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English Release 31-July 2014
Date Month Year
  • President's Secretariat
  • Envoys of Five Nations present credentials to President of India
  • President of India to visit West Bengal and Telangana on August 1 and 2, 2014

  • Prime Minister's Office
  • PM accepts Shri Nehchal Sandhu's resignation as Deputy NSA with regret
  • Goswami Indira Beti ji calls on PM
  • Chairman, Suzuki Motor Corporation, calls on PM
  • PM highlights Finance Ministry's move to seek creative inputs for the Government's initiative on financial inclusion
  • PM writes to Afghan President
  • Department of Space
  • Indigenous Production of Cryogenic Engine
  • Technical Problems of GSLV
  • Min of Coal
  • Production of Coal
  • Increase in Coal Production
  • Loss of CIL from Underground Mines
  • Min of Commerce & Industry
  • Nirmala Sitharaman Meets Penny Pritzker
  • Index of Eight Core Industries (Base: 2004-05=100), June, 2014
  • Min of Defence
  • Celebration of Army Hospital (R&R) Foundation Day
  • Relinquishing of Command by Gen Bikram Singh
  • VLF Transmitting Station Commissioned at Tamil Nadu
  • Min of Earth Science
  • Low Temperature Thermal Desalination Technology Plant
  • Min of External Affairs
  • Third India-Africa Forum Summit
  • Outcome of Brics summit-2014
  • Meeting of Nepal-India Joint Commission
  • Indian Fishermen in Foreign Custody
  • Boosting of Bilateral Ties with China
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Change in Tariff Value of Crude Palm Oil, Rbd Palm Oil, Others – Palm Oil, Crude Palmolein, Rbd Palmolein, Others – Palmolein, Crude Soyabean Oil, Brass Scrap (all Grades), Poppy Seeds, Areca Nuts, Gold and Silver Notified
  • Government to Launch A New Program of Financial Inclusion in Mission Mode to Provide Households with Facilities of Savings, Credit, Remittances, Insurance and Pension: FM
  • Clarification Regarding Acquisition and Transfer of Immovable Property in India by Foreign Nationals
  • Min of Home Affairs
  • Visit of Union Home Minister to Malin Village in Pune
  • Min of Labour & Employment
  • Shri Narendra Singh Tomar Chairs 162nd Meeting of ESI Corporation
  • Min of Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises
  • Shri Kalraj Mishra launches NSICs B2C Web portal for MSMEs www.msmeshopping.com
  • Min of New and Renewable Energy
  • Installation of Solar Panels on Roof Tops
  • Solar and Wind Potential in Desert Regions
  • Steps to Create Awareness Regarding Importance of Renewable Energy
  • Cost of Renewable Energy Projects
  • Min of Overseas Indian Affairs
  • Protection of Interests of People Seeking Employment Abroad
  • Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs’ Steps for the Welfare of Indians Working in Different Gulf Countries
  • Min of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions
  • ACC Appointments
  • Awareness Programme Under Pensioner’s Portal
  • Review of Administrative Process
  • Process of Empanelment Before Appointment
  • ACC Appointments
  • Min of Petroleum & Natural Gas
  • India and Japan discuss the bilateral issues of enhancing cooperation in the fields of Petroleum and Gas
  • India and Nepal discuss issues of bilateral engagement in the oil and gas sector
  • Petroleum Minister calls upon the OMCs to pool their resources, technologies, experiences and best practices to be better prepared for the challenges of the future
  • Global crude oil price of Indian Basket decreased to US$ 106.12 per bbl on 30.07.2014
  • Min of Power
  • Equity Fund for Power Sector
  • Acquisition of Coal Mines Overseas
  • Amendment in Electricity Act, 2003
  • Ministry of Railways
  • Rs. 73,392 crore will be an Estimated Completion Cost of Railways’ Two Dedicated Freight Corridors, Excluding Sonnagar-Dankuni Section
  • Railways Plan to Provide wi-fi Facility at Major Stations and in Important Trains
  • Railways to Install 5000 more Automatic Ticket Vending Machines at Stations
  • Railways to Provide Rail Connectivity to all Capitals of North Eastern Region
  • Min of Road Transport & Highways
  • Toll Tax
  • Steps to Improve the Performance of NHAI
  • Min of Science & Technology
  • Dr. jitendra Singh Felicitates 18 Children Scientists for their Accomplishment at the International Science & Engineering Fair-Los Angeles, USA
  • Min of Social Justice & Empowerment
  • Non-Implementation of Special Component Plan
  • Fixing Responsibilities in Cases of Atrocities
  • Problems of Drug Addiction
  • Punitive Measures Taken by NCSC
  • Measures Against Inhuman Practices
  • Pending Cases Under SCP
  • Manual Scavenging Act
  • Special Courts for Atrocities
  • Min of Tribal Affairs
  • Schemes for Development of Tribes and Tribal Areas
  • National Committee on Forest Rights Act (FRA) Recommendations Highlights
  • Min of Urban Development
  • Municipal bodies not empowered as required, says Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu
  • Monkey and dog menace at Parliament House being tackled
  • Ministry of Water Resources
  • National Water Policy
  • Average Annual Water Availability for the Country has been Assessed as 1869 Billion Cubic Meters
  • Rs. 4680 crore Incurred on National River Conservation Plan
  • 17300 Exploratory Wells Constructed in Rain Deficient Regions
  • Rs.405 Crore Proposed as Central Assistance to the States for Drainage and Reclamation of Waterlogged Areas
  • 153 Flood Management Proposals Worth Rs. 6374 crore Approved
  • 764 Grossly Polluting Industries Indentified in Five States
  • Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme
  • Capacity Survey of 35 Resevoirs Complete
  • Rs. 6235 Crore Earmarked for Restoration of 10,000 Water Bodies
  • 162 Blocks Notified for Regulation of Ground Water Development in the Country
  • Three Proposals from States Included Under AIBP

  • Min of Women and Child Development
  • Smt Maneka Gandhi Meets Bankers to Find Ways to Improve Micro-Finance for Women
  • NRI Prospective Adoptive Parents to be Treated at Par with Resident Indians in the Proposed Revision of JJ Act
  • Financial Norms for ICPS Revised to Enhance the Quality of Services
  • Vacancy Position in Anganwadi Centres
  • Min of Youth Affairs & Sports
  • India won 4 Silver and 1 Bronze on day 7 of CWG 2014

Previous Date

Prime Minister's Office02-February, 2014 11:41 IST
Prime Minister’s address at Bi-centenary celebrations of Indian Museum in Kolkata

Following is the text of Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s address at the Bi-centenary celebrations of Indian Museum in Kolkata today:

“I am delighted to participate in the bi-centenary celebrations of the Indian Museum in Kolkata. It was a pleasure for me a little while ago to see the exhibits in their new restored setting and I wish to commend the Director and his staff for the hard work that they have put in.

This Museum, founded in 1814, has survived two hundred years in the midst of historic upheavals. It was the first to be established in India and is perhaps the largest in the Asia-Pacific Region and older than the Smithsonian Institution, which is the largest museum in the world. Its establishment served as a model, not only for other museums, but also a number of institutions of national importance.

It is ironic that the Indian Museum was founded by western academics and intellectuals and that too at a time when parts of our country had already begun to fall under the colonial yoke. Nevertheless, these enlightened individuals were products of the Age of Enlightenment. Eighteenth century India was in any case an interesting subject for contemporary western scholars who wanted to study India’s historical past and cultural and scientific achievements. In some ways, the establishment of the Indian Museum was also a reflection of the historical necessity to showcase the heritage of a vast and diverse country that India is.

It was also in keeping with the intellectual tenor of the times. The Royal Society had been established in 1660 in London. More than a hundred years later, the Asiatic Society was established in Calcutta by Sir William Jones. Thus began the journey for a broader western discovery of the rich cultural and historical heritage of India.

The depth, richness and the variety of India’s cultural traditions soon turned the initial wonder of these scholars into awe and admiration. In 1814, Dr. Nathaniel Wallich, a Danish botanist, realized that the Asiatic Society could also be a fine public museum. He stated that “the deplorable neglect to which the natural history of this country has been exposed is very striking and must principally be attributed to total want in India of … a public Museum”. This realisation gave birth to the Indian Museum.

The building up of the Museum was part of a project devoted to what some scholars in the late 20th century called “colonial knowledge”. This produced, besides the Indian Museum, great institutions like the Geological Survey of India, the Survey of India, the Archaeological Survey and even the Census of India. It thus set into motion a process that produced the institutional underpinnings of the rediscovery of India.

Though colonial in origin, the process made Indians more aware and sensitive to their own histories and traditions. The Museum soon received support from Indians and its benefactors in the early days included Indian notables such as Kali Kissen Bahadur and Begum Sumroo. Its establishment also fostered a sense of justifiable patriotism and pride among the people of our country. Rabindranath Tagore aptly described the milieu when he said that “The great seeds of renaissance in history were those when men suddenly discovered the seeds of thought in the granary of the past”.

Today, the Indian Museum houses one of the finest collections of art and antiquity in our country. In the case of the Barhut sculptures, which date back to the 2nd century BC, the holdings of the Indian Museum are indeed unique. Its collection of textiles is also remarkable. This is truly an institution of which every Indian can be justifiably proud.

To justify this pride, however, we must appreciate that, over time, the role and purpose of museums all over the world have undergone a transformation. Museums in the 19th century were seen as collections – great storehouses of objects, artefacts and pieces of art. The very act of collecting these and storing them justified the making and existence of museums. In the late 17th century, the word museum simply meant a building used for storing and exhibiting objects illustrative of antiquities, natural history, art and the like. The museum was thus a seat of the muses.

With time, however, this meaning of the word museum came to be overlaid with another connotation: a building dedicated to the pursuit of learning or the arts. The word muse, the root of the term museum, thus came to acquire a dual meaning in the role that museums played in society. It is a collection but it is also an institution of learning and the dissemination of learning.

The makers of modern India were acutely aware not only of India’s historical past, its richness and its value as a compass for future generations, but also of the enduring value of building institutions. It was not surprising, therefore, that following independence, our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru devoted particular attention to building institutions of cultural and academic significance. Jawaharlal Nehru’s role in nation-building through such institutions is of the greatest significance. The National Museum was established in New Delhi just two years after independence. The museum in the national capital that is named after him, the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, is a thriving hub of intellectual and academic activity.

On the whole, while our museums have been successful in disseminating the rich past of our country, it is also necessary to ask whether they should not attune their approaches and strategies so that they are more in keeping with the enhanced connotation of the term museum.

I would therefore call upon the management of the Indian Museum to see itself as an agent of change and development. As it renews its journey, it should seriously think about its role as a purveyor of knowledge. It is not enough in today’s world to house a collection. A museum needs to document, study and analyse its own collections, make comparisons with similar collections held elsewhere and build up collaborations with other great museums whose collections reflect and shed light on what it holds.

The first requirement for this purpose is the development of trained personnel. Unfortunately, museology is a woefully neglected field in our country. The Indian Museum can and must take a leadership role in making good this deficiency. By doing so, it will not only enrich its own collection, but will also help other museums across the country.

There is another related dimension that needs to be borne in mind. Museums across the world are now important tourist destinations. Many great cities of our time are defined by the presence of some truly outstanding museums in them. People travel thousands of miles to visit museums. To be truly enriching, the visit must be a complete experience. This means extensive support in terms of signage, documentation and cataloguing. Museums must become attractive places where visitors can observe and learn in a relaxing atmosphere.

The Indian Museum needs to build up this kind of infrastructure and take its rightful place as one of the great museums of the world. The restoration that has been completed is a very good start. I would strongly urge the introduction of multi-lingual audio guides that will give the visitor a detailed and authentic account of the major items and displays.

It should be the objective of the Museum to become an essential port of call for any visitor to Kolkata, especially those from abroad. It should offer the visitor an exciting and educative prospect of spending a few hours sampling the best of Indian art, sculpture, and other historical artefacts, giving a glimpse of our extraordinary and rich traditions. The Museum’s collection is fully up to providing such an experience.

Let me close by reflecting on the fact that the Indian Museum is known popularly as “Jaadughar”. The word jaadu represents both magic as well as wonder. The challenge, then, is to enhance both and make the museum space more alluring, because it is only a magic-like fascination with the wonders that lie within the portals here that will enable the Museum to remain relevant for the next two hundred years.

With those words, I once again congratulate the Director and the staff of the Indian Museum for the work they have done in preserving our precious heritage and in restoring the Museum. I urge you on this auspicious day to enhance the magic of the Indian Museum by making it a more living and interactive space that enthrals all those who visit here to experience the wonder that is, and always will be, India.

Jai Hind.”


(Release ID :102922)

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