150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda President said His ideas and teachings are relevant even today
President Shri Pranab Mukherjee here today inaugurated the celebrations to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson UPA, Shri A.K. Antony, Minister of Defence & Chairman NIC, Shri P. Chidambaram, Minister of Finance, Shri Kapil Sibal, Minister of Communications and IT, Smt. Chandresh Kumari Katoch, Minister of Culture and Swami Suhitananda, General Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission, Belur Math were also present at the function organized at the Rashtrapati Bhawan auditorium. President shri Pranab Mukherjee and other dignitaries paid glowing tributes to life and works of Swami Vivekananda and recalled his contribution in welfare of mankind and upliftment of poor masses. The speakers said that his ideas and teachings are relevant even today. The Finance Minister Shri P. Chidambaram released a set of Commemorative Coins and presented the first set to the President Shri Pranab Mukherjee. The coins are of Rs.150 and Rs. 5 denomination. Minister for Communications & Information Technology Shri Kapil Sibal released a set of 4 Commemorative Postage Stamps on Swami Vivekananda and presented the first copy to the President Shri Pranab Mukherjee. One stamp is of Rs. 20 and rest three of Rs. 5 each. Children from the Ramakrishna Mission, New Delhi gave a singing performance on the occasion. This function commences the year long commemoration under which a range of activities have been planned, some of which have already begun not only in India but abroad, as well. The Government of India decided to undertake the commemoration of 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. A National Committee under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh was constituted to approve policies/plans, programmes and supervise and guide the Commemoration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda including preparatory activities leading up to the Anniversary year in 2013-14. A National Implementation Committee was also constituted in 2010 under the Chairmanship of the then Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee to implement the decisions of the National Committee. On Shri Pranab Mukherjee assuming the office of President of India, Defence Minister Shri A.K. Antony has been appointed Chairman of the said National Implementation Committee.