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May 14, 2012

JICA to replenish broadcast equipment at Lok Virsa

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Islamabad May 14, 2012: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Economic Affairs Division (EAD) signed a Grant Agreement (GA) worth 49 million Yen (approx. USD 0.6 million) in respect of "The Project for Improvement of Audio Visual Equipment of the National Institute of Folk & Traditional Heritage; Lok Virsa", today at EAD Islamabad.

This Project is being launched on the occasion of completion of 60 years of Japan-Pakistan Cooperation. This is also to commemorate the 60 years long trusted friendship & partnership among the people of both countries.

The Project is intended to promote collection, preservation & dissemination of cultural heritage in Pakistan. This objective will be achieved by upgrading & enhancing the digital capacity of National Institute of Folk & Traditional Heritage situated in Lok Virsa, Ministry of National Heritage & Integration.

The equipment, to be provided under the Japanese Grant Aid, will replace the analogue type media equipment to the latest digital technology. New equipment will provide high quality multimedia products. The old equipment was also provided under the Japanese Grant Aid approximately 15 years ago by the Japanese Government.

The old equipment has enabled Lok Virsa to assist approximately 120,000 students, researchers, scholars on yearly basis to their pursuits of better understanding & further strengthening of the role of culture & heritage in nation building & cultural integration. The audio video programs, festivals, live musical concerts, exhibitions & folk lore classics have also provided income generation opportunities to the artisans & artists of Pakistan belonging to all four provinces, Gilgit Baltistan, FATA & AJK. Additionally, Lok Virsa's documentaries & audio video cassettes have also become an inspirational & authentic source of learning on traditional music & culture. The old equipment has now become obsolete & has outlived its life after having been utilized to its maximum potential.

The anticipated outcomes of the new Grant Aid project, signed today, including equipment utilization are:

  1. Enhanced promotion of cultural integration among all provinces through the upgraded National Institute of Folk & Traditional Heritage
  2. Enhanced outreach & coverage to artists & artisans of under privileged & remote areas of Pakistan
  3. Enhanced interest & better understanding of the youth of Pakistan in culture & national heritage

This project will commence on 14th May 2012 & the equipment is expected to be delivered at Lok Virsa in December 2013. The list of the equipment along with the quantity has already been agreed by both the Governments (Government of Pakistan & Government of Japan) on the basis of the Preliminary Survey conducted by Japanese consultants in September 2010. The official approval on the project from the Japanese government was secured in February 2012. Today's signing ceremony was intended to agree on the administrative & procurement framework of this project.

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