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The major highlights of the Union Ministry of Culture during the year 2021 are as follows:

Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav launched from Sabarmati Ashram:

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi launched Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, a mega celebration of 75 years of country’s Independence. The Amrit Mahotsav was launched on 12th March from Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He also flagged off the Dandi ‘Padyatra’ on the occasion.

The Prime Minister launched the website of India@75 on the occasion. He also launched the ‘Atmanirbhar Incubator’ programme of Ministry of Culture in partnership with Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust to preserve the skills and arts of artisans/crafts persons on the verge of extinction. A unique Charkha Campaign was also started by the Prime Minister to promote ‘Vocal for Local’.

 

The Vice President, Sh M. Venkaiah Naidu graced the colourful closing ceremony of the 25-day long commemorative Dandi Padyatra as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav near National Salt Satyagraha Memorial, Dandi, Gujarat on April 6, 2021.

Commemoration of 125th Birth Anniversary Year of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose launched on Parakram Diwas on January 23, 2021 from Kolkata

In one of the first major events of the year 2021, the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi launched the commemoration of 125th Birth Anniversary Year of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in Kolkata on 23rd January, 2021. He presided over the inaugural function of the ‘Parakram Diwas’ celebrations at Victoria Memorial in Kolkata.

 ‘Nirbhik Subhas’ (‘Irrepressible Subhas’)- ‘A multimedia exhibition’ celebrating the 125th Birth Anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose- A Permanent Exhibition, a 3D Projection Mapping Show on Netaji, unveiling of book ‘Letters of Netaji” and Release of Commemorative Coin and release of Stamp in the memory of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, by the Prime Minister of India were some of the other highlights of the commemoration programme.

 

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Several other programmes were also organised to mark the day including a special programme organised at Haripura at Surat in Gujarat. An exhibition by NGMA of Ministry of Culture  was organised comprising of the famous Haripura panels made by Nand Lal Bose for the Congress session at Haripura where Netaji was made the President.

The South-Central Zone Cultural Centre, Nagpur under the Ministry of Culture organised a special cultural programme under Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat (EBSB) to commemorate the 125th Birth Anniversary Year of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. As part of the celebration, a play named “Bose” and different patriotic songs and dance programmes were performed by Nagpur-based social organisation, Prayas. Similarly, Odia artists have also performed folk songs and dances during the celebration. Odisha is paired state of Maharashtra under EBSB.

Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav: Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav, the flagship festival of Ministry of Culture organized since 2015 with the active participation of Seven Zonal Culture Centres has been playing a pivotal role to take the vibrant culture of India out to the masses instead of confining to auditoria and galleries. It has been instrumental in showcasing, folk and tribal art, dance, music, cuisines & culture of one state in other states reinforcing the cherished goal of “Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat” and at the same time providing an effective platform to the artists and artisans to support their livelihood. The eleventh edition of Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav was being held between 14th to 28th February, 2021 in West Bengal at Cooch Behar (14th to 16th February, 2021), Darjeeling (22nd to 24th February, 2021) and Murshidabad (27th to 28th February, 2021).

Udaipur Science Centre inaugurated at Udaipur, Tripura.
It is the 22nd Science Centre developed by NCSM of M/o Culture under Scheme for Promotion of Culture of Science.

e-Auction of gifts and mementos received by the Prime Minister, from 17th September to 7th October 2021:

  

It was the third edition of auction of gifts and mementos received by Prime Minister. The memorabilia included sports gear and equipment of the medal winning Olympians and Paralympians, replica of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir, Chardham, Rudraksh Convention Centre, models, sculptures, paintings, angavastras among others. Proceeds from the e-Auction  go to the Namami Gange Mission aimed at conserving and rejuvenating the Ganga. 1348 mementos were put up for e-auction , Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Neeraj Chopra’s javelin received the highest bid of Rs 1.5 Cr.

Special programme for trainee officers at the two-day Geographical Indication (GI) Mahotsav organized at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie: This special programme for the trainee officers of LBSNAA was meant to be an overview into the world of artisans, design and GI products. The sessions covered topics ranging from legal implications of GI, artistic & design collaborations with GI crafts and more, and witnessed  participation from legal, academic and design luminaries.

Vesak Global Celebrations on Buddha Poornima organised which was addressed virtually by the Prime Minister on 26th May 2021. The Virtual Prayer Event saw the participation of heads of Buddhist Sanghas from around the world. Buddha Poornima celebrations were held through a virtual congregation owing to the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic across the globe. This year the Buddha Poornima is dedicated to Global Peace and Relief from the Pandemic- Covid 19.

Ministry of Culture in partnership with International Buddhist Confederation also celebrated Asadha Poornima Dhamma Chakra Day through day long events on July 24, 2021.

Abhidhamma Day at the Mahaparinirvana Temple in Kushinagar: A solemn ceremony was organised in the premises of the Mahaparinirvana Temple, Kushinagar, where a three-day Buddhist congregation was inaugurated by the Prime Minister along with exposition of Holy Buddha Relic from Shri Lanka. An exhibition of Buddhist glory excavated by ASI was also organised on the side-lines where Buddhist antiquities from excavation sites including Vadanagar was displayed. Besides this 110-member high level Sri Lankan delegation, the event was attended by a large number of prominent National and International Buddhist Sanghha, Ambassadors, Central and State officials etc.

Gandhi Peace Prize for 2019 and 2020: The Gandhi Peace Prize for 2019 has been conferred on Late Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said of Oman; and Gandhi Peace Prize 2020 on Bangabandhu Late Shiekh Mujibur Rahman.  Gandhi Peace Prize for 2020 was awarded by Prime Minister of India to Late Bangabandhu Shiekh Mujibur Rahman (posthumously) in Dhaka on 26th March 2021.

Two Meetings of National Committee on Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav chaired by Prime Minister held : The first meeting of National Committee was held on 8th March, 2021 in the run-up to the launch of the flagship programme and the second meeting was held on 22nd December 2021. In the first meeting, the Prime Minister highlighted the 5 pillars that have been decided for the celebration of the 75 years. These are Freedom Struggle, Ideas at 75, Achievements at 75, Actions at 75 and Resolve at 75. All these should include the ideas and feelings of the 130 crore Indians and the programme should be organised with Jan Bhagidari.

 At the second meeting, the Prime Minister presented  his vision for the commemoration and how India should lead in the Post Covid World Order. He also emphasised that as  we observe Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, we should surge ahead with a focused approach setting new targets for ourselves for 2047. Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav should sow the seed of a sense of duty among the youth, the Prime Minister urged.

Celebration of International Day of Yoga: The Union Culture Ministry celebrated ‘International Yoga Day’ on June 21, 2021 under the ‘Yoga is an Indian Heritage’ campaign. Demonstration of Common Yoga Protocol (CYP) at 75 heritage monuments across the country along with cultural performances was organsied. To celebrate the event, National Council of Science Museum (NCSM) also organised various online programme /activities at its various units.

Culture Ministry launches a unique programme to celebrate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav on Independence Day 2021: A unique initiative , connected with the National Anthem, was taken up by the Ministry of Culture for celebrating Independence Day this year to instill pride and unity among Indians all over the world. In this, the people were invited to sing the National anthem and upload the video on website www.RASHTRAGAAN.IN. More than 1.5 crore Indians from India and across the world  recorded and uploaded their videos.The compilation of National Anthem was shown  live on 15th August, 2021 during celebrations at Red Fort.

Renovated complex of Jallianwala Bagh Smarak at Amritsar dedicated to the nation: Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated the renovated complex of Jallianwala Bagh Smarak at Amritsar to the nation through video conference. During the event, he also inaugurated the Museum Galleries at the Smarak. The event showcased the multiple development initiatives taken by the government to upgrade the complex.

Nation pays homage to Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on Shahidi Diwas on March 23, 2021: Ministry of Culture organised various programmes at several places on ‘Shaheedi Diwas’ as a grateful nation proudly remembered the exceptional courage & martyrdom of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. A joint Shraddhanjali Sabha was held in honor of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru at Shaheed E Azam Sardar Bhagat Singh Museum Khatkar Kalan, (Village of Shaheed Bhagat Singh), in Punjab, by Sangeet Natak Akademi. Homage was also paid to Shaheed Sukhdev at his ancestral house at Mohalla Naughra while a similar ceremony was held at the ancestral house of Shaheed Rajguru at Rajguru Wada, Rajguru Nagar, Pune.

Anniversary of the formation of Azad Hind Government by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose celebrated, events held across India and South -east Asia: As part of Amrit Mahotsav celebrations, events were organized in the run up to and on 21st October in India and South East Asia to commemorate the Anniversary of the formation of Azad Hind Government by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Bringing to life the whole of government approach, Ministry of Culture spearheaded the organization of an integrated program calendar across regions and geographies with participation from various Ministries, States and Union Territories of India and and in SSingapore.. The commemorative programs saw participation from INA veterans, school students, local communities and others making a true embodiment of the idea of Jan Bhagidari.

In a unique initiative to celebrate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, Union Culture Minister Sh. G.K Reddy launched the Amrit Mahotsav Podcast. The first series, Zara Yaad Karo Qurbani, went live with an episode based on the Indian National Army.

Culture Ministry has launched three unique competitions to celebrate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav: Ministry of culture is holding a nationwide competition as #UnityInCreativity for Deshbhakti Geet writing, Lori Writing and Rangoli Making rightfrom Tehshil/Taluka level to National level. This initiative aims to encourage participation so as to ensure substantive ‘Jan bhagidaari’.

UNESCO World Heritage Tag :  (i) Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple, Telangana (2021) and (ii) Dholavira: A Harappan City (2021) under protection of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have been inscribed on World Heritage List in the 44th Extended World Heritage Meeting virtually held in Fuzhou, China taking the number of World Heritage properties in India from 38 to 40.

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Ramappa Temple

Celebration of “Destination Northeast India” by the National Museum, New Delhi from 1st November, 2021 to 7th November 2021: As part of the celebrations of #AzadiKaAmritMahotsav to commemorate 75 years of progressive India and the glory of its people’s culture and achievements, the National Museum, New Delhi celebrated the rich heritage of North East India, under the Ministry of DoNER & NEC’s initiative titled #DestinatioNorthEastIndia. NM organised a week-long series of cultural performers, online lectures and tours of the Northeast Lifestyle Gallery to highlight the diverse artistic traditions and communities of the North-eastern states.

PM lays foundation stones and dedicates to the Nation various development projects in Kedarnath on November 5, 2021. On the occasion, programmes were organized at Jyotirlingas & Jyotishpeeth including Char Dham across the country.

  

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi laid foundation stones and dedicated to the Nation various development projects in Kedarnath. He inaugurated Adi Shankaracharya Samadhi and unveiled the statue of Adi Shankaracharya. The Prime Minister also offered prayers at the Kedarnath Temple. Prayers were offered and celebrations held at 12 Jyotirlingas and 4 dhams. Programs were organized simultaneously at 11 Jyotirlingas , 4 Jyotishpeeth and Char Dhams(Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri and Rameshwaram) also. The programmes included the customary morning Aarti followed by Vedic chanting. Ministry of Culture organized cultural events at either premise of Jyotirlingas /Jyotishpeeth or nearby venue. Culture Minister Sh G. Kishan Reddy led the programme at Kalady, Kerala which is the birthplace of Adi Shankaracharya.

M/o Culture Shri G. Kishan Reddy formally hands over Idol of Goddess Annapurna to Uttar Pradesh Government in presence of several Union and State ministers.

 

   

18th Century Idol of Goddess Annapurna retrieved from Canada, was handed over to UP Government on 11th November, 2021 and was placed at its rightful place at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh on 15th November, 2021.

Retrieval of Antiquities by ASI : Antiquities Section of ASI has been constantly engaged in effective retrieval of antiquities from abroad. In the month of September, 2021, a team of experts from ASI went to the USA to examine a lot of 258 art objects, as per the communication received from CGI, New York. Out of this entire lot, 94 objects had been identified as “Antiquity” as per the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972. In 2019, a team of ASI had verified 63 objects as antiquities and now total 157 antiquities are ready for retrieval, presently in CGI, New York.

 

The Ministry of Culture holds ‘Vande Bharatam- Nritya Utsav’, an All-India dance competition as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.

 

  

 

The objective of this competition was to select dancers who will perform during the cultural programme at the Republic Day Parade of 2022 at Rajpath, India Gate. Vande Bharatam final Competition was held in New Delhi on 19th December 2021. A total 36 teams won in the final round which will participate in the Republic Day Parade 2022

Ministry of Culture launches Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav mobile app: Minister of State for Culture and External Affairs, Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi launched the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav mobile App to enable all single point access to all information related to the 75th anniversary celebrations of India’s independence. The app available in android and iOS has details of all the activities and events happening under the AKAM banner. It is a free for download app with no age restrictions

A three-day festival ‘Kashi Utsav’ organised in Varanasi from 16th -18th November as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to celebrate the classic heritage and culture of Kashi especially the centuries-old luminaries who are Goswami Tulsidas, Sant Kabir, Sant Raidas, Bhartendu Harishchandra, Munshi Premchand and Shri Jaishankar Prasad. The festival was based on the themes ‘Kashi ke Hastakshar’; ‘Kabir, Raidas ki Bani aur Nirgun Kashi’ and ‘Kavita aur Kahani – Kashi ki Zubani’.

Kala Kumbh Artist Workshops: The National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi has organised Kala Kumbh– artist workshops for painting scrolls representing the heroic lives and struggles of unsung heroes of India’s freedom movement, as an integral part of the Republic Day celebrations 2022 in collaboration with Ministry of Defence. The first workshop was organised from 10th – 17th December, 2021 at Bhubaneswar to creatively showcase the legacy of India’s freedom struggle and our national pride on five scrolls of seventy five meters. Similar workshops are being held in other parts of the country.

India’s biggest drone show organised in Lucknow as part of Amrit Mahotsav series of events on First War of Independence of 1857.

India’s biggest drone show was organised in Lucknow on December 20, 2021 as part of Amrit Mahotsav series of events on 1857.More than 500 drones took part in this show.

Prime Minister chairs the first meeting of High-Level Committee to commemorate 150th Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo: The Committee comprises 53 members from various walks of life. The Prime Minister suggested that 150 universities across the country should be involved in writing papers on different aspects of Sri Aurobindo’s life and philosophy and the 150 papers to be published on the occasion.

National Archives of India (NAl) has appraised the 2,076 Records of Rehabilitation Division, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi and 1498 files entries made in AIMS Package of Rehabilitation Division, M/o Home Affairs.

Exhibitions Under AKAM

Some of the important exhibitions organized as part of Amrit Mahotsav as are as follows:

Exhibition to mark the 79th anniversary of ‘Quit India Movement’

Culture Minister Shri G. Kishan Reddy inaugurated an exhibition to mark the 79th anniversary of the ‘Quit India Movement’ at National Archives of India in New Delhi on August 8, 2021.

Culture Minister, Shri G. Kishan Reddy inaugurated an Exhibition Katha Kranthiveeron Ki, an exhibition of revolutionaries with a dedicated painting exhibition on Alluri Seetharamaraju and exhibits of paintings of Shaheedi Diwas, Champaran Satyagraha and Jallianwala Bagh at Lalit Kala Galleries, Rabindra Bhawan in New Delhi as part of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ being celebrated to commemorate 75 years of Independence.

Weeklong Exhibition ‘Bharatmata Ewam Bharat Ke Nayak’by Lalit Kala Akademi Inaugurated by MoS Culture, Smt Meenakashi Lekhi. The exhibition depicts portraits by eminent artist Sh. Pawan Verma “Shaheen”. The exhibition showcases portraits of stalwarts like Rabindranath Tagore, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, APJ Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day on 8th March 2021, Salarjung Museum organized a Painting exhibition and also a special photo exhibition on 75th years of Independence on AZADI KA AMRUT MOHOTSAV.

MoS Culture, Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal inaugurated the exhibition “Azad Ki Shaurya Gatha” focused on the life of immortal martyr ‘Chandrasekhar Azad’ as part of “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” at Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi.

Culture & International Cooperation

The Ministry participated in Culture Working Group virtual meeting of G20 countries hosted by Italy on 22nd – 23rd Feb,2021.

Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi, Minister of State for Culture participated in the G20 Culture Ministers’ Meeting on 30 July, 2021 hosted by Italy during their ongoing Presidency of G20 in 2021.Discussion was held on Protection of Cultural Heritage; Addressing the Climate Crisis through Culture; Building Capacity through Training and Education; Digital Transition and New Technologies for Culture; and Culture and Creative Sectors as drivers for growth.

A meeting through Video Conferencing was held on 13th May, 2021 between Culture Minister of India and Culture Minister of Mongolia to discuss on promoting bilateral cultural and spiritual ties, and ways to implement Cultural Exchange Programme signed between the two countries.

MoS, Culture, Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, participated in 18th SCO Culture Ministers’ Meeting through virtual mode on 18th August, 2021 hosted by the Tajikistan. In the meeting, the regulations of Gala Concert of the Arts Festival of SCO Member States and the Protocol of 18th Meeting of SCO Cultures Meeting was agreed upon and signed by all heads of delegations of SCO Members. In the meeting, the Draft Agreements on Cultural Cooperation in the field of Protection of Cultural Heritage and the Vocational Education in Culture and Arts were also finalized and are proposed to be signed at the meeting of the Council of Heads of States (CHS) of the SCO Countries, to be attended by Hon’ble Prime Minister.

A Cultural Exchange programme between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Republic of Serbia on Cooperation in the field of Culture and Arts was signed on 11th October, 2021.

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