge the gen­er­ous con­tri­bu­tion of the donors and part­ners.

What are the ma­jor projects that NCF has taken up so far? The ma­jor projects in­clude Shani­war­wada Palace, Pune; Ra­makr­ishna Mis­sion In­sti­tute of Cul­ture, Kolkata; Hu­mayun’s Tomb, New Delhi; Sy­n­a­gogue Clock Tower, Cochin; Mu­sic of Mirs, New Delhi; Ra­mana Ma­har­ishi Cen­tre for Learn­ing, Ban­ga­lore and Tomb of Yusuf Qat­tal,

New Delhi. Some of the on­go­ing projects in­clude Kr­ishna Tem­ple, Hampi, Kar­nataka; Hidimba Devi Tem­ple, Hi­machal Pradesh; Lodhi Tomb, Delhi and upgra­da­tion of Swantrata San­gram San­gra­ha­laya, Red Fort.

What have been the achieve­ments of NCF? NCF got the high­est do­na­tions in 2015-16. Many new donors such as In­dia In­fra­struc­ture Fi­nance Com­pany Ltd. (IIFCL) and Sony In­dia Ltd. joined hands with NCF. Sev­eral pri­vate sec­tor en­ter­prises want to forge a re­la­tion­ship with us for ASI projects. NCF also re­ceived the 2015-16 Skoch Award for ‘re­viv­ing crafts her­itage & pro­vid­ing sus­tain­able liveli­hood to the ar­ti­sans’ through SEWA (Self-em­ployed Women As­so­ci­a­tion) in Gu­jarat.

What type of projects does NCF ac­cept?

NCF ac­cepts projects that not only aim to pre­serve our cul­tural her­itage but also have a high so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact in terms of em­ploy­ment gen­er­a­tion, ed­u­ca­tion and de­vel­op­ing ap­pre­ci­a­tion for our cul­tural her­itage. The im­pact of air pol­lu­tion is not restricted to our lungs, our hearts and the abil­ity of chil­dren to be pro­duc­tive. It is also si­mul­ta­ne­ously skin deep.

Ac­cord­ing to a new study of Lon­don’s air pol­lu­tion, a res­i­dent’s skin would have aged by two-and-a-half years ad­di­tion­ally by re­tire­ment, thanks to the pol­lu­tion. The study, re­ported in the In­de­pen­dent, found that PM

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