DR Ambedkar IAS Academy

70 Years of Indian Council for Cultural Relations

  • Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) observed its 70th foundation day on 9th April 2020.
  • However, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic it has decided not to hold any celebrations to mark the occasion.

Key Points

  • The ICCR runs 36 cultural centres across the globe and its emphasis is on making India a hub of higher education.
  • Classical dance, music or Hindi and Sanskrit language classes are continuing at most of ICCR centres via skype and other applications without hindrance
  • ICCR, which is the only soft power institution of the country which plans to focus more on areas that have so far largely remained “neglected” like Indian literature, Indian artisans and also Ayurveda.

Indian Council for Cultural Relations

  • The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), is an autonomous organisation of the Government of India, involved in India’s external cultural relations (cultural diplomacy), through cultural exchange with other countries and their peoples.
  • It was founded in 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, independent India’s first Education Minister.
  • ICCR has been assigned the responsibility of facilitating the celebration of the International Day of Yoga by Indian Missions/Posts abroad since 2015.
  • ICCR has instituted several awards, which are conferred upon the foreign nationals for their contributions in different fields, under its mandate of promoting India’s cultural relations. Such awards include–
    • Distinguished Indologist Award– The annual “ICCR Distinguished Indologist Award” was instituted in 2015 during the First World Indology Conference hosted in India. Award is conferred upon a foreign scholar for his contribution in study, teaching and research in any of the fields of Indian Studies.
    • World Sanskrit Award- The institution of annual “World Sanskrit Award” was announced during the 16th World Sanskrit Conference held in Bangkok in June 2015 recognizing the contribution of foreign scholars in promoting Sanskrit studies.
    • Distinguished Alumni Award – Citation and Plaque: Recognizing the achievements of foreign students who studied in India. It was instituted in 2015.
    • Gisela Bonn Award – Annual Gisela Bonn Award was instituted by ICCR in 1996 in the name of famous German journalist, writer, environmental activist and Indologist, Giesela Bonn, to honour her services to bolster Indo-German relations.