The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) is a national agency for promoting Indian heritage and contemporary culture abroad. The ICCR runs 20 Cultural Centres worldwide. The Centres organise outreach programmes including panel discussions, lectures, exhibitions, essay competitions, performances, screenings and language learning courses. It envisages a communion of cultures and a creative dialogue with other nations.
The Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) was established in 1987 as an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Culture, as a centre for research, academic pursuit and dissemination in the field of the arts.
The IGRMS or the National Museum of Mankind is an unique museum spread over an area of 200 acres. The museum exhibits contemporary tribal cultures and has actual dwellings of typical tribal villages of Indian states in display. The IGRMS is an autonomous organization of the Govt. of India, Ministry of Culture which presents the story of mankind in time and space. Situated in a prehistoric site, this one of its kind museum also has a vivid collection of pre-historic painted rock shelters. There are three kinds of exhibitions in display including open air exhibitions, indoor galleries and periodical or temporary exhibitions.
The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) is a non-profit organization set up in 1984 to involve its members in protecting and conserving India's vast natural, built and cultural heritage. INTACH has a special division dedicated to the conservation of ICH. Major efforts in documentation of different ICH including the dying performing art forms in the Srinakulam District, Andhra Pradesh, the ICH components in the region around Qutab Minar, the Jogi Singers of Haryana and the Wooden Block Makers of Pethapur have been made by INTACH. Considerable work has also been done in terms of documenting the ICH of North East India including Naga folk tales, Tai Ahom Grammer, facets of Manipur, magic and mantras from Assam and traditional medicinal practices of the Khasis of Meghalaya.
Contributed by Prarthana, CEE, Ahmedabad
Industree Crafts Foundation was set up in the year 2000 with the objective of work with rural producers on developing design, technical and skill initiatives in the natural fibre sector. The Foundation's work focuses on creating a value addition for agricultural by-products and other natural fibres in terms of product diversification, design, simplification of labour and time intensive process.
INTACH ICKPAC has been a nominated Manuscript Conservation Centre (MCC) since 23rd September 2003. Different repositories of old Palmleaf and Paper manuscripts in the State, including religious institutions like Mutts and educational Centres like Universities are being visited regularly and Preventive conservation of the collections is being carried out. Local staff is trained in Preventive conservation and custodians in the proper maintenance of the collections. Curative conservation of manuscripts is also done whenever necessary.
The Indian Institute of Crafts and Design was set up by the Government of Rajasthan, to develop human resources for the craft sector. Training and Outreach Programs are conducted at the grass root level by IICD faculty with artisans, self-help groups and non-governmental organizations. These are multi-disciplinary in approach and are designed to add value to agencies working in craft development and promotion as well as to provide a platform for students to directly interact with craft communities. IICD has been involved in reviving the craft of Phulkari, has worked with weavers at Bassi, the potters of Dausa and several such interventions geared towards the development of crafts. The Craft Development Centre at IICD has been established with a vision to build and create design oriented excellence in the handicraft sector of Rajasthan. The Centre's aim is the revival of the languishing arts and crafts of Rajasthan by making these commercially viable. A skill training program for youth in handicrafts is also conducted by the Centre.
IICD is also involved in research and documentation of the vast and complex world of craft. These activities aid the evolution of intellectual capital at the institute, the formation of knowledge banks, exploration of relevant issues and innovation.
Contributed by Prarthana, CEE, Ahmedabad