India plays a very active role on the World Heritage Committee and possesses 22 cultural and 5 natural sites on the World Heritage List, some of which are world famous.
The country has undertaken the mammoth task of safeguarding and promoting its cultural heritage in cooperation with UNESCO and with the aid of international private and public donors. The Group of Monuments at Hampi, which was removed from the list of World Heritage in Danger in 2006, receives assistance in the framework of the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement for the elaboration of a conservation and management plan.
The preservation of intangible heritage is essential to achieving development with a human face. Kutiyattam Sanskrit Theatre was proclaimed a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage in 2001. An action plan has been implemented to ensure its preservation. The tradition of Vedic Chanting and Ramlila, the Tradition Performance of the Ramayana received this distinction in 2003 and 2005 respectively.
India implements various programmes on cultural tourism and ecotourism in the northern regions (Ladakh) to enable destitute communities to contribute to their own development.
As regards intercultural dialogue, the country is particularly attentive to interreligious dialogue.
India/UNESCO cooperation also focuses on the development of crafts through the Seal of Excellence programme.
India has demonstrated its resolve to promote cultural diversity by ratifying the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression in October 2006.