11 Aug : The Indian Council for Cultural Relations is implementing its mandate of enhancing India’s cultural profile abroad through the Indian Missions and its Indian Cultural Centres abroad and its Centres in India, which implement ICCR programmes. Apart from the regular exchange of performing troupes with other countries, the Council also carries out several activities including setting up Chairs on Indian Studies in foreign Universities; mounting of exhibitions of Indian works of art and photographs abroad; grant of around 3000 scholarships annually to foreign students to study in India; a Distinguished Visitors Programme under which the Council sponsors and hosts the visits to India of well-known foreign cultural and academic personalities; and outgoing visits by distinguished academicians and cultural personalities abroad. The Council also conducts classes in Yoga, music, dance and Indian languages.
Under the 6-Point Expansion Plan of ICCR, more Cultural Centres are being established to achieve a wider global presence. Other measures include: setting up of more Chairs on Indian Studies, organization of Festivals of India in other countries, organization of seminars and conferences on Indology and India-related contemporary issues, grant of 3-12 months duration Fellowships to established foreign academics and cultural personalities to work on India-related projects, support for NGOs and cultural institutions working to promote Indian culture abroad etc.
The Council was granted Rs. 139 crores in Financial Year 2009-10, and Rs. 150 crores at the BE stage in Financial Year 2010-11, for carrying out its activities.
This information was given by Shri S.M. Krishna, Minister of External Affairs, in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.