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AnantU community members attended the Vadnagar Internation Conference between 18-20 May 2022. Anant National University was the university partner of the Vadnagar International Conference, organised by the Government of Gujarat in association with the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. UNESCO Chair at AnantU was the conference’s event partner.

Chief Minister, Government of Gujarat, Bhupendrabhai Patel; Meenakshi Lekhi, Minister of State for Culture; Harshbhai Sanghavi, Minister (State) Sports, Youth & Cultural Activities Department, Government of Gujarat; Ashwini Kumar, IAS and Principal Secretary, Sports, Youth & Cultural Activities Department, Government of Gujarat; and Dr Pankaj Sharma, Director, Directorate of Archaeology & Museums remained in attendance.

“Vadnagar project is inspirational, and hence it’s important to understand the layers of significance. We must take into account both archaeological and historical layers. Identifying, preserving, restoring and curating the tangible and intangible heritage of communities is essential. An outcome of this will be evident through opportunities for craftsmen and artists, employment generation, better gender inclusivity, increased income, development of tourism and many more parameters”, said Professor Dr Amareswar Galla, UNESCO Chair on Inclusive Museums and Sustainable Heritage Development and Director, ICICL, Anant National University, during his keynote speech at the Vadnagar International Conference.

In addition, Professor Galla also spoke about Vadnagar’s tryst with Buddhism and the development of different types of Buddhist Tourism experiences in Gujarat to enhance a tourist’s experience. He was also felicitated at the conference.

AnantU faculty members and students presented posters at the conference. All the dignitaries, including Chief Minister, Government of Gujarat, Bhupendrabhai Patel; Meenakshi Lekhi, Minister of State for Culture; Eric Falt, UNESCO Representative to Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka, remained present during the presentation. The posters showcased heritage street revitalisation, stories of living heritage, cultural landscape, the discovery of ancient Buddhist monasteries, trade and traditions, water structures, community-centric street design, pedagogical museum development and interpretation centre on rock art.

On the last day of the conference, the Directorate of Archaeology & Museums, Sports, Youth & Culture Activities Department, Government of Gujarat (Directorate) and Anant National University entered into an MoU. Dr Anunaya Chaubey, Provost, AnantU, was present during the closing ceremony of the Vadnagar International Conference, where the MoUs were announced. The collaboration aims at facilitating cooperation in research, projects and International Technical Advisory.