4. OPENING CEREMONIES AT DHAKA AND NEW DELHI ON 6TH MAY, 2011 AND 7TH MAY, 2011.
Member-Secretary requested the Committee to take a view on the VVIP who would attend the ‘Opening’ function of the Commemorations at Dhaka, to represent the Government of India. Chairman stated that in view of the ADB Meeting it would not be feasible for him to attend it. He would request, the Vice President of India and, in case he was not available, the Minister of External Affairs may attend the function at Dhaka. Member-Secretary was requested to ascertain from the Bangladesh Government who would be attending the National Celebrations at New Delhi on 7th may 2011 that is to be inaugurated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister.
5.1 Sub-Committee on Overseas Celebrations
The Committee authorised the Member-Secretary and the Ministry of Culture to directly assist Celebrations by select - reputed Tagore-related societies and well-known institutions abroad, in consultation with the Indian Missions or other very Eminent persons and institutions. These would be in addition to ICCR’s programmes.
5.2 Four Member Group
The NIC noted the constitution of a 4-Member Group comprising President, ICCR, Secretary, Culture, DG, ICCR and Foreign Secretary to consider the overseas celebration proposals (with AS&FA, Ministry of Culture and Ministry of External Affairs as ‘Special Invitees’) NIC endorsed the decisions taken at its first meeting on 5th April, 2011, subject to some fine tuning by the Member Secretary of NIC, where/ if required.
5.3 ICCR’s Celebrations
Regarding these ICCR Celebrations, Member-Secretary stated that they have sought support of Rs.10 crores from the Ministry of Culture’s budget. As the Budget of Ministry of Culture had been sharply reduced, he requested the Chairman, to provide additional funds at the Supplementary Grants stage, which was agreed to. Finance Secretary explained that the Budget Estimates has been fixed as per Planning Commission recommendations and that Ministry of Culture could give the first instalment to ICCR and submit proposal for Demand for Grants in time.
5.4 Tagore Busts & Statues
Member-Secretary informed the NIC that Ministry of Culture had ordered 15 Tagore busts and statues, for installation abroad, by VVIPs during the 150th year and NIC endorsed this proposal. The busts were being prepared by eminent artistes, at a very reasonable cost, through Visva-Bharati. ICCR was also preparing some Tagore busts and NIC wanted Member Secretary to co-ordinate this bust distribution programme.
Minister HRD informed that he would attend the ‘Installation Ceremony’ at Seoul, during his forthcoming visit to South Korea.
5.5 Tagore Publications Abroad, Translations and Re-prints
Member-Secretary informed that Ministry of External Affairs had dedicated their flagship publication “India Perspectives” in June 2010 to Tagore. 75,000 copies in 17 different languages had been distributed through Indian Missions abroad in 150 countries. They had also produced CDs/DVDs on Tagore likewise, Ministry of Culture had also given full support to Visva
Bharati for projects, like the digitization of Tagore paintings and publishing them in four Volumes, entitled “Rabindra Chitravali”. Ministry of Culture has planned to undertake the preparation of an inventory of all translations of Tagore’s works (and works on Tagore) in foreign languages for reprinting some of these works, in easy-to-handle, paper-back or pocket editions, through co-publishing, to ensure best marketing arrangements etc. to the widest possible readership.
NIC authorized Ministry of Culture to go ahead with these plans.
5.6 Publication of fascimile of the original version of “Gitanjali” in English.
Member-Secretary informed the NIC that Ministry of Culture has been able to locate the original version of Gitanjali in the Houghton Library of Harvard University. Harvard University had agreed to provide a high quality digitised copy of the original manuscript. An advertisement seeking Expression of Interest has been published and a Committee, under the chairmanship of Prof. Sankho Ghosh has been constituted to evaluate the offers. The strict specifications and world-class/ superior quality of materials were to be used, with special techniques, so as to retain the authentic look and feel, like the original. 5000 copies were proposed to be printed in the first phase for free distribution, nationally and internationally to reputed Institutions and Indian Missions. In the next phase, co-publication of a priced version may be contemplated.
The NIC approved the publication of Gitanjali (after observing due procedures) and agreed that, if possible, this may be released during the Commemoration Ceremony.
5.7 Acquisition of the building housing Channing Murray Foundation at Urbana Champaign, Chicago, U.S.A
The NIC observed that no action was called for.
5.8 Hampstead Heath, London
Minister of External Affairs informed that the ownership of the building had changed and the Indian Embassy would be discreetly, negotiating with the new owner for acquisition of the building and its restoration.
NIC noted the status.
5.9 Refurbishment of the Hu Yew Seah Society building in Penang, Malaysia.
The NIC approved the proposal of Ministry of Culture for providing financial support to the Indian High Commissioner for the purpose.