The origin of the department dates back to mid 80s. Previously known as the Special Commission for Cultural Affairs (SCCA), the commission was established through a Royal Decree on 31st July 1985 with the mandate to preserve and promote rich cultural and traditional heritage of our Nation. Having declared the preservation and promotion of our national heritage as one of the cornerstone of our development philosophy of Gross National Happiness, the commission took the responsibility of promoting and preserving thereof. However to invigorate the commission, it was reconstituted in 1995 as the Solzin lhentshog with 15 members. Following the devolution of the executive authority to the elected council of ministers in June 1998, the SCCA was reconstituted for the third time in September, 1998 with 15 members for a term of three years with H.E Lyonpo Thinley Gyamtsho, the Honorable Ministry, as its chairman. With the restructuring exercise of the Government Organizations, the Commission was again renamed as the National Commission for Cultural Affairs (NCCA), which later became a Department of Culture under the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs in 2003 vide circular No. LHENZHUNG/02/03/943 dated 19/06/03.In 2005, the Department of Culture has appointed 20 Dzongkhag Cultural Officer to Support the continuity and development of significant cultural Heritage.
- A Dynamic Sector with progressive society through preservation, protection, development and promotion of unique cultural identity
- Conserve, protect, develop and promote all tangible and intangible cultural heritages.
- Support the continuity and development of significant cultural expressions.
- Manage the diverse cultural resources and ensure their sustainable development.
- Support the promotion of research in culture.
Culture as one of the pillars of GNH endeavors to promote intrinsic values of:
- Sense of duty and ethics,
- Prompt & timely management of tasks and resources
- Sense of respect, devotion, Tha-Damtsig and Ley Jumdrey
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF SECTOR
1. To preserve and promote local tradition and culture
2. To initiate the advancement of architecture related to Dzongs, Lhakhangs,history etc.
3. To manage the registration of Dzongkhags antique ten sum.
4. To organize, examine and witness the handing-taking over by curators.
5. To prepare and budge the annual plans and five –year plans for the renovation and new construction of lhakhang and chortens in the dzongkhag.
6. To organize and oversee the renovation and new construction of lhakhang and chortens in the Dzongkhag.
7. To provide training for the promotion of Driglam-Namzhag in the Dzongkhag.
8. To liaise with the central office in regard to cultural research.
9. Support the Sr. Cultural Officer and liaise with Dzongkhag on cultural field.
10. To organize and promote traditional games and sports.
11. To organize and propagate the cultural programs in schools and institutions in the Dzongkhag.
12 To accord Dzongkhag approval and seek departmental approval for the renovation and new construction of lhakhang and chorten in the Dzongkhag after inspection.
13. To do chadi in collaboration with the dzongkhag administration.
14. To inspect visitor permit and record visitor details of foreign tourists.
Effective and efficient service delivery
- To co-ordinate and witness the handing/ taking of (Kunyer) caretaker of lhankhang as and when required.
- Seek approval for new construction/renovation and reconstruction of lhakhang and Goendhey from DoC/ MoHCA