About National Cultural Audiovisual Archives (NCAA)


Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi is a premier institute set-up by the Government of India for research, documentation, preservation and dissemination of Indian arts and to provide a holistic understanding of Indian culture. A large volume of India’s cultural wealth, created in the last six decades, is stored in audiovisual form with various governmental and non-governmental institutions and private collections. The content of these holdings enshrines the creativity of some of India’s greatest artistic talents. This is an invaluable national heritage that needs to be preserved for all time and also made accessible to the citizens of the country. In the absence of systematic and modern preservation technologies, lack of awareness and proper upkeep, as well as the fragility of the medium they are stored in, these materials are in imminent danger of being lost forever.

Understanding the seriousness of the issue, Ministry of Culture in 12th Five Year plan proposed a project for the archiving of the cultural audio-visual materials. Ministry of Culture, vide letter dated 3rd April 2014, accorded sanction for the National Cultural Audiovisual Archives (NCAA) project at the IGNCA. The Ministry entrusted IGNCA to implement the National Cultural Audiovisual Archives project.

Project Objectives

The following are the objectives of the project:

  1. Identifying and preserving the cultural heritage of India available in audiovisual form in institutions across the country through a process of digitization and making it accessible to the people.
  2. Instituting state-of-the-art digitization and storage systems through the aegis of IGNCA and its Partnering Institutions to preserve these audiovisual resources.
  3. Setting up a dedicated website and a virtual network of these repositories and offering online access to their resources, programming schedules etc.
  4. Standardization and periodic upgradation of the methods and technologies used in production, storage and retrieval of audiovisual resources. The genres to be covered will include oral traditions, traditional crafts and textiles, dance, music and theatrical practices, cultural practices and traditional knowledge.
  5. Capacity building in conservation, cataloguing, metadata creation, digitization and retrieval of audiovisual materials.
  6. Instituting outreach and awareness programmes.

Project Targets

In the current pilot phase, the project is to be completed by 31st March 2018 with the following as the main deliverables:

  1. Selection and digitization of over 30,000 hours of audio and video material.
  2. Formulation of digitization and metadata standards for this project on an Open Archival Information System model.
  3. Creation of online catalogue of the cultural audiovisual materials of Partnering Institutions.
  4. Capacity building in the area of audiovisual conservation, documentation, digitization, storage and dissemination.
The project is being implemented by the IGNCA through a Project Management Unit (PMU), under the supervision of a Steering Committee and a National Monitoring Committee.

Project Implementation

The Project Management Unit (PMU) at IGNCA implements the Project under the overall guidance of the National Monitoring Committee and the Steering Committee. The PMU coordinates with 22 Partnering Institutions across the country. Selected audiovisual material emanating from these Institutions is envisaged to be digitized by a digitization agency and subsequently submitted to the Project. The PMU, in turn, has created a trusted repository developed by C-DAC Pune, under the National Digital Preservation Programme. The access quality digital files will be made available on the repository for public access and also be given to the Partnering Institutions for in-house access and use. The archival quality files will be stored at IGNCA, New Delhi and IGNCA, Southern Regional Centre, Bengaluru. The aforementioned narrative is explained by way of a schematic diagram of the NCAA project implementation process:

Progress Reports

  1. NCAA Project Progress Report (2014-15)
  2. NCAA Project Progress Report (2015-16)
  3. NCAA Project Progress Report (2014-17)
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