15 Jan 2014

Achievements of Union Ministry of Culture During the Year-Long Commemoration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda

Shri Pranab Mukherjee
  The National Committee in 2010, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, constituted the National Implementation Committee (NIC) headed by chairman the then Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee and later when Finance Minister became the President Defence Minister Shri A.K. Antony became the chairman of this prestigious Committee. 

According to the Minister of Culture Smt. Chandresh Kumari Katoch, the committee approved 54 proposals at the estimated cost of Rs. 253 crores to propagate the teachings and legacy of Swami Vivekananda.

In a statement issued here today Smt. Katoch said, some of the major programme taken up by the NIC were as follows:

Agreement with the Art Institute of Chicago

(a)               A memorial plaque with Swami Vivekananda’s image was installed at the site from where he had delivered his famous address to the Parliament of World Religions in 1893.

(b)               The 2nd programme was four year “Vivekananda Memorial Programme for Museum Excellence” the Art Institute of Chicago is functioning as a Resource Center to share information on latest developments in the field of Museology. The Art Institute of Chicago will also create internships in different department up-to 20 weeks a year to give hands on experience to officers from Indian Museums in different departments. They will also depute experts to India for conducting workshops/seminars etc.

(c)               Another agreement was signed by Ministry of Culture with the University of Chicago for the establishment of “The Indian Ministry of Culture Vivekananda Chair” in the field of Indian Studies in the University of Chicago, with a corpus endowment (grant) of USD 1.50 million from the Ministry of Culture. The process for selection of a scholar to the “The Indian Ministry of Culture Vivekananda Chair” has been completed and the University of Chicago is likely to announce the appointment to this Chair soon.

Another important programme was the funding of the Vivekananda value Education Programme of the Ramakrishna Mission, Belur at Rs 100 crore. The programme includes publication and distribution of books, publicity through electronic media, youth programmes including seminars, conferences, youth camps and special service activities. The Ministry of Culture has worked jointly with the Ramakrishna Mission and its various branches, Vedanta Societies, other Ministries of the Govt. of India. 

The Indian Railways ran a special travelling exhibition titled Viveka express. Archaeological Survey of India renovated sites related to Vivekananda. Archaeological Survey of India has also undertaken renovation of 3 monuments (of different religions) viz., 
(i) Fatehpuri Mosque, New Delhi, 

(ii) Rachol Seminary, the Roman Archdiocese of Goa and 

(iii) Koodalmanickam Temple, Irinjalakkuda, Kerala.  Two other monuments- Patna Sahib Gurudwara and Tawang Monastry may also be taken up for renovation later. The commemoration year of 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda was also observed as the Year of National Awakening. 

The activities/ programmes taken up in this connection were related to    release of commemorative postage stamps and two commemorative coins of Rs 5 and Rs 150, printing of the logo on official stationery, Organising a Youth Convention at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Vivekananda Kendra, production of a film on the commemoration activities, telecasting of a film on Swami Vivekananda on Doordarshan etc. etc. The ZCCs under the Ministry of Culture are organizing programmes at Lucknow, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Kanyakumari, Nagpur, Jodhpur and Kolkata.

Dr. Karan Singh, Indian representative on the UNESCO Executive Board, delivered a special address in UNESCO on 7th October, 2013. He spoke on “the Universal Message of Swami Vivekananda”. DG UNESCO Ms Irina Bokova, Indian Ambassador Shri Arun K. Singh and Permanent Representative of India to UNESCO Shri V.S.Oberoi were present along with scores of French intellectuals.  

Apart from these commemoration related initiatives, the Ministry of Culture is funding commemorative activities and programmes being organized by NGOs, various institutions in the public and private sector, State governments and the Indian Missions abroad. 

 Financial assistance for performances, conferences and seminars etc. is provided under the Cultural Functions Grants Scheme of the Ministry. The programmes are predominantly service and education-oriented and the main objective is to spread awareness about Swami Vivekananda’s life and ideals.

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