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English Release 29-March 2015
Date Month Year
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Ministry of Culture22-January, 2009 15:38 IST
Major initiatives and Achievements in the year 2008
Ministry of Culture

The mandate of Ministry of Culture is to preserve and promote all forms of art and culture. Along with programmes for the preservation of India’s ancient heritage, the activities of the Ministry encourage and disseminate the variety of contemporary creative arts as well. During the year 2008, the Ministry with its 2 Attached Offices (ASI & NAI), 6 Subordinate Offices, 33 Autonomous Organizations and 2 Missions (National Mission for Manuscripts and National Mission on Monuments & Antiquities) have worked ceaselessly to generate cultural awareness at the grass-root level and promote cultural exchanges at the national and international levels. While numerous activities were taken by the Ministry, the significant events are highlighted below:-


Government of India, on the eve of the Rajyotsava day in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh formation day in Andhra Pradesh, declared Telugu and Kannada as Classical Languages. However, this is subject to the decision in a Writ Petition on the subject pending before the Madras High Court.


This Ministry successfully organized the 15th Triennial Conference of ICOM-CC (International Council of Museums – Committee for Conservation) at Vigyan Bhavan New Delhi from September 22 to 26, 2008. Theme of this conference was “Diversity in Heritage Conservation: Tradition, Innovation and Participation”. Hon’ble Vice President of India inaugurated the conference in which 545 delegates from 80 countries participated. All the major autonomous organizations of this Ministry actively participated in the conference and four research papers were presented by NRLC, Lucknow.


During the year in 32nd session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO held at Quebec City, Canada in July, 2008, decided to inscribe Kalka-Shimla Railway on the World Heritage List.


To mark the opening of India Tourism Office in Beijing, this Ministry presented a specially designed choreographic composition of classical dances of India in Beijing and Shanghai from 7-9 April 2008. As part of the “Incredible India @ 60” event organized by the Ministry of Tourism, a specially designed choreography of Indian folk dance and music was presented at Singapore from 5th to 7th April 2008 by the East Zone Cultural Centre, Kolkata.


10th Bharat Rang Mahotsav was oganized by the National School of Drama from January 3-20, 2008, which also kicked off the year-long Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the School. In Delhi, the festival featured 76 productions, out of which 57 productions were from India and 19 from abroad, including SAARC countries. Apart from the six venues presenting 5-6 productions every day over a period of 17 days in Delhi, there were four venues presenting 2-3 productions per day over a period of 11 days in the Satellite Theatre Festival organized at Mumbai. As in the past, the festival shows were run to full houses attracting over 50000 spectators in Delhi and about 20,000 in Mumbai. In addition to this, two exhibitions on the theatre training methodology and highlighting the achievements of NSD Alumni were mounted during the festival.


During the year major international event that took place are as listed below.

• An MoU on co-operation in the field of Culture, Art and Sports was signed between India and Brunei on 22nd May 2008 during the visit of His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei to India. The signatories to the MoU were Smt. Ambika Soni, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism & Culture on Indian side and Mr. Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Trade on Brunei side.

• Smt. Ambika Soni, Minister (T&C) visited South Africa from 14th to 17th August, 2008 to participate in the commemoration of historic Protest March in South Africa. During this visit, Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) with South Africa for the years 2008-2010 was signed on 15th August 2008.

• The IGNCA hosted an international conference ‘Chotro – Janajatis : Language, Literature, History and Culture’ from January 2-5, 2008. ‘Chotro’ is a term from the language of the Bhil tribe, meaning to ‘bring together’. The conference brought together artists and scholars from all over the world interested in languages and literatures, the cultures and histories of the indigenous peoples of the post-colonial world. Around 120 delegates from 24 nations, representing the various tribes, indigenes, first nationals and adivasis discussed the language and literature of these marginalized and sometimes decimated communities.

• The West Zone Cultural Centre and the M.L. Sukhadia University, Udaipur collaborated to organize the Annual International Conference of ACLALS (Association of Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies) on Performing the Post-Colonial: Imagine/Imagining India through Films, Drama and Music from 28th to 30th January 2008. Eighty delegated including 16 foreign delegates participated in the Conference.

• In accordance with the Cultural Exchange Programme between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of India for the years 2007-2009, a Memorandum of Cooperation in the field of archives between National Archives of India and the Federal Archival Agency (Russian Federation) was signed on 12th February 2008 at New Delhi. This Memorandum of Co-operation provides inter-alia that both sides will jointly publish documents and organize document exhibitions on agreed themes.

• In the 14th Session of the Indian-Russian Joint Working Group on Tourism & Culture held on 30th October 2008 in New Delhi, a Protocol between India and Russia was signed by Shri Nihal Chand Goel, Joint Secretary in this Ministry and Shri A. Golutva, Deputy Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation.

• A training programme under the aegis of International School of Anthropology was successfully organized on “Cross-Cultural Study and Cross Cultural Sensitivity” in collaboration with Freie Universitat, Berlin from 6th to 15th October, 2008 at the Southern Regional Centre of the Survey at Mysore. 30 participants from all over the country participated in the training programme.


During the year, National Akademies of Ministry of Culture work hard to accomplish its task and arranges series of programs some of these are as given below.

• Sahitya Akademi, the Embassy of Colombia and Institute Cervantes organized a literary programme ‘Colombian Contemporary Literature Beyond Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ in the month of October 2008. Eminent writers from Colombia like Hectar Abad Faciolince, Mario Mendoza, Santiago Gamboa and Enrique Serrano participated in the programme as speakers.

• Sahitya Akademi has organized a two-day Documentary Film Festival at Mumbai in which films on Gulzar (Dir: Meghna Gulzar), Vijay Tendulkar (Dir: Yakoob Saeed), Arun Kolatkar (Dir: Dilip Chitre), R.K. Narayan (Dir: Sukumaran Nair), Mannu Bhandari (Dir: Arun Kaul and Ruskin Bond (Dir: Obaid Siddiqui) were screened.

• Sahitya Akademi organized a Festival of Letters from 20th to 24th Feb., 2008. During this festival ‘Writers’ Meet’ was held where all the award-winners shared their experiences.

• Sangeet Natak Akademi organized in New Delhi a festival of music, dance and theatre, featuring some of the Akademi’s awardees of the year from 26th February to 4th March, 2008.

• As a part of SNA’s ambitious scheme of training theatre talents from different States, a 75-Day residential Theatre Workshop was held in Sanskriti Kendra, Anandgram, Delhi which concluded on 29th August 2008. Theatre talents from M.P., U.P., and Chhatisgarh were invited to this workshop to receive intensive training from a national faculty comprising some renowned theatre experts.

• To encourage the young artistes, the Sangeet Natak Akademi had instituted Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puruskar in 2006. For 2007, the awards were given away by Shri Ram Niwas Mirdha, Chairman, SNA to 30 outstanding artists in the fields of music, dance and drama on 29th April 2008.


Work of other major organisations of Ministry worth mentioning are as given below.


A bunch of Tamil manuscripts on 54 Tarpatra (Palm Leaf Manuscripts) (15-16 Century), 7 volumes of Sar-Sudha-Nidhi in Hindi (1880-1888) and 14 items, magazines, periodicals and a file consisting of correspondence of eminent personalities were acquired from Shri Amar Kumar Jhingan. Besides, original F.I.R. relating to Gandhi assassination on 30 January 1948 was acquired from Station House Officer, Police Station Tughlaq Road, New Delhi.


As part of the global celebrations to mark the U.N. Declaration of October 2 as the International Day of Non-Violence, GSDS organized 24 workshops covering under its ambit participants from Tughlakabad to Dwarka at one end, and Rohini and East of Kailash at another from May 19 to June 28, 2008. These culminated in a Children’s festival organized from June 25 to 28, 2008 at Gandhi Samriti and Darshan Samiti.


To celebrate 100th Birth Anniversary of Saheed Bhagat Singh, 60th Year of India’s Independence and 150th year of the First War of Independence, 1857, NMML produced a documentary film on Saheed Bhagat Singh by Gauhar Raza, titled ‘INQILAB’ which was previewed on 13th July, 2008 at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.

Under the auspices of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, a ‘Freedom Fortnight’ was celebrated from 28th September to 12th October 2008 for Children to mark the birth anniversaries of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and Mahatma Gandhi. Peace Walk from Rajpath to India Gate, workshop on Ahimsa, film shows on freedom movement and national leaders were organized.


During the year National Culture Fund has signed an MoU with Ramakrishna Satyananda Alambazar Math, Kolkata on 14th October, 2008 whereby NCF has agreed to assist the ‘Math’ in its re-construction, renovation and rehabilitation and contribute Rs. 1.07 crores against the total project cost of Rs.3.15 crores.

National Culture Fund has also entered into an MOU with UCO Bank, Kolkata on 15th July, 2008 for conservation and maintenance of Hidimba Devi Temple at Manali, Himachal Pradesh. UCO Bank has agreed to contribute a maximum amount of Rs.20.00 lakhs for the purpose.

National Culture Fund has renewed its MOU with Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, Pune on 27th August, 2008 for the construction of a new Museum.


Several educational programmes including Popular Science Lectures, Science Demonstration Lectures, Science Quiz, Science Film Festival, Sit & Draw Competition, VSAT and EDUSAT Programme, Teachers Training Workshop for Children Science Congress, Sky Observation Programme, District and State Level Science Seminars on ‘Water Crisis on the Earth – Problems & Remedies’, Non-Conventional Energy Awareness Programme, National Mathematics Talent Contest, Vigyan Vahini Quiz, Principal Meet, Meet the Mathematician, Training rogramme on Astronomy Olympiad etc. were organized at different units of NCSM. • INDIRA GANDHI NATIONAL CENTRE FOR THE ARTS (IGNCA)

The IGNCA hosted a six-day festival ‘Kauthik, Celebrating Garhwal’ from October 20 to 25. An exhibition, a healers’ workshop, public consultation of traditional healers and evening performances of the folk art forms of Garhwal were part of the event. The exhibition featured the lifestyle of the region, presenting their people, clothes, costumes, ecology, architecture, rituals and musical instruments. Healers from north east, invited by the IGNCA, participated in the Perfect Health Fair in Delhi to familiarize the people of Delhi with alternative folk medicine.


Delhi Public Library catalogue is available online since 2nd October 2008 with Koha 3.0, the consortia-quality open-source library management software. Users from across the world and nearly 45000 DPL members can now access the most current catalogue of Delhi Public Library system on the DPL website: www.dpl.gov.in/opac or


All the seven Zonal Cultural Centres have carried out a number of activities to promote and disseminate folk art and culture at the grassroot level. During the year these centers have organized a variety of programmes/events in remote areas and at district/state headquarters and the quality of these programmes has been widely appreciated. Besides implementing the National Cultural Exchange Programme, all the ZCCs have come together to organise a number of festivals at the national level, which includes Lok tarang, Prakriti and Octave.

• As part of Republic Day Celebration, The National Folk Dance Festival ‘LOK TARANG – 2008’ was organized in association with all the seven Zonal Cultural Centres in New Delhi from 24th to 29th January 2008. The festival was inaugurated by H.E. the President of India, Smt. Pratibha Patil.

• During the Republic Day Parade on 26th January, 208, three children’s contingents from Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs) presented folk dances on Rajpath viz. Gour Maria dance (Chhattisgarh) from SCZCC – Nagpur, Lambadi dance (Andhra Pradesh) from SZCC – Thanjavur and Wangla dance (Meghalaya) from NEZCC – Dimapur.

• ‘Lama Dance of Sikkim’ produced by the Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre (EZCC), Kolkata was adjudged the best documentary film for 2006 by the Bengal Film Journalists’ Association. Sri Manash Bhowmick, Director and Ms. Anuradha Mookerjee, Director of EZCC and producer of the documentary film were awarded Best Director and Special Jury Award respectively by the Juries of 54th National Film Awards of the Directorate of Film festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. For the year EZCC has also been selected for Bharat Nirman Awards for its role in the field of promotion of Indian art and culture.

• West Zone Cultural Centre, Udaipur organized a special cultural programme at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi on 1st August 2008. A contingent of 92 artists comprising Kalbelia, Teratal, Langa Mangniar of Rajasthan; Lawani of Maharashtra; Dekhni of Goa and Raas Garba and Mewasi of Gujarat, presented vibrant and colourful performances, which were highly appreciated by the VVIP and other dignitaries present.

• East Zone Cultural Centre (EZCC) organized a special cultural programme ‘Call of the East’ at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi on 17th September,2008 to mark the conclusion of Governors’ Conference. It was a choreographed presentation of folk dances of the eight states of North Eastern Region and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

• West Zone Cultural Centre (WZCC) organized UMANG 2008 - a festival dedicated to children with disabilities - at Shilpgram, Udaipur from 23rd to 27th September 08. The objective for organizing this festival was to encourage the children with disabilities to exhibit their talents and to provide them a common platform to interact with other special and normal children in a healthy and congenial atmosphere. 128 disabled children who participated in the event were exposed to various arts like innovative dance, community singing, drama and crafts like clay modelling, puppetry & mask making, cloth toys, magic, rope mallakhamb, bhandhani and traditional painting and paper stencil work under the guidance of experts.


• During the course of exploratory work, unique Paleolithic tools have been discovered at Lumpoogdeng and Umrai.

• During the course of exploration carried out by Archeological survey of India (ASI) under ‘Temple Survey Project of Southern Region’ in and around Arcot region, discovered temples of early Chola period and Monolithic Temples of late medieval period.

• During a small scale salvage operation of archaeological remains at ‘Tibba Name Shah’ in the Marh Block of Jammu District, Srinagar Circle of ASI had recovered the antiquities of Red Ware Pottery, beads of terracotta, semi precious stone and bangle fragments of copper and terracotta animal figurine.

• An Archaeological Museum at Chanderi, District Ashoknagar, Madhya Pradesh was inaugurated on 14th September, 2008 by Smt. Kanti Singh, Minister of State for Tourism and Culture in the presence of Shri Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology.


During the year Mission has taken up compilation of data on Built Heritage and Sites on large scale and about 2700 sites have been listed in a format prepared by the Mission. During the year Mission has completed listing of about 30000 sites with archeological remains.

Under the Project of Digitization of Registered Antiquities, more than 5000 datasheets of Registered Antiquities have been digitized by IGNCA in the year 2008.


The Ministry of Culture as well as its autonomous, attached and subordinate organisations play an active role in promoting the rich cultural heritage of the North East region. As part of this endeavour not only do the regional units of autonomous organisations of the MIOnistry play an active role but also there is a focused effort to expose the rest of the country to the varied and intricate cultural forms of the North East.

• OCTAVE 2008: To showcase the immense talent and the rich cultural heritage of the eight states of the North-East in the performing arts as well as handicrafts, the third edition of National Festival of the North Eastern States – OCTAVE was organized from 16th to 23rd February 2008 at Thiruvananthapuram in association with the State Government of Kerala. Sangeet Natak Akademi, Lalit Kala Akademi, Sahitya akademi, TRIFED, three Zonal Cultural Centres headquartered at Dimapur, Kolkata and Thanjavur and others. Nineteen folk dances, 4 classical dances, 4 choral music groups, food courts from 4 states, 5 plays, a painting camp with 14 painters and Sahithya Bharath, a National Writers’ Meet, all from the North East were showcased in the event. Forty one craft stalls with 80 tribal craftsmen from the North East were sponsored by TRIFED. The public response to the event was very enthusiastic with about 60,000 people attending it.

• OTAVE 2008: As per decision taken during OCTAVE 2008 that this festival should be held in the third quarter of financial year and should be held at more than one place at a time, OCTAVE 2009 was held at Goa, Mumbai and Patna in the month of November/ December 2009.

• Sahitya Akademi: Sahitya Akademi recognizes the originality and talent of writers and poets from the North East region. In this context, in the month of August 2008, a North-East and Southern Writers’ Meet was organized by the Akademi on 30-31 August 2008 in Hyderabad. A book exhibition was also organized on this occasion.

• North East Centre of Sangeet Natak Akademi: Sangeet Natak Akademi opened its Regional Centre for the North East region in Shillong on 20th August 2008, the birth anniversary of Late Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi. This is the first regional centre of the Akademi in the country.

• The Anthropological Survey of India organized a workshop on “Physical Growth & Development of Children in North East India : A Public Health Issue” on 11th March,2008 at its Head Office, Kolkata.

• National School of Drama, New Delhi organized ‘Intensive Theatre Workshop’ from July 12th to 27th 2008 at different places in Nagaland, including Dimapur, Kohima and Mokachung.

• North East Zone Cultural Centre, Dimapur in collaboration with Government of Mizoram organized a Programme on ‘Integration through language and literature’ on 23rd and 24th July, 2008 at Aizawl, Mizoram. Similarly, it also organized a ‘Festival of Traditional Folk Wind Instruments’ at Imphal on 16th and 17th July, 2008 in collaboration with Government of Manipur.

• North East Zone Cultural Centre, Nagaland in collaboration with SPIC Macay, Nagaland University, DONER and Govt. of Nagaland hosted 23rd National Convention of SPIC MACAY at Kohima on 16th June, 08.

• Sahitya Akademi recognizes the originality and talent of writers and poets from the North East region. In this context, in the month of August 2008, a North-East and Southern Writers’ Meet was organized by the Akademi on 30-31 August 2008 in Hyderabad.


• To celebrate 101st birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, an exhibition titled ‘Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna: Bhagat Singh and the Indian Revolution’ was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on 11th October 2008 at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi.

• Under Cultural Exchange Programme between India and Vietnam, Lalit Kala Akademi organized an exhibition of Indian Contemporary Art at Hanoi, Vietnam from 15.10.2008 to 22.10.2008.

• The Lalit Kala Akademi, in collaboration with Ministry of Culture, Government of Arab, Republic of Egypt and Embassy of India in Cairo organized an exhibition titled ‘To opt is to commit’ at Cairo from 10th to 20th November 2008.

• The IGNCA in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) hosted an exhibition of paintings by young women artists from Afghanistan. IGNCA also organised a Veena Festival at Chennai from 13th to 21st September 2008 in collaboration with Veena Foundation, Delhi.

• An exhibition entitled ‘Photographic Splendour India’ as part of the cultural exchange programme between Government of India and the Government of Netherlands, was organized in March 2008 at National Museum, New Delhi.

• Russian Centre for Science & Culture, in collaboration with Nehru Planetarium, arranged a lecture cum presentation and photo exhibition on 24th June, 2008 to commemorate the first flight of woman cosmonaut Velentina Threshkova.

• National Archives of India displayed an exhibition entitled “Commemorating 150 Years of Presidency Universities” at Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi from 8-9 August, 2008 on the occasion of a seminar organized by the University on the theme ‘One Goal – Many Streams’.

• An International seminar on “Russia in Asia: Envisaging Partnerships and Communities in Eurasia and Assessing the Role of Siberia” was organized by the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, in collaboration with the Institute of History, Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk in Kolkata during 13-15, February, 2008.

• An International Seminar on “India-Myanmar Relation: Dynamics and Issues” was jointly organized by the Myanmar Institute of Strategic and International Studies (MISIS) and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies on 22nd February, 2008.

• An International Workshop on “Southern Silk Route: Historical Links and Contemporary Convergences” was co-sponsored by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata on August 2-4, 2008 at Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Golpark, Kolkata

• Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts hosted an international seminar on the ‘History of the Central Asian collections in institutions worldwide’ from March 17th to 19th, 2008, in collaboration with IDP, British Library, London and the Ford Foundation.

• Sahitya Akademi organizes an international Seminar on Raja Rao in association with the Indian Association for Commonwealth literature and Language Studies at Bangalore.

• International Seminar on Swaraj in Literature: Decolonization, Social Justice & Cultural Identity. The Seminar was organized in association with the Indian Council of Cultural Relations and the Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

• A Literary Forum programme has been organized by the Sahitya Akademi in association with Australia-India Council, Australian High Commission and Embassy of Israel in which Ms. Alexis Wright (Australian Indigenous writer) and Ms. Zeruya Shalev (Israeli writer) read from their works.

• A five-day workshop on significance and development of Bhoti language was organized in the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies, Leh in collaboration with the Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore and the National Commission for Minorities.

• Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti as part of the ‘Taking Gandhi to School’ programme has organized an interactive session on March 21st, 2008 at Gandhi Smriti with students from different schools in New York, visiting India as part of the educational exchange programme.

• During the year CCRT has taken up a series of training workshops for teachers to involve schools and students in conservation of cultural heritage.

• Sahitya Akademi conducted a workshop on ‘Encyclopedia of Indian Poetics’, at New Delhi on 4-7th August, 2008.


Due to efforts of this Ministry, the procedure for seeking clearances for presenting any theatrical performance in Delhi has been simplified. Now for holding a theatrical performance in any of the licensed premises in Delhi, the organizers will have to apply only to the Additional Commissioner of Police (Licensing) in the prescribed application form along with a affidavit and confirmed booking slip from Management of the concerned Auditorium/Hall.


(Release ID :46908)

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