Cultural Institutions: Art & Culture for UPSC Exams

UPSC Exam Art & Culture

Cultural Institutions: Art & Culture for UPSC Exams

Lalit Kala Academy

!     Established in 1954. Headquarters: New Delhi. Since its inception, the Academy has been organising national exhibition of contem- porary Indian art with 15 national awards, each of Rs. 50,000. Every three years, the Academy also organises Triennial India, an International exhibition of contemporary art in New Delhi.

!     Regional Centres : Chennai, Lucknow, Kolkata and Bhubaneshwar and Garhi Artist Studies, Delhi.

!    The Academy honours eminent artists and art historians every year by electing them as fellows of the Academy. To propogate Indian art outside, the Academy regularly participates in International Biennials and Triennials abroad and also organises exhibitions of works of art from other countries. To foster contracts with artists from outside, it sponsors exchange of artists with other countries under the various cultural exchange programmes and agreements of the  Government.

!    The present chairman of Lalit Kala Academy: Ashok Vajpyee.

Sangeet Natak Academy

It was established on January 28, 1953 by a  resolution of the Ministry of Education headed by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad signed on 31st May 1952.   Headquarter – New Delhi;

The Sangeet Natak Academy - India’s Na-tional Academy for  Music,  Dance  and Drama – is the first Academy of the Arts, set up by the Republic of India. It encour- ages the forms of Dance, Drama and Mu-sic,  offers  Scholarships  to Artists  and Teachers of traditional arts and gives awards to outstanding  Artists .  The  Academy Awards are the highest National recogni- tion conferred on participating artists. The Academy  also  confers Fellowships to Scholars, their numbers being restricted to 30 living recipients. The Fellowship and Awards carries a cash prize of Rs. 50,000 a  shawl and ‘Tamrapatra’. "    The present chairperson of Sangeet Natak Academy  - Ram Nivas Mirdha

Sahitya Academy

"   Sahitya Aca demy is  the Indi an N ational Academy of letters meant to promote the cause of  Indian literature through publications, translations, seminars, workshops, cultural exchange programmes and literary meets organised all over the country. The Academy was founded in March 1954 as an  autonomous body fully   funded by the Department of Culture. The Academy has recognised 24 languages. It has an Advisory Board for each of the languages that suggests various programmes and publications in the concerned languages. Its head office is in New Delhi.

"   The highest honour conferred by the Academy on a writer is by electing him its fellow. This honour is reserved for the ‘Immortals of Literature’ and limited to 21 at any given time.

"   The present Chairman of Sahitya Academy is Sunil Gangopadhyay.

National School of Drama

It is one of the foremost theatre institutions of the World and the only one of its kind in India. It was set up by Sangeet Natak Acad- emy in 1959, later in 1975 it became an au- tonomous body, totally financed by Depart- ment of Culture. The objective of NSD is to train students in all aspects of theatre, in- cluding Theatre History Production, Scene Design, Costume Designs, Lighting, Makeup etc. The training course at NSD Art and Cul- ture is of three years duration. Each year, 20 students are admitted to the course.

Archaeological Survey of India

The Archaeological Surrey of India (ASI) was established in 1861. It functions as an attached office of the   Department of Culture. Under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act of 1958, the ASI has declared 3,612 monuments to be of national importance in the country. Since its establish- ment one hundred and forty two years ago, the ASI has grown into a large organisation with an all India network of offices, branches and circles,   Conservation, preservation md maintenance of the Centrally protected monu- ments and sites are the prime tasks of ASI. The major activities of the Archaeological Sur- vey of India are:

i)    Maintenance, conservation and preservation of Centrally protected monuments/sites and re- mains;

ii)    Conducting   archaeological explorations and excavations;

iii)   Chemical preservation of monuments   and antiquarian remains;

iv)   Architectural survey of monuments;

v)   Development    of  epigraphical research and publications;

vi)   Setting up and re-organisation of site muse- ums and

vii)  Training in Archaeology.

National Archives of India

The National Archives of India is the official custodian of   the non-current records of the Government of India  and is holding them in trust for the use of administrators and schol- ars. It is an Attached Office of the Ministry of Culture. It was set up in March 1891 in Calcutta (Kolkata) as the Imperial Record Department and subsequent to the transfer of the National Capital from Calcutta to New Delhi in 1911. It has a Regional   Office at Bhopal and three record centres at Bhubandeswar, Jaipur and Pudducherry.


Anthropological Survey of lndia, Kolkata The Anthropological Survey of India's contri- bution for understanding the people of India by its coverage of the entire length and breadth of the  country and its human surface in the People of India project, its publications and ethnographic films have been widely used and acknowledged all over the world.

Since its inception, the it has been involved in studying the bio-cultural profile of Indian popu- lations for over half a century, from its head- quarters in Kolkata and seven regional centers spread over the length and breadth of the coun- try.

Three main thrust areas of research in the Anthropological Survey of India are:

"   Understanding and documenting socio-cultural aspects of the People of India including audio- visual documentation, collection and preser- vation of museum arte-facts

"   Understanding the physical and biological varia- tion among the people of India through estab- lished methods and also the new technologies. understanding pre-historic, paleo-anthropo- logical and linguistic aspects of the people of India

?  Indira Gandhi National Centre For the Arts - New Delhi

The India Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) is a premier national institution en- gaged in the pursuit of knowledge on arts and culture and in the exploration of relationships of arts and culture with various disciplines of learning and diverse aspects of life. It was es- tablished in 1985 in the memory of the Late Prime Minister Smt to Indira Gandhi. The IGNCA promotes interaction and understand- ing between diverse communities, regions, social strata, and between India and other parts of the world. The IGNCA has been designated as a nodal agency for setting up a National Data Bank on Arts, Humanities and Cultural Heritage.

Indian Society of Oriental Art

Set up in Kolkata, it promotes knowledge of ancient and modern Indian and oriental art; collects objects of art; holds exhibitions, lectures seminars etc. it also researches and study. It has a collection of rare and modern ,art books.

Indian Council for Cultural Relations

It was founded on 9 April 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the first Education Minister of independent India. An autonomous body to establish and promote cultural relations and exchanges between India and other countries. It  has overseas offices at Suva (Fiji), San Francisco (US), Georgetown (Guyana). It organises   Nehru  Memorial   award  for International Understanding. It has established cultural centers for Indians abroad.

Indian Council of Historical Research

It enunciates and implements a national policy of historical research and encourages scientific writing of history. It gives grants for seminars, research activities, and publications in the field of history. It maintains a large and expanding library cum documentation centre exclusively for  researchers and scholars.

Indian Institute of Islamic Studies 

Set up in 1963, at New Delhi, its main objects are to promote the study of Islamic culture and civilization, to promote intercourse between scholars and institutions engaged in Islamic studies in different countries and focus on India's contribution to Islam. It has 5000 plus manuscripts in Arabic and Persian.

National Gallery of Modern Art 

The National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), New Delhi was founded in 1954. The main aim of t he NGMA is  the promotion and development of contemporary Indian Art. The NGMA's  important  collections  includepaintings ,  sculpture ,  graphic  arts  and photographs. NGMA organizes exhibitions from its  collection  and under  Cultural Exchange programme periodically. The foremost responsibility of the NGMA is the ensure quality  and to  set and maintain standards of excellence. 

National Mission for Manuscripts

The National Mission for Mansuscripts was launched in February, 2003 by the Ministry of Culture to save the most valuable of our cultural inheritance, i.e.,   manuscripts. The mission seeks  to  unearth and  preserve  the  vast manuscript wealth of India. An ambitious five year project, the Mission seeks not merely to locate  catelogue  and  preserve  India ’s manuscripts but also to enhance access, spread a wareness  and  encour age  their  use  for ducational purpose.


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