UNESCO says century-old Bihar college astronomical lab not included in world heritage list
New Delhi, Aug 9: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has said a 106-year-old astronomical observatory at a college in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district has not been inscribed on its list of endangered heritage.
The clarification from the world body comes in the wake of several media houses reporting that it was included in the list of endangered heritage observatories of the world.
The observatory, the first of its kind in eastern India, was established in the Langat Singh College in 1916 to impart astronomical knowledge to the students in detail.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO via its Office in India said, "Following several reports the last couple of days in the Indian media suggesting that UNESCO has added the '106-year-old astronomical observatory' at Langat Singh College in Muzaffarpur, Bihar on its list of endangered heritage, UNESCO's New Delhi Office would like to clarify that no such inscription to the UNESCO list has taken place." "As a first step for a site to be inscribed to the World Heritage list, the Government of India should include it in its Tentative List (which is currently not the case for this astronomical observatory)," said a statement issued by the world body on August 8.
The statement has been signed by Eric Falt, Director, UNESCO Office, New Delhi.
UNESCO, headquartered in Paris, promotes art, culture and heritage and its preservation globally.
"The selection criteria for sites are explained in the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention which, besides the text of the Convention, is the main working tool on World Heritage," the statement said.
Langat Singh College in north Bihar, now affiliated to Bhim Rao Ambedkar Bihar University, was set up in 1899.