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United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)


The full form of UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. UNESCO stands as a beacon of global collaboration in the fields of education, science, culture, and communication. With its mission to promote peace, sustainable development, and intercultural understanding, UNESCO plays a vital role in preserving and promoting the world’s diverse cultural heritage, advancing scientific knowledge, fostering inclusive education, and advocating for freedom of expression.

As a specialized agency of the United Nations, UNESCO brings together nations from around the globe to collectively address the shared challenges and opportunities in these domains. Through its programs and initiatives, UNESCO contributes to building a more peaceful and inclusive world, where access to quality education, scientific advancements, and cultural appreciation are central pillars of progress.

Headquarters of UNESCO

The headquarters of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is located in Paris, France.

Read about: United Nations Development Programme

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India List

Check here complete List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India given below:

Natural World Heritage Sites in India

Site State Year
Kaziranga National Park Assam 1985
Keoladeo Ghana National Park Rajasthan 1985
Manas Wildlife Sanctuary Assam 1985
Nanda Devi National Park and Valley of Flowers Uttarakhand 1988, 2005
Sundarbans National Park West Bengal 1987
Western Ghats Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala 2012
Great Himalayan National Park Himachal Pradesh 2014

Read about: Tentative List of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites

Cultural World Heritage Sites in India 

Site State Year
Dholavira Gujarat 2021
Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple Telangana 2021
The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement Chandigarh 2016
Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai Maharashtra 2018
Historic City of Ahmedabad Gujarat 2017
Jaipur City Rajasthan 2020
Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University) Bihar 2016
Rani-Ki-Van Gujarat 2014
Hill Forts of Rajasthan Rajasthan 2013
The Jantar Mantar Rajasthan 2010
Red Fort Complex Delhi 2007
Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park Gujarat 2004
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Maharashtra 2004
Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka Madhya Pradesh 2003
Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya Bihar 2002
Mountain Railways of India Tamil Nadu 1999
Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi Delhi 1993
Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi Delhi 1993
Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi Madhya Pradesh 1989
Elephanta Caves Maharashtra 1987
Great Living Chola Temples Tamil Nadu 1987
Group of Monuments at Pattadakal Karnataka 1987
Churches and Convents of Goa Goa 1986
Fatehpur Sikri Uttar Pradesh 1986
Group of Monuments at Hampi Karnataka 1986
Khajuraho Group of Monuments Madhya Pradesh 1986
Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram Tamil Nadu 1984
Sun Temple, Konarak Odisha 1984
Agra Fort Uttar Pradesh 1983
Ajanta Caves Maharashtra 1983
Ellora Caves Maharashtra 1983
Taj Mahal Uttar Pradesh 1983

Mixed World Heritage Sites in India

Site State Year
Khangchendzonga National Park Sikkim 2016

Read about: BIMSTEC Countries

UNESCO Functions 

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) performs several important functions. Here are some key functions of UNESCO:

  • Education: UNESCO promotes inclusive and quality education for all, focusing on access, equity, and lifelong learning. It develops educational policies, supports teacher training, and advocates for education as a fundamental human right.
  • Science: UNESCO supports scientific research, fosters international scientific collaboration, and promotes the application of science for sustainable development. It works to advance scientific knowledge, address global challenges, and promote science education.
  • Culture: UNESCO safeguards cultural heritage, promotes cultural diversity, and fosters intercultural dialogue. It designates and protects World Heritage Sites, preserves intangible cultural heritage, and promotes cultural industries for sustainable development.
  • Communication and Information: UNESCO promotes freedom of expression, media development, and universal access to information. It advocates for media literacy, press freedom, and the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for knowledge sharing.
  • Sustainable Development: UNESCO integrates education, science, culture, and communication to advance sustainable development goals. It encourages dialogue and cooperation among nations to address global challenges such as poverty, inequality, climate change, and social inclusion.
  • Peace and Human Rights: UNESCO works towards building a culture of peace, tolerance, and respect for human rights. It promotes intercultural understanding, counteracts discrimination, and supports initiatives for peacebuilding and conflict resolution.

Read about: NATO Countries

UNESCO and India

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and India share a significant partnership in various fields. Here are some key aspects of UNESCO’s collaboration with India:

  • World Heritage Sites: India is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including iconic landmarks such as the Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar, Red Fort, and Ellora Caves. UNESCO works closely with the Indian government to preserve and protect these sites, promoting their cultural and historical significance on a global platform.
  • Education: UNESCO supports India in advancing its educational system, focusing on inclusive and quality education for all. It collaborates with the Indian government to develop policies, enhance teacher training, and strengthen educational infrastructure to ensure access to education for marginalized communities.
  • Science and Innovation: UNESCO works with India to promote scientific research, innovation, and the application of science for sustainable development. It encourages scientific cooperation, capacity building, and the dissemination of scientific knowledge to address global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity conservation, and water resource management.
  • Cultural Diversity: UNESCO recognizes India’s diverse cultural heritage and encourages the preservation and promotion of cultural diversity. It supports initiatives for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage, the revitalization of traditional arts and crafts, and the documentation of cultural practices.
  • Media Development and Freedom of Expression: UNESCO collaborates with India to foster media development, press freedom, and access to information. It promotes media literacy, the safety of journalists, and the use of media for intercultural dialogue and understanding.
  • Sustainable Development Goals: UNESCO and India work together to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They collaborate on various projects related to inclusive and equitable education, environmental conservation, cultural preservation, and social development.

Read about: International Organizations and their Headquarters


The topic of UNESCO is crucial for the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) examination as it aligns with the UPSC syllabus, which includes topics related to international organizations, cultural heritage, education, and sustainable development. Familiarity with UNESCO’s functions, programs, and initiatives is essential to comprehensively address questions related to global organizations, world heritage sites, and cultural diversity. Studying UNESCO also enhances knowledge about India’s association with the organization and its impact on various sectors. Aspirants can benefit from UPSC Online Coaching and UPSC Mock Test to deepen their understanding of UNESCO’s role in promoting education, science, culture, and peace globally, thereby improving their chances of success in the UPSC examination.

Read about: Countries and Capitals

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How many UNESCO sites are there in India for UPSC?

There are 40 UNESCO sites in India for UPSC.

What are the 5 major themes of UNESCO?

The five major themes of UNESCO are Education, Natural Sciences, Social and Human Sciences, Culture, and Communication and Information.

What is the meaning of UNESCO in UPSC?

In UPSC, UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

How many countries are in UNESCO?

There are 195 member countries in UNESCO.

Where is the headquarter of UNESCO?

The headquarters of UNESCO is located in Paris, France.

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I, Sakshi Gupta, am a content writer to empower students aiming for UPSC, PSC, and other competitive exams. My objective is to provide clear, concise, and informative content that caters to your exam preparation needs. I strive to make my content not only informative but also engaging, keeping you motivated throughout your journey!

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