The mandate of the Ministry of Culture is to preserve and promote the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the country including traditional art, folk art and tribal art through its organizations and schemes.
To protect, preserve & promote various forms of folk, traditional art and culture throughout the country, the Government of India has set up seven Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs) with headquarters at Patiala, Nagpur, Udaipur, Prayagraj, Kolkata, Dimapur and Thanjavur. These ZCCs organize various cultural activities and programmes all over the country on regular basis for which annual grant-in-aid is provided to them. A number of schemes viz. Award to Young Talented Artists, Guru Shishya Parampara, Theatre Rejuvenation, Research & Documentation, Shilpgram, OCTAVE and National Cultural Exchange Programme (NCEP) are being implemented by these ZCCs.
Government/Non Governmental Organisations are also involved for the conservation of traditional art and culture by these ZCCs. Further, Ministry of Culture also administers various financial grant schemes which include Scheme of Financial Assistance for Promotion of Art and Culture (5 Components), Scheme of Scholarship and Fellowship for Promotion of Art and Culture (3 Components) and Scheme of Financial Assistance for creation of Cultural Infrastructure (3 components) for the purpose.
As regard the Intangible cultural heritage is concerned, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) which is an attached office of Ministry of Culture, is the premier organization responsible for conservation and preservation of protected monuments and areas of national importance related to antiquities and art treasures. This information was given by the Minister of State (I/c) of Culture and Tourism, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.