In a unique initiative to prevent antiques like sculptures, manuscripts, vessels and paintings that are a century old from landing up with the ‘kabadi wala’, the government is proposing to invite people to showcase their artefacts at exhibitions and sell them to prospective buyers.
According to sources, the Ministry of Culture will invite people to bring their artefacts to the government centres, after which the authenticity of the pieces will be established.
Once they are proven to be more than a century old, the antiquities would be showcased at exhibitions. These pieces would be given a tag, to establish that they are real antique pieces, after which interested buyers could purchase such items.
The process will not only help to identify the antiquities in the possession of people but also help the owners get them certified by the government, the sources said.
“Once assessed for their authenticity, these items can then be sold to prospective buyers,” the sources added. Sale of antique items is currently prohibited under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, and can invite a fine up to Rs 5,000.
As per the Act, antiquity is referred to any article or object of historical interest that has been in existence for not less than one hundred years. Coins, sculptures, manuscripts, epigraphs, other works of art of craftsmanship, objects or things illustrative of science, art, crafts, literature, religion, customs, morals or politics in bygone ages, are also declared as antiquities under the Act.
The plan to preserve historically important objects is in the final stage and would go a long way in preserving the ancient culture. Officials believe that a large number of century-old antique objects are subjected to destruction due to carelessness. (IANS)
India and Sweden on Monday announced the launch of a pilot project to convert paddy stubble into green coal in Mohali, Punjab, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf inaugurated a bilateral high-level policy dialogue on innovation policy here.
The dialogue created a platform for key stakeholders from the government, private sector and academia to provide strategic direction for joint innovation policy formulation.
The dialogue jointly formulated and implemented short and long-term projects in strategic areas such as, but not limited to, circular economy, digital health, artificial intelligence, sustainable energy and future mobility, a statement said.
The dialogue brought together government officials, prominent industrialists as well as renowned academicians from both Sweden and India. Sweden’s Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation Ibrahim Baylan, and Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Health and Family Welfare, were also present for the dialogue.
The two leaders launched the Agri-Waste to High Energy Biocoal pilot project, which has been established under the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC) Waste to Wealth Mission.
The office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, in partnership with Bioendev, Sweden, has set up a torrefaction pilot plant for the conversion of agri-waste into biocoal at the National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute (NABI) in Mohali, Punjab. The biocoal made from unutilised crop waste produces 20 times lower emissions than conventional coal.
The expected outcomes of this pilot study are: Improved air quality with reduction of crop burning; reduced emissions from use of biocoal as a clean energy source; livelihood generation opportunities for farmers as biocoal production creates new market linkages for agri-waste; soil quality improvement in fields from avoided crop burning, according to a statement.
Other major announcements made during the dialogue included:
The India-Sweden Collaborative Industrial Research & Development Programme in the area of ‘smart cities and clean technologies’ and ‘Digitisation and Internet of Things’, co-funded by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), India, and Vinnova, the Swedish innovation agency.
The project aims to develop technologies that can be commercialised after two years through joint cooperation between India and Sweden. Vinnova will provide funding to Swedish side participants up to 2,500,000 SEK as grant. On the Indian side, conditional grant of up to 50 per cent with a limit of Rs 1.5 crore per project to Indian project partners will be provided.
The Department of Science & Technology, India, and the Swedish Research Council will fund 20 bilateral projects in the area of computer science and material science under the Indo-Swedish Joint Network Grant Awards.
The Swedish Research Council will fund 14 million SEK for 2 years for this programme. The Department of Science and Technology will provide activity matching funding to the Indian counterparts.
Through the Strategic Indo-Swedish Cooperative Innovation Programme, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), India, and Vinnova will announce a joint programme in the area of ‘digital health’. The programme aims to provide scalable and implementable innovative, sustainable and flexible health solutions in both countries, using artificial intelligence-based technologies as a tool.
The India-Swedish Collaborative Industrial Research & Development Programme in the area of ‘smart grids’ co-funded by the Department of Science & Technology, India, and the Swedish Energy Agency was also announced. The Swedish Energy Agency has allocated 25 million SEK over the next four years for this industry-led call.
Also announced was the establishment of the new ‘Joint Centre of Excellence in Innovation and Entrepreneurship’ between KTH Royal Institute of Technology and IIT Madras. The centre in Chennai is the first of four planned centres. The joint centre aims to build an entrepreneurial spirit and cross-border teams creating innovations that could target the markets in both Sweden and India, as well as globally.
The Ministry of Earth Sciences, India, and the Ministry of Education and Research, Sweden, signed a MoU on cooperation in polar science. The two ministries are committed to cooperate in the study of polar research by coordinating and sharing resources and data.
King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia arrived in India on a five-day state visit on Monday.
The Swedish royal couple will also visit Mumbai and Uttarakhand.
This is the second state visit to India by the Swedish royal couple. The first was in 1993.
It is the fourth high-level exchange between Sweden and India since 2015 when former President Pranab Mukherjee was on a historic first state visit to Sweden. In 2016, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan LAfven visited India and in 2018 Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Sweden. (IANS)