Prof. Rana P.B.Singh ad Dr R.B.Singh surely deserve an acknowledgement for their tireless activity in promoting the IGU CCHD Project. We gratefully expose the report of their initiatives in the last months. 1) Prof. Dr. Rana P. B. Singh (IGU-CCHD, India), 2006-2007: Activities and programmes promoting the cause of CCHD (1) 18 May - 19 June 2006: Seminars and workshops on "CCHD- India Roots: Religion, Space and Cultural Heritage" at Karlstad University, Sweden. # Myself has organised four workshops and seminars for BA/MA (Regional Studies, Geography, Religious Studies) students. Since 1989 Karlstad University (Sweden) and Banaras Hindu University (India) are running an exchange programme for Studying India to promote Multiculturalism and making the World Better. Every year around fifteen Swede students come to Varanasi for three-four months. Under this exchange programme, the lectures and workshops are organised in both the sides. In continuation of this programme, Prof. Rana Singh has been to Karlstad University as visiting professor. The seminars included lectures on Development, Religion and Global Message; Indian Village: Lifeworld and the inherent human values linked to nature; Varanasi, the Cultural capital of India and its Cultural heritage: comparative views of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This programme is collaborated and organised with the support of Prof. Gerhard Gustafsson (Karlstad University). There were also several discourses with Dr. Ms. Kristina Lejonhud 'Nina', who did her doctoral thesis on the 'Village life and Landscape Change in Villages near Varanasi' (2003, already published); the plan for further studies in near future has been discussed and project for this purpose is in the way. ------------------------------------------------------------------ (2) 29-30 May 2006: Address on the "CCHD-India Roots: Traditions in City and Village" at Oslo University College, Oslo, Norway. # Organised a dialogue-cum-seminar, participated by students and teachers, and special lecture on 'Indian Village' on 30 May forenoon, HH the Ambassador of India attended and interacted; in the afternoon the theme of lecture was 'Varanasi, the Cultural capital of India: Sacredscape and message of Multiculturalism'. The authorities of Oslo University College [Mrs. Dr. Tove Nicolaisen and Mrs. Dr. Halldis Breidid, both Assoc. Prof. Education leader to India Study Programme; Prof. Ms. Sissel Østberg (Dean), Prof. Ms. Vera Berg (International Coordinator) and Prof. Geir Hoaas, Assoc. Prof. Religion & Ethics] have actively discussed to plan future programmes for India Study and promoting closer interaction to promote universal values of culture and civilisation. --------------------------------------------------- (3) 07-09 June 2006: Field study for 'Cultural Heritage and message to Human Understanding', Östmark region of Värmland, Sweden (with a view to promoting, inter alia, the aims of CCHD). Together with Prof. Gerhard Gustafsson (Geography, Karlstad University, Sweden) done fieldwork to study the 'architectural heritage of Finnish settlement' of Östmark region of Värmland (Mattila, Purda Finngård, Juhola). Also interviewed the people involved in maintenance and the farmers living there. A report-based paper is in process, expected to be ready by 2007. We have already studied this area in May-June 1993. This is a participatory study of understanding and experiencing the use of cultural heritage in the present context and through their conservation and preservation passing on a message for the coming generation to understand the integrity between nature and culture. This will be a good lesson for making use of the cultural heritage of the past culture and civilisation. ----------------------------------------------------- (4) 15-18 June 2006: Panel on "Spirit of Place, Landscape and Place Ballet" at the Conference on "Space, Haunting, Discourse" at Karlstad University, Sweden (chairmen: Prof Rana P.B. Singh and Prof. Gerhard Gustafsson), (with a view to promoting, inter alia, the aims of CCHD). In the 'Panel' of the International Seminar, the following four papers were presented: * ?Martin J. Haigh (Oxford Brookes University, UK): Seeds in the Forest: Exploring the Undergrowth of the New Ecological Age. * ?Jamie S. Scott (York University, Canada): 'I Alone Exist Here in the World': Nanda Devi in Text and Context. * ?Rana P. B. Singh (Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India): The Place-Ballet of Banaras as portrait in Kashinath Singh's novel Assi of Kashi. * ?Ravi S. Singh (Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India): People and Partition: A Literary Geographic Narrative of Rahi Masoom Raza's Adha Gaon and Bhishma Sahni's Tamas. Convenor and Commentator: Prof. Gerhard Gustafsson (Karlstad University, Sweden). # Based on these papers and some invited essays, a volume will be published in near future. -------------------------------------------------------- (5) 20 -26 June 2006: lectures on topics on "CCHD-India Roots: Pilgrimage System and Sacredscapes", Copenhagen University, Denmark (with Prof. Erik R. Sand, Chairman, Religious Studies) Since 2001 Institute of Religious Studies, Copenhagen University (Denmark) and Society of Heritage Planning and Environmental Health (Varanasi, India), a NGO, are running an exchange programme for Danish students (every year around fifteen) to visit Varanasi for two weeks studying Indian culture and heritage, religion, life and religious landscape in the purview of development. This is an attempt to make closer the East and the West, for the better service to mankind through 'deeper interaction of cultures and civilisations, and development'. Under this exchange programme, the lectures and workshops are organised in both the sides. In continuation of this programme, Prof. Rana Singh has been to Copenhagen University and further promoted interaction and discourses with old students and the potential students planning to visit India. --------------------------------------------------------- (6) 27-30 June 2006: Panel on "Pilgrimage Landscape, Cosmogram and Planning the Heritage Cities" during the 19th European Conference of Modern South Asian Studies, (Leiden University, the Netherlands) (with a view to promoting, inter alia, the aims of CCHD). 1. Erik Reenberg Sand (Copenhagen, Denmark): Rituals and Sacred Space of Pandharpur, India 2. Rana P.B. Singh (Varanasi, India): Where Divinity meets Humanity. Pilgrimage Landscape and Cosmogram at Gaya, India. * 3. Rana P. B. Singh (Varanasi, India) and FUKUNAGA Masaaki (Tokyo, Japan): The World Heritage Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama, Japan: Continuing Culture and Meeting Modernity. * 4. Alexandra van der Geer, et. al. (Athens, Greece): Fossils and myths in North India: is there a connection between the Siwalik Hills and the Mahâbhârata? * 5. Mohammad Sazzad Hossain (Dhaka, Bangladesh): Lalbagh to Chota Katra: A Concept to to Revitalize the Urban Heritage of Dhaka City Chair and convened by: Rana P.B. Singh (Member, European Association of South Asian Studies; and IGU-CCHD). 2) A report from Dr. R.B. Singh, Secretary General-National Association of Geographers, India (NAGI), in his position of a CCHD Regional Promoter from India. Part 1 — Work Done on IGU Initiatives on Cultures and Civilizations for Human Development, CCHD 1 1st International Indian Geography Congress, October 5-7, 2006, Hyderabad, India A special session is organized during above congress where Indian and Foreign scholars will interact for fulfilling the goals of IGU initiatives on CCHD. The deliberation will take place at the Osmania University, Hyderabad. Director, IGU Home of Geography, Prof. Giuliano Bellezza is expected to participate in the congress. Prof. Rana P.B. Singh (B.H.U.) will deliver a special lecture on ‘Culture and Civilisations for Human Development: Perspectives in India on the Gandhian Path’. 2 XXVIII Indian Geography Congress, November 10-12, 2006, Bodh Gaya, India During 28th Geography Congress a plenary session is scheduled on the perspectives of CCHD for South Asia. A few geographers from Nepal and Bangladesh are expected to participate. The Congress will take place at the Magadh University, Bodh Gaya (the place where Lord Buddha attained the enlightenment). Prof. Rana P.B. Singh (B.H.U.) will deliver a special lecture on ‘Heritage Geography: Prospects in South Asia”, focusing CCHD. 3. South Asia CCHD Sponsored International Seminar on Sacred Places, Sacred Journeys, January 11-13, 2007 at Allahabad, India. On the occasion of Ardha Kumbha Mela (the most sacred and the biggest bathing festival, held every sixth year at the confluence of the holy rivers Ganga and the Yamuna, attracting more than 10 million pilgrims), an international conference is organized at Allahabad for creating awareness about CCHD at world level in general and South Asia in particular, under the auspices of Society of Pilgrimage Studies ― President: Prof. Rana P.B. Singh, Secretary: Dr. D.P. Dubey. 4. Sought assistance from Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) in influencing the Indian leadership As we know ICCR is the apex body dealing with the promotion of culture, we are doing ground work by approaching the higher officials to stimulate Indian leadership to vote in favour of declaring a year as CCHD. 5. Publication of key-note lecture delivered by R.B. Singh at Rome Workshop of the CCHD in one of the largest geographical journals of India –Annals, December 2005. 6. Requested approval of the IGU initiative at the next meeting of the IGU National Committee, held at the Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi. Part 2 — Future Action Plan for CCHD in South Asia 1. South Asian Consultation Meeting during 29th Indian Geography Congress, 2007 As Secretary General of the National Association of Geographers India, Dr. R.B. Singh is approaching various institutions to participate and present national reports on the State of CCHD. An action plan for South Asia will be prepared. This will be incorporated in our presentation before Tunis CCHD Session. 2. Planning Special Publication on CCHD South Asia to be presented before Tunis Congress.