India to finance more cultural programmes


New Delhi: The Indian government will now provide more money for organising workshops, seminars, festivals and exhibitions that aim to preserve and promote the country’s cultural heritage.

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Now, under the new scheme, the government will provide more financial aid which apart from cultural organisations will be given to universities, NGOs and voluntary organisations.

“Grants for each projects are restricted to 75 percent of the total expenditure, but the government’s contribution can now go up to Rs.500,000,” a culture ministry official told IANS.

The decision to provide more financial assistance to other organisations was taken by the culture ministry headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, after several cultural organisations approached it for widening the scope of the existing Seminar Grant Scheme.

They had urged the ministry that other activities like festivals and exhibitions should be covered so that they don’t have to approach various agencies for financial help.

Now, the new scheme would be known as the Cultural Functions Grants Scheme or Scheme of Financial Assistance for Seminars, Festivals, Exhibitions on Cultural Subjects by Not-for-Profit Organisations, the official added.

“The new scheme will cover festivals and exhibitions, along with researches, seminars, conferences, symposia and the university departments and university centres. The subject should be the preservation or promotion of cultural heritage, arts, letters and other creative endeavours,” he said.

Also, earlier the grant was open once in a year. But now, it will be open throughout the year.

The scheme covers all non-profit organisations, including societies, trusts and universities for supporting the seminars, research, workshops, festivals and exhibitions organised by them on different aspects of Indian culture.

It will, however, not be open to organisations that are functioning as religious institutions or as schools or colleges.