UNESCO Adds Three Indian Literary Gems to 'Memory of the World' Asia-Pacific Register

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The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has added three significant Indian literary works to its "Memory of the World (MOW) Asia-Pacific Regional Register": The Ramcharitmanas (Rāmacaritamānasa), Panchatantra (Pañcatantra Fables), and Sahṛdayāloka-Locana.

An Overview of the News

  • This decision was made at the 10th meeting of the Memory of the World Committee for Asia and the Pacific (MOWCAP), which took place in Ulaanbatar, Mongolia.

  • During the 2024 cycle, the Asia-Pacific Member States included a total of 20 items from various countries, with three from India.

  • Authored by Goswami Tulsidas, Pt. Vishnu Sharma, and Acharya Anandvardhan, respectively, these literary works hold significant cultural and historical importance.

IGNCA's Role and Representation:

  • The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) played a pivotal role in ensuring the placement of The Ramcharitmanas, Panchatantra, and Sahṛdayāloka-Locana in UNESCO's Memory of the World Asia-Pacific Regional Register.

  • Prof. Ramesh Chandra Gaur, Dean (Administration) and Head of Department (HOD) at the Kala Nidhi Division of IGNCA in New Delhi, Delhi, effectively represented the three entries from India.

  • IGNCA's participation marked its first-ever submission of nominations to the Regional Register since its inception in 2008, underscoring its commitment to preserving and promoting cultural heritage.


  • MOWCAP, a regional arm of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme (MOW), was inaugurated in 1998 at its inaugural General Meeting in Beijing, China.

  • The committee administers the Asia-Pacific register of MOW documentary heritage, updating it every two years with new inscriptions.

  • Its primary objective is to aid in the preservation and promotion of access to the documentary heritage of the Asia-Pacific region.

  • MOWCAP's mission extends to raising awareness about the significance and presence of this heritage.

  • It encompasses a membership of 43 countries spanning the Asia-Pacific region.

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