- 1. The meeting was chaired by the Hon’ble Finance Minister, Shri Pranab Mukherjee. Other Members present were Km. Mamata Banerjee, Union Minister for Railways, Smt. Ambika Soni, Union Minister for I&B, Shri Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for HRD, Prof. Namvar Singh and Shri Jawhar Sircar, Member Secretary. Smt. Sushma Nath, Secretary (Expenditure) and Smt. Dipali Khanna, AS&FA, Ministry of Culture also attended the meeting as special invitees.
- 2. Chairman, NIC welcomed the Members and gave the background with the proposals that were placed before the first meeting of the National Committee held on 20.5.2010 under the Chairmanship of Hon’ble Prime Minister. The NIC took note of these deliberations and the fact that NIC was authorized to take suitable decisions on the proposals received.
- 3. Members of the National Committee had made large number of suggestions which they considered appropriate for a befitting commemoration. The proposals were, by and large, on the same lines as had been deliberated by the NIC in its first meeting and related inter-alia, to (a) modernization and restoration of Tagore Auditoria all over India that where constructed during the Birth Centenary Commemoration of Tagore and creation of new Cultural Complexes, (b) projects and programmes to spread Tagore’s ideas about world peace and universal brotherhood,
- world peace and universal brotherhood, (c) focus on Tagore’s pioneering role in education, rural development, gender issues, anti-casteism, etc. (d) popularizing Tagore’s work in different strata of society, including children, (e) setting up of Universities, Institutions, Centres and Chairs etc., (f) conservation and restoration of Tagore’s paintings, manuscripts and heritage buildings associated with him, (including his ancestral house,) (g) setting up of the Committees etc., to vet proposals received suo moto from civil society for taking up commemorative projects/ programmes at the Zonal level (i.e. through Zonal Tagore Cultural Committees).
- 4. Chairman, NIC, thereafter requested Member Secretary to take up the Agenda items, one by one.
- 5. Member Secretary informed that - (i) Agenda Item No.1 was a Reporting Item. (ii) Agenda No. 2 was divided in to various parts, each covering project proposals falling under specific categories. Member Secretary introduced these items, as follows.
5.1 PROPOSALS OF THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE
- 5.1.1 Upgradation of Rabindra Bhavans.
- 5.1.1 A Construction of Tagore Cultural Complexes.
- (i) The first item related to modernization and upgradation of existing Tagore Auditoria (built in various cities in the country) during the Tagore Birth Centenary Commemoration. The Committee was informed that some of the important towns (like capitals of the newly formed States) and Chennai did not have these Auditoria, which could also be taken up for construction.
- (ii) Kum. Mamata Banerjee, was of the view that many of these Auditoria had outlived their life/utility and as such many were fit to be demolished. New Auditoria could be constructed in their places which may in many cases be cost effective also.
- (iii) Shri Kapil Sibal, was of the view that for the construction of new Auditoria/Cultural Complexes, criteria needed to be worked out for identification of cities suitable for their location. He suggested that these could be related to the cultural importance of cities, size of cities, their association with Tagore etc. Other criteria, too, would be outlined.
- (iv) Member Secretary informed about the proposed changes in the MPCC (Multi Purpose Cultural Complex) Scheme of the Ministry of Culture under which the proposals would be considered and said that there was hardly any possibility of major expenditure in the next two years, as these projects needed to be well conceptualized and designed and also implemented according to a well-defined time-schedule. He recalled Prime Minister’s observation during the National Committee meeting that the new Auditoria and Bhavans should be aesthetically designed in locations worthy of being named after the great cultural icon. Designs may be finalised through open National Competitions.
- (v) The Committee felt that the cost of differing categories of projects, i.e., Tagore Cultural Complexes in Mega cities, restoration of old Auditoria, upgradation of amenities, networking of Cultural Centres, coverage of new cities, etc., may vary, depending on various parameters, and may range from few lakhs to several crores. There should, therefore, be an inbuilt flexibility in the revised MPCC Scheme to accommodate these. The Committee was of the view that land should be provided by the States, wherever new Cultural Complexes were taken up.
- 5.1.2 The Committee approved the following:
- 5.1.2 A Re-working and ramping of the MPCC (Multi Purpose Cultural Complexes) Scheme under the Ministry of Culture, in line with the proposal mentioned in the Agenda and at sub-para (v) above.
- 5.1.2 B Setting up of proposal specific Expert Committees with the suggested composition for consideration of the proposals, i.e., for restoration, renovation, upgradation, modernisation of the existing Auditoria and for the construction of new Tagore Cultural Complexes/ Auditoria etc. Mandate of the Committees as indicated in para A.1.6 was also approved.
- 5.1.3 The NIC directed that adequate provision be made during the 12th Plan period for these projects and an EFC Note be prepared at the appropriate stage.
5.2 PROPOSAL FROM AKADEMIES UNDER MINISTRY OF CULTURE
The Committee took note of the position mentioned in the Agenda that the funds will be provided to the Akademies from the Plan Budget of the Ministry and agreed with the same. Secretary (Culture) would review the Tagore related programs and report to the NIC.
5.3 INSTITUTION OF AWARDS
- 5.3 A The Committee was of the view that prize amount of Rs.1 lakh each for national Awards for excellence in culture in the name of Tagore was inadequate and advised that the same be enhanced considerably.
- 5.3 B The Railway Minister suggested that smaller amounts may be earmarked for Awards amongst School and College students to spread the ideas of Tagore amongst the youth. This suggestion was accepted.
- 5.3 C The Committee approved institution of an International Tagore Literary Award by the Government of India. It was decided that the issue as to whether the nodal Ministry for this Award would be the Ministry of Culture or the Ministry of External Affairs could be decided once views of MEA or the Foreign Secretary’s Tagore Committee are received.
- 5.3 D The Committee approved the proposal to constitute a Committee with Experts from different fields to work out the operational details of the proposed International/ National Awards and also to decide on the amount of the Awards.