Tuesday, April 9, 2013

National Mission on Libraries 

  • The National Knowledge Commission (NKC) in its Report to the Nation (2006-2009) made ten major recommendations on libraries. In pursuance of this, a High Level Committee to be called as National Mission on Libraries (NML) has been set up by the Government of India
  • The composition of the Committee, terms of reference, tenure, management support and method of operation has been elaborated in the Gazette of India (Part I Section I Number 20) issued by the Government on  4th May 2012*.
  •  Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation (RRRLF), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Culture will be the nodal agency for the National Mission on Libraries for administrative, logistics, planning and budgeting purposes.
  • The first meeting of the NML* was held on 18th May, 2012. In this meeting certain decisions have been taken for improvement in the library sector.
  •  These include: national census of libraries, content creation and setting up of community information centres, up-gradation of the existing public libraries, school and college libraries and use of school libraries as community libraries, and improvement in library and information science education training and research facilities.
  •  an amount of Rs.400.00 crore has been earmarked for NML Project for the Twelfth Five Year Plan and an amount of Rs. 50.00 crore has been proposed in the Annual Plan proposal for the year 2013-14. During 2012-13 an amount of Rs.3.00 crore has been earmarked and the expenditure incurred till date is Rs.24.86 lakhs. 
NML has also decided to set up Working Groups with domain experts to prepare an implementation plan. The Mission would be primarily an advisory body to endorse the plans and programs prepared by the Working Groups.
Cultural Heritage Young Leadership Programme
  • aims to promote cultural awareness among school children, to develop a love for India’s rich cultural heritage.
  •  the focus is on the less-privileged children residing in backward areas through regional languages as a medium of communication as far as possible. 
  • The Scheme would broadly consist of distribution of existing audio-visual (AV) materials related to culture amongst schools, production of new AV material including publications related to culture. 
  •  It will support visits to monuments and museums by students of less-privileged schools. The financial assistance by the Ministry of Culture would consist of upto Rs. 5000/- per set of DVD in case of AV material; upto Rs. 1 lakh for production of CDs/DVDs/Publications for children and upto Rs. 500 per child, per trip in case of visits to monuments, which will include the cost of conveyance, food, entry fee for ticketed monuments/shows etc. Ministry of Culture may double this assistance in cases of exceptional merit.”

 scheme of Financial Assistance for publication of magazines and journals
  • under the scheme Ministry of Culture will give financial support of upto Rs. 10 lakh a year, and in exceptional cases, upto Rs. 20 lakh ,to magazines and journals dedicated to India’s cultural heritage. 
  • scheme is intended to fill a gap being currently encountered in financial assistance for publication and support to journals and magazines dedicated to India’s culture and heritage. 
  • it will also cover publication of books on Indian culture and heritage. 
  • 100th Anniversary of Indian Cinema was celebrated at the Cannes Film Festival
 100th Birth Anniversary of eminent painter, Amrita Shergil

  • She was perhaps one of the earliest feminists in our country, celebrating the beauty and power of a women through her paintings. 
  • Amrita Shergil’s philosophy for life is best expressed in her own words: “I will enjoy my beauty because it is given for a short-time and joy is a short-lived thing”. 
  • Amrita Shergil’s art displayed a blend of European and Indian influences that was well ahead of her times. 
  • Her command over handling of oil medium and use of colour, as well as her vigorous brushwork and strong feeling for composition, were the marks of a genius. 
  • The Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the Department of Posts released a Special Cover to launch the birth centenary celebrations. The Special Cover has one of her most beautiful painting, printed on it. The painting on the Special Cover is entitled ‘Three Girls’. ‘Three Girls’ was painted in 1935 by Amrita Sher-Gil. It was the first painting after her return from Europe following her art studies in Paris. This painting won her a gold medal from the Bombay Art Society. A change in her visual language is observed when compared to that of her paintings done in Europe. The influence of Gauguin in the flattened treatment of figures is noteworthy. The use of red becomes predominant in her works thereafter.
  • Amrita Sher-Gil spent her short life of 28 years searching passionately for her own path, as a painter and as a woman, in art. 
  • The distinctive merit of her European oeuvre is the rich, sensual pictorial quality and the fact that, though raised in the tradition of European academicism at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and French post-impressionism in Paris, as well as plein-air painting in Hungary, she revived and renewed her Indian painting heritage as a living source of inspiration in her work. 
  • Later, independent of all ‘modern-isms’, she created her own world of painting. The works embody a heightened intensity of colour and form, with its individual themes, its objectivity and subjectivity and can be considered the creator of Indian modernism. 

3-Day International Seminar on Rajasthani Miniature Painting in New Delhi 
  • participation of eminent art historians and scholars from India and abroad. 
Miniature Painting
  • Miniatures paintings are beautiful handmade paintings, which are quite colorful but small in size. 
  • The highlight of these paintings is the intricate and delicate brushwork, which lends them a unique identity.
  • The colors are handmade, from minerals, vegetables, precious stones, indigo, conch shells, pure gold and silver.
  •  The most common theme of the Miniature painting of India comprises of the Ragas i.e., the musical codes of Indian classical music.
History of Miniature Painting in India
  • The evolution of Indian Miniatures paintings started in the Western Himalayas, around the 17th century. 
  • These paintings were highly influenced by the mural paintings that originated during the later half of the 18th century. 
  • During the time of the Muslim kings of the Deccan and Malwa as well as the Hindu Rajas of Rajasthan, this art flourished to quite an extent. 
  • Infact, the Mughals were responsible for introducing Persian tradition in the Miniature paintings of India.
Western Indian miniature painting
  • In western India between the 10th to 12th century miniature painting developed. 
  • These small paintings were part of manuscripts written at the time and illustrate the subjects of the manuscripts. 
  • These miniatures are found in some Hindu and Jaina manuscripts and are of 2 to 4 inches in size. 
  • During 12th to 17th century western Indian miniature paintings flourish very rich. 
  • Modern western Indian states; Gujarat state and Rajasthan state were integrated into western India of that time. Particular manuscript miniature painting developed in the western part of India that is modern state of Gujarat. From 17th century "Rajput miniature painting " developed in the western part of India that is modern western state of Rajasthan.

Protection of Native Languages and 

  •  the UNESCO in its 2009 Report on Language Endangerment has listed 196 Indian languages/mother tongues facing different levels of endangerment. However, all of them are not endangered.
  • a scheme for protection and preservation of 520 languages/mother tongues spoken by less than 10000 persons, in order of increasing number of speakers starting from the languages having the least number of speakers, is implemented by the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore for the 12th Five Year Plan period.  

National Culture Fund
  • The National Culture Fund was established by the Ministry of Culture in 1996 as a Trust under the Charitable Endowments Act. 1890. 
  • NCF`s primary mandate is to establish and nurture Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in the field of heritage. 
  • NCF`s role is to catalyze relationships between private, public, government, non-government agencies, private institutions and foundations and mobilize resources for the restoration, conservation, protection and development of India`s rich, natural, tangible and intangible heritage. 
  • NCF provides donors with 100% tax benefit under section 80G (2) of the Income Tax Act and acknowledges the generous contributions of the donor. 
  • Presently, NCF already has such partnerships for the conservation of monuments with some Public Sector Undertakings like the NTPC, ONGC, SAIL, IOC, HUDCO, REC etc and also with Private sector companies. 

National Council of Science Museums (NCSM)
  •  24 Science Centres have been developed and are run by National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Culture. 
  • In addition, 16 Science Centres,   developed by NCSM, are run by State/UT authorities. 
  • The function of a science centre is to develop scientific attitude and temper and to create, inculcate and sustain a general awareness amongst the people.
Scholarship by CCRT for Maintaining Indian Culture
  • the amount of scholarship given to students to maintain Indian culture for art, music, dance, etc. by the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT) is Rs.3600/- per year per student. 
  • In addition to this, actual tuition fee paid for the specialized training to the institution or to the Guru/Teacher is also reimbursed up to ceiling of Rs.9000/- per year. 
  •  on the recommendation of the Executive Committee, a sub-Committee was constituted by CCRT to review Cultural Talent Search Scholarship Scheme.  The said Committee in its report recommended for increase of the amount of scholarships to Rs.12000/- per year per child and the tuition fee for the specialized training to the institution or to the Guru/Teacher to Rs.18000/- per year.  However, no recommendation was made by the Committee towards increase in the number of scholarship to be awarded each year.  

 Year-Long Campaign on ‘Cultural Barriers in Women’s Health’ 


 Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal. 

President Conferred first ever Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony, 2012 on Sitar Maestro Late PT. Ravi Shankar 
  •  It is an International Award with prize money of Rs. 1 Crore for promoting values of Cultural Harmony.

Nomination of Majuli Island as World Heritage Site

 the following nomination dossiers have been submitted to the World Heritage Centre for inscription in the World Heritage List of UNESCO in the last three years: by IndiA

  1. Shantiniketan
  2. Western Ghats (Natural/Mixed)

  1. Hill Forts of Rajasthan
  2. Qutb Shahi Monuments of Hyderabad

      1. Qutb Shahi Monuments of Hyderabad
      2. Majuli Island
      3. Great Himalayan National Park (Natural/Mixed)

1. Rani-ki-Vav
2. Khangchendzonga National Park (Natural/Mixed)

Setting up Cultural 


  • Government has set up seven Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs) having their headquarters at Patiala, Udaipur, Allahabad, Kolkata,Dimapur, Nagpur and Thanjavur. 
  • The main objective of the ZCCs is the preservation, promotion and dissemination of the traditional folk arts and culture of the various States/ UTs.  
  • The ZCCs endeavor to develop and promote the rich diversity and uniqueness of various arts of the Zone and to upgrade and enrich consciousness of the people about  their  cultural  heritage. 
  • The ZCCs have been carrying out various activities and organizing programmes at the national, zonal and local levels in accordance with their aims and objectives implemented through following schemes:–

1. National Cultural Exchange Programme
2. Guru Shishya Parampara Scheme 
3. Young Talented Artistes Scheme
4. Documentation of Vanishing Art Forms
5. Theatre Rejuvenation Scheme
6. Shilpagram Activities 
7. Loktarang – National Folk Dance Festival, OCTAVE -Festival of  the North East.


‘The World of Khusrau’ Exhibition at National Museum, New Delhi

  • The rich and diverse range of Amir Khusrau’s work in culture, science and art provides an understanding of the art and culture of the 13th -14th century era of Amir Khusrau Dehlvi and their continuity into present day India. It elaborates the foundation of a vital chord of Indian heritage, history, and culture which has produced an amazing range of works of art from architecture to music thus putting the multi-faceted contributions of Amir Khusrau in contemporary context with a diverse array of related objects and visuals from the collection of National Museum and contemporary sources. 
Amir Khusrau, one of the greatest poets of this region, lived in the period which saw an amazing influx of scholars, poets, artisans, Sufis, travellers, and merchants from Persianate Central Asia.

  • He saw the merging of two great civilizations and wove them so beautifully in his literary works
  • He served as a court poet to several nobles and Sultans of Delhi Sultanates between 13th and 14th centuries: recording their battles and guiding their political campaigns; praising them eloquently in metaphors and analogies of Persian literature adapted within Indian imageries; creating governance norms and ethics; making discourses and innovations in science and music; writing epic historical and love poems; and, as a devout of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, the revered 13/14th century Chishti Sufi of Delhi, he gave to us the vibrant artistic traditions of Sufiana music and poetry – which continue till today in many oral traditions ranging from the classical to the folk. 

Amir Khusrau Dehlvi saw the merging of two great civilizations and wove them so beautifully in his literary works that they even surpassed the masters from Persia and Central Asia.

The World of Amir Khusrau exhibition is conceived in conjunction with the Jashn-e-Khusrau – a festival of music concerts, films, lectures, exhibitions, heritage walks, and poem recitals – celebrating the many legends, attributions, contributions and his beloved place (city of Dehli) of the 13th century historian, poet, mystic, and musician – Amir Khusrau. 


National Culture Fund, Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and Sewa Federation Sign Memorandum of Agreement for Reviving Crafts Heritage and providing sustainable livelihood to the Artisans 

a) To help women artisans of the informal sector achieve economic security through traditional livelihoods; 

     b) To promote greater awareness, acceptance and demand for local arts and crafts; and

     c) To revive and restore the crafts centre. 

Rural Electrification Corporation (REC)
  • is a listed NAVRATNA Central Public Sector Enterprise under Ministry of Power. 
  • REC is engaged in providing financial assistance to Central/State Power Utilities for Generation, Transmission & Distribution Projects and nodal agency for implementation of Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) Schemes including DDG Schemes and Renewable Energy Projects all across the country. 

Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)
  • was established in 1992 to facilitate the empowerment of self employed women workers within the cooperative framework. 
  • SEWA’s members are home-based workers, small producers, street vendors, manual labourers and service providers including agricultural labourers and construction workers. 
  • SEWA’s main goals are to organize the women workers for full employment and self-reliance. 


 Shri Kalyan Kumar Chakravarty ------------ Chairman of Lalit Kala Akademi  (recent appoinment)

 Lalit Kala Akademi
  • To promote and propagate understanding of Indian art, both within and outside the country, the Government established Lalit Kala Akademi (National Akademi of Fine Arts) at New Delhi in 1954. 
  • To decentralise its activities, the Akademi has set up regional centres called Rashtriya Lalit Kala Kendra at Lucknow, Calcutta, Chennai and Bhubaneswar as well as a small office at Mumbai.
Gandhi-Kallenbach Papers’ Exhibition 

Herman Kallenbach
  • Herman Kallenbach (1871-1945) was one of the foremost friends and associates of Mahatma Gandhi while they were working in South Africa. 
  • A German born Jewish South African architect, Kallenbach was greatly influenced by Gandhiji’s views on Satyagraha and donated his thousand acre farm to Gandhiji near Johannesburg, which was developed as “Tolstoy Farm” housing the families of Satyagrahis
  • It became the laboratory for experimenting Gandhian Philosophy, i.e. simple lifestyle, vegetarian diet, social equality, politics and self-sustained economy. 
  • Kallenbach remain involved with Gandhiji throughout the Satyagraha in South Africa and also accompanied Gandhiji and Kasturba Gandhi on their final voyage from South Africa to London in 1914. 
  • Gandhiji and Kallenbach used to call each other as “Upper House” and “Lower House” respectively, Lower House preparing the budget and Upper House vetoing it in large chunks.


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