UNESCO Current Affairs - 2019
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The traditional brass and copper craft of utensil making among the Thatheras of Jandiala Guru, Punjab is being inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, 2014.
It was announced at UNESCO’s 9th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage in Paris, France.
Key facts about Thatheras
- The craft of the Thatheras constitutes the traditional techniques of manufacturing brass, copper and kansa (an alloy of copper, zinc and tin) utensils.
- They have a unique ethnic and historical identity with an oral tradition that underpins their skill.
- The name of the community – ‘Thatheras’ is identical with the name of the element.
- These craft utensils of Thatheras have both utilitarian and ritualistic value.
- The tradition of using the metals is recommended by the ancient Indian school of medicine, Ayurveda.
- Skills of the Thatheras have been orally transmitted from one generation to other generations.
- During the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1883) – the great 19th Century Sikh Monarch, the Thatheras crafts colony was established in Jandiala Guru, Punjab. Thus, Jandiala Guru became an area of repute due to the skill of the Thatheras.
Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity: The Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity is made up of those intangible heritage elements that help demonstrate the diversity of this heritage and raise awareness about its importance.
It encourages dialogues between communities worldwide that practice traditional metal craftsmanship to manufacture handcrafted products that are both useful and beautiful.
India and the UNSECO have signed a letter of intent (LoI) for better cooperation in the field of reducing disaster risks and capacity-building In Earth Sciences. The LoI was signed between Ministry of Earth Sciences and UNESCO in the presence of Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences and Irina Bokova, Director General, UNESCO.
- The cooperation between India and UNSECO has been going on for several years now in reducing disaster risks.
- This LoI is considered as historic moment and will help to open up of new vistas of cooperation in not only the ocean-related studies but other areas of cooperation in different fields of scientific activities.
- It will help India to upgrade tsunami warning system and improve the capacity to alert nations about it.
- India has done a considerable research in the field of oceanography and also in terms of disaster management.
- The cooperation is also at the level of universities and institutions. Such cooperation helps in risk reduction especially in situation like tsunami and other natural disaster.