Source: PIB (Press Information Bureau Government of India)

India and Germany sign a Memorandum of Understanding regarding cooperation between select Museums of India and Germany

Union minister of state for culture & tourism (IC), Prahlad Singh Patel held a bilateral meeting with German delegation led by Monika Grutters, minister of state to the Federal Chancellor, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media of Germany in New Delhi on November 1. During the meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding regarding cooperation between the Museums of India and Germany was signed.

The MoU includes cooperation among the National Museum Delhi, the National Gallery of Modern Art Delhi, the Indian Museum Kolkata, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation Stauffenbergstr, Berlin and the Stiftung Humboldt Forum in Berliner Schloss, Berlin.  

This Memorandum of Understanding aims to research archaeological, ethnological and art, historical objects and their historical and contemporary sources within the framework of material culture studies. This will include intangible cultural heritage, restoration and conservation studies and education work. The basis for cooperation is the collections and expertise of the participating institutions.

During the meeting, Prahlad Singh Patel said that culture plays an important role in the development of a nation. India and Germany have a long tradition of academic and cultural exchange. Along with this MoU, the possibilities will be explored to translate classics belonging to both countries into German and Indian languages. For example, Sanskrit classics like Sannayasa Upanisads & Yatidharma Prakasha can be translated into German. Similarly, one of the following three German classics can be translated either into Hindi or Sanskrit: Die Blechtrommel by Gunter Grass, Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann & the Trial by Franz Kafka.

UNESCO has designated Mumbai as a member of UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in the field of FILM and Hyderabad in the field of GASTRONOMY

UNESCO has designated Mumbai as a member of UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in the field of film and Hyderabad in the field of gastronomy. Culture minister Prahlad Singh Patel has congratulated the people of Mumbai and Hyderabad for this unique distinction.

UCCN, created in 2004, is a network of cities which are thriving, active centres of cultural activities in their respective countries. The UNESCO Creative Cities Network now counts a total of 246 cities.

The member cities that form part of the network come from all continents and regions with different income levels and populations. They work together towards a common mission: placing creativity and the creative economy at the core of their urban development plans to make cities safe, resilient, inclusive and sustainable, in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The ministry of culture is the nodal ministry of the Government of India for all matters in UNESCO relating to culture.

Prahlad Singh Patel meets the Kung Fu Nuns of the Drukpa Order

Union minister of state for tourism and culture (IC) Prahlad Singh Patel met the Kung Fu Nuns at New Delhi on November 4. The Kung Fu Nuns of the Drukpa Order, some of the Himalayas’ most prominent human rights advocates, recently received the Asia Society’s prestigious Game Changer Award in New York on October 30, 2019, for their path-breaking work to empower women and dismantle gender stereotypes in the Himalayas.

The Kung Fu Nuns represent a new generation of Buddhists who use their teachings to take real action and affect meaningful change in the world by promoting gender equality and environmentalism. With this recognition, the Kung Fu Nuns join the likes of iconic Indian leaders Indra Nooyi, Mukesh Ambani, and Dev Patel, who have also been honoured by the Asia Society in previous years for breaking the glass ceiling with their courage and inspiring their fellow citizens.

The 550th Prakash Purab of Guru Nanak Dev Ji

On November 5, Union minister of state for culture and tourism (IC), Prahlad Singh Patel paid obeisance at Sri Ber Sahib Gurudwara at Sultanpur Lodhi, the holy town where Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji lived for many years and received enlightenment.

The minister was at Sultanpur Lodhi in Kapurthala district of Punjab to participate in the 550th Parkash Purab (birthday celebrations) of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He said that he is delighted to be present at such an important holy place and appealed to the people to visit Sultanpur Lodhi to pay their respects to the Great Guru.

After paying obeisance at the historical Gurudwara, which is famous for Beri (Zizyphus jujuba) tree sown by Guru Nanak Dev Ji himself, Patel visited the local railway station where the Union culture ministry had put up a photo exhibition and was also showcasing a short film to the public describing the life and teachings of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He watched the film along with other dignitaries.

Prahlad Patel said that the Union culture ministry has put up exhibitions on Sri Guru 30 Nanak Dev Ji at 100 places across the country to spread his teachings which have universal appeal and value. Former Member of Parliament, Prem Singh Chandumajra and member secretary, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) Sachidanand Joshi were also present during his visit.

National School of Drama’s 11th Bal Sangam

National School of Drama, one of the foremost theatre training institutions in the world and the only one of its kind in India, celebrated the 11th edition of Bal Sangam from November 9-12, 2019, in its premises. The 11th edition of the festival showcased enthralling folk and traditional performing arts, and folk theatre from 12 states of India dedicated to children.

Bal Sangam, an outreach programme of Sanskaar Rang Toli (Theatre-in-Education Company), in every alternate year brings forth both the heritage and legacy of traditional art forms and performances that are presented by children belonging to traditional performing families, guru paramparas, and institutions across the country.

The four-day cultural mela began on November 9, five days ahead of Children’s Day with an inaugural performance ‘Rangoli’ by folk and traditional child artistes of India, choreographed by renowned choreographer Bharat Sharma, who has an illustrious career spanning over three decades. The festival also included folk dance, martial arts, acrobatics, street play performances and acts like juggling, puppetry and magic shows.

States like Assam, Odisha, Rajasthan, Manipur, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Telangana, Kerala, Gujarat, Punjab, Jharkhand, and Madhya Pradesh brought to the fore the magic of folk performances and plays so that Indian cultural heritage is preserved in this rapidly changing world.

NSD authorities made special arrangements through various NGOs working with underprivileged children and social organisations, to reach out and invite children from not so privileged class to give them the due privilege to experience and be enriched by this long-awaited festival of National School of Drama for children.

National Mission on Cultural Mapping will compile data of artists, art forms & geo-location with inputs from Central Ministries, State Governments & art/culture bodies – Culture Minister

National Mission on Cultural Mapping (NMCM) has been set up by the ministry of culture in 2017. The mission will compile data of artists, art forms and geo-location with inputs from central ministries, state governments and art/culture bodies. Specially designed data capture form with technical collaboration of National E-Governance Division (NEGD)/Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) has been formulated for data collection. Data from art and culture Akademies of the ministry of culture has been collected and will be entered into a database after due correction.

Details and salient features of the National Mission on Cultural Mapping are available in the mission document on the ministry of culture’s website.

The ministry of culture has not created any circuit related to warriors. However, as a part of the commemorative activity, permanent infrastructure of public utility in the form of memorials, stadiums, auditoriums etc are created in the memory of the personality/event at places associated with the personality/event.

This information was given by the minister of state (I/c) of culture and tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on November 18.

Ministry of Culture is promoting Indian literature in foreign countries through Sahitya Academy – Culture Minister

For the promotion of Indian Literature in foreign countries the Sahitya Akademi, an autonomous organisation working under the ministry of culture, under its Cultural Exchange Programme with different countries had sent the following delegations to different countries:

Indian writers’ delegation to participate in Hay Festival, Segovia, Spain (September 22-25, 2016).

Indian writers’ delegation to London to participate in the London Book Fair (March 14-16, 2017).

Indian writers’ delegation to Brazil to participate in Festival of India in Brazil (September 4-10, 2017).

Indian writers’ delegation to Thailand to participate in a Seminar on Influence of Sanskrit & Pali on South-East Asian Languages under the Festival of India in Thailand (September 23-27, 2017)

Indian writers’ delegation to Spain to participate in a Sanskrit Round Table as part of India’s 70th independence anniversary celebrations (October 17-21, 2017).

Indian writers’ delegation to Israel to participate in a Festival of India to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of India’s Independence (November 5-10, 2017).

Sahitya Akademi’s participation in Vishwa Hindi Sammelan, Mauritius (August 18-20, 2018).

Sahitya Akademi’s participation in Sharjah International Book Fair (October 31 – November 9, 2018).

Indian writers’ delegation to Nepal to participate in Festival of India in Nepal (March 19-21, 2019).

The Sahitya Akademi has been translating Indian literary masterpieces into foreign languages under the ministry of culture’s project, Indian Literature Abroad (ILA). The Sahitya Akademi has been publishing these translations out of fund allotted to it by the Government of India.

This information was given by the minister of state (I/c) of culture and tourism, Prahlad Singh Patel, in a written reply in Rajya Sabha on November 19.

Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019 passed by the Parliament

Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019 has been passed by the Parliament after it was passed in Rajya Sabha on November 19. The Bill was earlier passed in Lok Sabha on August 2, 2019. It seeks to make apolitical the trust that runs Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial by removing the clause pertaining to the President of INC as a permanent member of the trust. The Bill also amends to include the Leader of Opposition recognised as such in the House of the People (Lok Sabha) or where there is no such Leader of Opposition, then the leader of the single largest Opposition Party in that House as a member of the trust.

The Bill also amends that a nominated trustee may be terminated before the expiry of the period of five years by the Central Government.

Speaking on the occasion, the minister of state for culture and tourism (IC), Prahlad Singh Patel, said that this year Jalliawalan Bagh massacre has completed its 100th anniversary and after 100 years, it is necessary to build Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial as National Memorial in true sense. These amendments will make this memorial a National Monument in the true spirit.

The 32nd Foundation Day Celebrations of Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts, New Delhi

Union minister of state (independent charge) for culture and tourism Prahlad Singh Patel took part in the 32nd Foundation Day Celebrations at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts as a chief guest in New Delhi on November 19.

Speaking on the occasion Patel said that IGNCA has great significance for it plays the role of preserving the dying forms of art and culture. He also released 20 new books and 6 DVDs on this occasion. The function was attended by joint secretary (culture), Nirupama Kotru, DG National Gallery of Modern Art, Adwait Gadnayak and member secretary IGNCA, Dr Sachchidanad Joshi among others.

The Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge), Prahlad Singh Patel releasing the publication at the inauguration of the 32nd Foundation Day Celebrations of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), in New Delhi on November 19, 2019.

Exhibitions were organised on this occasion. The first exhibition was based on Mahatma Gandhi in which oil paintings of Elizabeth Sass Brunner and her daughter Elizabeth Brunner. These paintings were made between 1932 and 1961. Another photo exhibition was by DRD Wadia and Shambhu Shah who photographed many life aspects of Mahatma Gandhi. Another exhibition focused on the Teeji festival. Teeji is the most important festival of the Mustang region of Nepal and Tibet which is based on the victory of good over evil. Further, the most celebrated Indian pianoackord artist Enoch Denials showcased his flawless performance.

IGNCA celebrated its Foundation Day with a week-long series of programmes which consisted of classical music performances, seminars, workshops, film festivals, exhibitions and book releases.

Prahlad Singh Patel hands over the ‘Kalash’ containing holy soil of Jalianwalla Bagh in Amritsar to Prime Minister Narendra Modi

On the occasion of the 100th year of Jalianwalla Bagh incident, Union minister of state for culture and tourism (IC), Prahlad Singh Patel handed over the ‘Kalash’ containing holy soil of Jalianwalla Bagh in Amritsar to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on November 21. The holy soil was brought by the culture minister on November 5, when he visited the historic Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial.

After presenting the Kalash, the union minister held a press conference and briefed the media about the vision behind this step. Speaking on the occasion Patel said that the ‘kalash’ will be placed in the National Museum, New Delhi and will be displayed there for the general public. He further said that it would inspire the youth of India that their ancestors sacrificed their lives for the sake of Independent India. He said that it was not just a regular soil, but part of one of the greatest sacrifices of the world. He said that the new generations would come to know about the valour and patriotism of those who sacrificed their lives through this holy soil.

Thai translation of ‘Tirukkural’ and Commemorative Coins marking Guru Nanak’s 550th Birth Anniversary released by Prime Minister

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the ‘Sawasdee PM Modi’ community event in Bangkok, Thailand, on November 2. Thousands of members of the Indian diaspora from all over Thailand attended the event.

Historic India-Thailand relations:

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi releasing the commemorative coin to mark the celebrations of 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji, at the ‘Sawasdee PM Modi’ event, in Bangkok, Thailand on November 02, 2019.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi releasing the first copy of Thai translation of Tamil classic ‘Tirukkural’ written by Thiruvalluvar, at the ‘Sawasdee PM Modi’ event, in Bangkok, Thailand on November 02, 2019.

The Prime Minister welcomed the audience in several Indian languages, reflecting the diversity of the Indian diaspora in Thailand. Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that this was his first official visit to the country to participate in the India-Asean Summit. He reflected on the age-old historical relations between India and Thailand which were forged thousands of years ago through trade relations of Indian coastal states with South-East Asia. These relations have only gained in strength over time reflected in cultural and lifestyle similarities between the two counties.

The Prime Minister said that it has been his endeavour to meet people of the Indian community in the country he travels to. He appreciated the people present for being the perfect ambassadors of India culture and tradition.

Prime Minister Modi unveiled the Thai translation of Thiruvalluvar’s Tamil classic ‘Tirukkural’. He said that the book was a guiding light for living one’s life. He also released commemorative coins minted to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, adding that the teachings of Guru Nanak were a heritage for the entire humanity. He said that from November 9, direct connectivity would be established to Kartarpur Sahib via the Kartarpur Corridor, welcoming everyone to come and visit.

Boosting Tourism and Commitment to Act East Policy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said steps were being taken to develop the Buddha circuit for promoting tourism. He highlighted that India had jumped 18 ranks in the last 4 years in travel and tourism global index, stating that government had been focussed on promoting heritage, spiritual and medical tourism along with developing connectivity infrastructure for boosting tourism.

Outlining the contours of India’s Act-East Policy, he said that India was focussed on deepening North-East’s connect with Thailand. He said that the government was working towards developing the region as a gateway of South-East Asia. The Prime Minister added that the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway will establish seamless connectivity between the countries, which will boost the development of the entire region.

Nita Ambani Elected to the Board of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Educationist, philanthropist, and businesswoman Nita Ambani has been named an Honorary Trustee of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced Daniel Brodsky, the museum’s chairman. Ambani’s election took place at the November 12 meeting of the Board.

Brod sky commented: “Mrs Ambani’s commitment to The Met and to preserving and promoting India’s art and culture is truly exceptional. Her support has an enormous impact on the museum’s ability to study and display art from every corner of the world. It is a pleasure to welcome Nita Ambani to the board.”

Nita Ambani is the founder and chairperson of the Reliance Foundation, an Indian philanthropic organization that has supported The Met since 2016, beginning with the exhibition by Nasreen Mohamedi. That presentation was the first museum retrospective of the artist’s work in the United States and was also one of The Met Breuer’s inaugural exhibitions. In 2017, the Reliance Foundation committed to supporting exhibitions that explore and celebrate the arts of India. The first exhibition to benefit from this gift was Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs (October 11, 2017–January 2, 2018), followed by Phenomenal Nature: Mrinalini Mukherjee (June 4–September 29, 2019), which marked the first comprehensive display of Mukherjee’s work in the United States. Other exhibitions that will benefit from this sponsorship include the upcoming Tree and Serpent: Early Buddhist Art in India, 200 B.C.–A.D. 400, opening November 10, 2020, at The Met Fifth Avenue, along with exhibitions that will cover such topics as 17th-century Mughal art and contemporary Indian sculpture.

In 2017, the Museum honoured Nita Ambani at The Met Winter Party, an event celebrating the achievements of those who foster greater diversity and inclusion in the world of art. Generous with her time and expertise, she is also a member of The Met’s International Council.

Nita Ambani is especially committed to preserving and promoting India’s art, culture, and heritage. Reliance Foundation has sponsored key cultural events such as The Elephanta Festival, and Abbaji, the annual concert of master musician Ustad Zakir Hussain, among the many efforts to recognize the cultural legends of India and ensure their relevance to a younger generation. In its initiatives to advance knowledge of Indian arts internationally, the foundation has supported not only the series of exhibitions at The Met but also presentations such as Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago.