UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITES (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – Art & Culture)

News-CRUX-10     18th September 2023        

Context: Recently, the Prime Minister expressed his joy at Santiniketan's inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


  • About: It was the home of Rabindranath Tagore, where he lived and composed many of his literary works, including songs, poems, and novels.
  • Location: Birbhum District, West Bengal, India
  • Built by: Debendranath Tagore (father of Rabindranath Tagore)
  • Shantiniketan Festivals: Briksharopan (festival of Planting Saplings) and Halakarshan (festival of Plowing the Fields)

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

  • About: It is a place that is listed by UNESCO for its special cultural or physical significance
  • Maintained by: International ‘World Heritage Programme’, administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
  • Selection Criteria: Sites must be already classified landmarks, unique and significant culturally or physically, such as ancient ruins, historical structures, cities, monuments, etc.
  • India’s role: India has been a member of the World Heritage Committee thrice before (1985-91, 2001-07& 2011-15) and is serving a fourth term (2021-25).
  • India’s sites: 41 World Heritage Sites. 

o 33 are cultural, 7 are natural, and one, the Khangchendzonga National Park, is of mixed type.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

  • Formation: 1945, is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris.
  • Objective: It works to achieve peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms.
  • Members: 195 member states and 10 associate members. India is a founding member of the Organization.
  • Headquarter: Paris, France.