Ramappa Temple: How a site is selected for World Heritage List
The extended 44th session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee is currently underway in China’s Fuzhou. The session began on July 16 and will conclude on July 31. On Sunday, Telangana’s iconic Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple was inscribed by the committee as a World Heritage site, thus becoming the latest site in India to be included on the World Heritage List, joining 38 other locations from the country already on the list.
Here’s the procedure for a property to be inscribed as a World Heritage site:
(1.) Submitting an Inventory: Also known as a “tentative list,” an inventory is an initial list of properties, located within a country’s boundaries, that a state party can submit for inclusion as a World Heritage site. This list can be updated from time to time and is important because the World Heritage Committee can consider for inscription only those properties that are mentioned on this list.
A “state party” is a country which has ratified the World Heritage Convention. India ratified the convention on November 14, 1977. As of October 23, 2020, a total of 194 countries have adhered to the World Heritage Convention.
(2.) Presenting the Nomination File: The World Heritage Centre assists a state party in preparing this file, which needs to have the necessary documentation, including maps. The file is then submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review, after which the document is sent to the advisory bodies for evaluation.
(3.) The Advisory Bodies: The World Heritage Convention mandates two advisory bodies to independently evaluate a nominated property. These are the International Council on Monuments and Sites, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature. A third such body is the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property.
(4.) The World Heritage Committee: After nomination and evaluation, the final decision to inscribe a site as a World Heritage site is taken by the World Heritage Committee. The committee meets once every year to decide which properties to include on the list. It can also request state parties for further information on a site.
(5.) Eligibility criteria: Any nominated site should meet at least one out of ten selection norms. These are updated regularly to reflect the very concept of World Heritage.
Overall, more than 1100 properties from various countries are on the World Heritage List. The Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Qutub Minar, Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves, Fatehpur Sikri etc. are among the monuments from India which feature on this list.