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National Mission on Cultural Mapping (NMCM) – UPSC

National Mission

The National Mission on Cultural Mapping is now in the hands of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), and they’re getting ready to test it out in 75 villages in October 2021.


  • The Ministry of Culture operates on a budget that’s only 0.07% of the total national budget.
  • The cultural budget has been on a downward trend for the past five years.
  • This year’s budget stands at a mere 2,688 crores, equivalent to the cost of just 1.5 Rafael jets.
  • The government reduced the cultural budget by a staggering 21% compared to the previous year.
  • While countries like the UK, China, and Singapore are boosting their cultural budgets, ours is moving in the opposite direction.
  • Vacancies plague government cultural institutions, ranging from 30% to a whopping 70%.
  • Lack of trained manpower is a significant challenge faced by these institutions.

National Mission on Cultural Mapping

  • The mission was proposed in 2015 but was officially approved in 2017.
  • It seeks to envision and address the necessity of preserving the threads of rich Indian Art and Cultural Heritage.
  • It aims to convert the vast and widespread cultural canvass of India into an objective cultural mapping.
  • Under this Mission, there are three important objectives as follows:
    a). To undertake the cultural mapping (i.e. database of cultural assets and resources) via running a nationwide cultural awareness programme called Hamari Sanskriti Hamari Pahchan Abhiyan (National Cultural Awareness Abhiyan).
    b). To run a Nationwide Artist Talent Hunt/Scouting Programme called Sanskritik Pratibha Khoj Abhiyan.
    c). To establish a National Cultural Working Place (NCWP) portal. It would be a Centralised Transactional Web Portal with a database and demography of cultural assets and resources including all art forms and artists.


  • Encourage a deeper understanding and appreciation of different cultures.
  • Safeguard cultural traditions and legacies for future generations.
  • Support job opportunities in creative fields while ensuring sustainability.
  • Develop a comprehensive database to promote the diverse growth of cultural heritage.
  • Make the most of resources by allocating them wisely and responsibly.


  • We’re building a shared database that anyone – from journalists to researchers and supporters – can use as a valuable resource.
  • Imagine finding an old, forgotten cinema and turning it into a vibrant auditorium in a town that doesn’t have one. That’s what we’re aiming for!
  • We’re working on improving things in a struggling crafts village. Picture better transportation and exciting tourism opportunities to give the village a new lease on life.


  • The mission pledged 3,000 crores but has only received a meager 42.78 crores by 2019-20.
  • Shockingly, only 1.17 crores have actually been put to use, indicating a significant underutilization of funds.
  • Sadly, there’s a major hiccup in identifying artists at the block level due to the absence of a proper IT infrastructure.
  • The mission seems to have lost focus on cultural mapping:
  • It’s involving artists in unrelated schemes like Swachh Bharat and Namami Gange.
  • A questionable grading system has been introduced, where officials decide if an artist is “good” or “not so good.”
  • Oddly, there’s a shift towards digital literacy and talent competitions, sidelining the original cultural mapping objective.

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