Hindustan Times (Delhi)

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

- 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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