Socio-Cultural Institutions in India-5

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Raja Rammohan Roy Library Foundation:

Set up in May 1972 as a part of the bi-centenary birth celebration of Raja Rammohan Roy, it is a fully financed autonomous organization under the Ministry of Culture. Its main objective is to promote and support the public library movement in the country by providing adequate library services and by popularizing reading habits, particularly in rural areas, with the active cooperation of the State Library Authorities, Union Territories and Voluntary Organizations operating in the field of library services. Besides being a funding body, the Foundation also functions as a national agency for coordinating, monitoring and developing the Public Library services in the country.


Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture:

Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Kolkata is engaged in the promotion of thought, knowledge and education. Apart from being engaged in cultural activities at national and international levels, the Institute also maintains several schools of instruction.


Rampur Raza Library:

Rampur Raza Library, housed in Hamid Manzil in the fort of Rampur, is an autonomous body under the Department of Culture, which was set up under the Rampur Raza Library Act, 1975. It has a priceless collection of about 51,000 printed books and 15,000 manuscripts, besides a large number of miniature paintings and specimens of Islamic calligraphy and Bhoj Patras.


Ravindra Bharathi:

Ravindra Bharathi is a center for creating a cultural upsurge in the fields of dance, drama and music in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad and elsewhere in Andhra Pradesh. Opened in 1961 by the then Vice-President of India, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Ravindra Bharathi has been a focus of various cultural activities. It is now an autonomous body under the administrative control of the state Department of Cultural Affairs. From time to time the Department of Culture arranges cultural programs at this prestigious theatre which is open to the general public, free of cost.


Rukmini Devi Cultural Centre:

Rukmini Devi Cultural Centre was founded in March 1999 by the trustees of the Rukmini Devi Arundale Foundation and Trust. The Centre, situated centrally in West Mambalam, Chennai, offers courses in Bharatanatyam, Carnatic music, fine arts and art appreciation. A collection of photographs shot by C. Nachiappan (a close associate of Rukmini Devi) at Kalakshetra and personal collections of Rukmini Devi that she bequeathed to the Trust, are preserved in the archival collection of the centre.


Sahitya Akademi:

A National Academy of Letters, the Sahitya Akademi was established by the Government of India in March 1954 to foster and coordinate literary activity in the Indian languages. It was registered as a Society in 1956. Sahitya Akademi has a written constitution to guide and shape the modalities of its functions. The Akademi has recognised 22 languages and gives awards for creative writing and for distinguished contribution to literature. The Akademi publishes books in 22 languages including translations of Award-winning works, monographs on the great pioneers of Indian literatures, anthologies of fiction, Who’s Who of Indian Writers and Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature. So far the Akademi has published around 3000 books in these different categories. The Akademi has three journals, Indian Literature, Samakaleena Bharatiya Sahitya (Hindi) and Samskrita Pratibha (Sanskrit). Sahitya Akademi holds regional, national and international seminars every year on various topics in literature, literary history and aesthetics. Besides, it organises a series of programmes, such as Meet the Author, Kavisandhi, Kathasandhi, Asmita, Mulakat, Men and Books, Through My Window, Loka, The Many Voices Avishkar, Antaral and Literary Forum. The Akademi regularly holds Translation Workshops and organises a Festival of Letters annually.


Salar Jung Museum:

Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad derives its name from the Salar Jungs (I to III), the erstwhile Prime Ministers to the Nizams of Hyderabad. It is a Museum of national importance and houses rare and varied art collections from all over the globe acquired by the Salar Jungs—more specifically Nawab Mir Yusuf Ali Khan, the Salar Jung-III (1889-1949). The most important activity of the Museum, as envisaged in the Salar Jung Museum Act, is to properly exhibit the art collections to the visiting public from all walks of life. The Museum in collaboration with Osmania University runs a P.G. Diploma Course in Museology.


Sangeet Natak Akademi:

Sangeet Natak Akademi is the national academy of music, dance and drama, which was set up in 1953 to promote performing arts in collaboration with states and voluntary organisations. It seeks increased public appreciation of these art forms through sponsorship, research and dissemination. It holds seminars and festivals, presents awards to outstanding performing artistes, gives financial assistance for theatre productions, extends financial assistance to teachers and grants scholarships to students. It operates a scheme of inter-state exchange of troupes to promote national and cultural integration through regional festivals and bringing rare art forms of the regions to the fore. The Akademi has set up a special unit for surveying and documenting various theatrical, musical and dance forms in the country. Its disc and tape unit has the largest collection of Indian classical, folk and tribal music, dance and theatre items. The Sangeet Natak Akademi runs three zonal institutions for training in dance, Kathak Kendra, New Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru Manipuri Dance Academy, Imphal and the Rabindra Rangashala. It gives subsidy for publication of books in various Indian languages and English on music, dance and drama and, confers awards and fellowships to distinguished artistes and scholars. The fellowship carries a purse of Rs 40,000 and the awards Rs 25,000 and a Tamrapatra.


Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology:

The Sikkim Research Institute of Tibetology, Gangtok is an autonomous organisation set up for research and studies in Tibetology. The Institute has done significant work in promoting research in Dharma and associated subjects like iconography, medicine, astrology and history. It publishes a quarterly journal, Bulletin of Tibetology.



Sri Aurobindo Institute of Research in Social Sciences:

Sri Aurobindo Institute of Research in Social Sciences (SAIRSS) was created by Sri Aurobindo Society in 1985, to do research in such fields as social thought, human values, cultural traditions, education, the arts, economics, psychology, health and management. The objective is to transform the collective life of humans by basing it on a spiritual foundation. The institute has at present 5 subordinate institutes: Integral Consciousness Centre (ICC), Sri Aurobindo Foundation for Integral Education and Research (SAFIER), Sri Aurobindo International Institute for Integral Health and Research (SAIIIHR), Sri Aurobindo Foundation for Indian Culture (SAFIC) and Aurobindo Management Centre (AMC).


Thanjavur Maharaja Serfoji’s Saraswati Mahal:

Thanjavur Maharaja Serfoji’s Saraswati Mahal (TMSSM) Library, Thanjavur is one of the few medieval libraries that exist in the world. It symbolises a priceless repository of culture and time defying treasure-house of knowledge, built up by the successive dynasties of Nayaks and Marathas of Thanjavur. The Library was made a public library in 1918 by the then Madras Government and was registered on 9 July 1986 as a society under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act. At present, the TMSSM Library is jointly administered by the Government of India and the Government of Tamil Nadu. The Library has 46,695 manuscripts in Sanskrit, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil and other languages in both palm leaf and paper form. More than 35 volumes of descriptive catalogues for these manuscripts have been brought out. Miniature paintings, colour drawings, atlases, maps, charts and rare prints in its collection are very attractive and reflect the Tanjore School of paintings. Besides, it has 47,100 books in Indian languages covering various disciplines and a rare collection of about 4,500 books in European languages collected by Raja Serfoji. The Library published more than 360 books from the unpublished manuscripts. It also publishes a quarterly journal.


Zonal Cultural Centres:

Zonal Cultural Centres have been created with the aim of projecting cultural kinships in different parts of the country. It aims to increase the awareness about local cultures of different zones, which reflect the rich diversity of India’s composite culture. The seven zonal cultural centres established under this scheme are: (i) North Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala; (ii) East Zone Cultural Centre, Calcutta; (iii) South Zone Cultural Centre, Thanjavur; (iv)West Zone Cultural Centre, Udaipur; (v) North-Central Zone Cultural Centre, Allahabad; (vi) North East Zone Cultural Centre, Dimapur and; (vii) South-Central Zone Cultural Centre, Nagpur.


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