UNESCO to bring out web-based encyclopaedia of India

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New Delhi, Nov 26 (UNI) UNESCO will bring out an innovative web-based video encyclopaedia of India to highlight and safeguard the country's extraordinarily ancient and diverse cultural heritage.

The site, ''http://www.indiavideo.org/'' will bring into focus the unique culture, heritage and geography of India.

It is being developed by Invis Multimedia Private Limited, one of the premier content development organisations specialising in audio-visual production.

Announcing the agreement between UNESCO and Invis Multimedia, Ms Minja Yang, Director of the UNESCO's New Delhi Office, said ''the unique objective behind this project is to develop an atlas of India that covers not just its geographical features but its cultural ones too.

''We are very pleased to partner with Invis Multimedia in the creation of a format that is easily accessible world-wide and that will raise awareness of the importance of safeguarding India's heritage.'' Ms Yang said the new encyclopaedia would have detailed sections on each state and Union Territory of India. The video clips will be supplemented with text in English language.

Kerala is the first state to be covered, with 2,000 professionally created video clips, which are to be uploaded by March 2008. The uploading of video clips from other parts of India will begin along with formal launching of the site in April next year.

She said one of UNESCO's key mandates is to safeguard and promote the wealth of the world's cultural diversity.

There are 28 World Heritage Sites in India, but Ms Yang said UNESCO's principles embrace the protection and promotion of heritage and creativity in a much broader sense: Cultural diversity encompasses landscapes and buildings, but also rituals, performing art, traditional crafts and other traditional knowledge on nature.

''This is why a video encyclopaedia is particularly well suited to depicting the full range of India's culture,'' she said, pointing out that India is a signatory to the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which were both promulgated by UNESCO.

Invis Multimedia has extensive experience in the development of interactive materials for tourism, including CD-ROMs and DVDs on Kerala, Ayurveda, and Indian classical dance, some of which have been honoured with the Tourism Ministry's National Award of Excellence.

UNI

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