The proposal to establish a National Academy of letters in India had been under the consideration of the British Government of the country long before independence. In 1944, the Government of India accepted in principle a proposal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal that a National Cultural trust should be set up to encourage cultural activities in all fields. The trust was to consist of three Academies, including the Academy of letters. After freedom, the proposal was pursued by the independent Government of India, while convened a series of conference to work out the details. Consensus emerged in favour of establishing three National Academies one of letters, another of visual arts and the third of dance, drama and music. But deference of opinion persisted whether the Government should take the initiative and establish the Academies or whether it should wait for the advent of individuals who had the necessary moral authority to establish the Academies.
Abul Kalam Azad the union minister of education, was of the opinion that "if we had waited for the Academy to grow up from below, we might have had to wait till the Greek Kalends". It was felt that there was no alternative to Government taking the initiative to set up the Academies. The Government's functioning in the process was to be that of a curtain raiser. The Government would set up the Academies, but once they were establish, it would refrain from exercising any control and leave them to perform their function as autonomous institution. The Government of India decided to establish a National Academy of letters to be called Sahitya Akademi by its resolution No F-6-4/51G2(A) dated December 1952.
The Sahitya Akademi was formally inaugurated by the Government of India on 12 March 1954. The Government of India Resolution, which set forth the constitution of the Akademi, described it as a national organisation to work actively for the development of Indian letters and to set high literary standards, to foster and co-ordinate literary activities in all the Indian languages and to promote through them all the cultural unity of the country. Though set up by the Government, the Akademi functions as an autonomous organisation. It was registered as a society on 7 January 1956, under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters, is the central institution for literary dialogue, publication and promotion in the country and the only institution that undertakes literary activities in 24 Indian languages, including English. Over the 64 years of its dynamic existence, it has ceaselessly endeavored to promote good taste and healthy reading habits, to keep alive the intimate dialogue among the various linguistic and literary zones and groups through seminars, lectures, symposia, discussions, readings and performances, to increase the pace of mutual translations through workshops and individual assignments and to develop a serious literary culture through the publications of journals, monographs, individual creative works of every genre, anthologies, encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies, who's who of writers and histories of literature.
It has so for brought out over 6000 books, the present pace of publication being one book every 19 hours. Every year the Akademi holds at least 50 seminars at regional, national and international levels along with the workshops and literary gatherings-about 300 in number per year, under various heads like Meet the Author, Samvad, Kavisandhi, Kathasandhi, Loka: The Many Voices, People and Books, Through My Window, Mulakat, Asmita, Antaral, Avishkar, Nari Chetna, Yuva Sahiti, Bal Sahiti, Purvottari and Literary Forum meetings.
Akademi gives 24 awards annually to literary works in the languages it has recognized and an equal number of awards to literary translations from and into the languages of India, both after a year long process of scrutiny, discussion and selection. It also gives special awards called Bhasha Samman to significant contribution to the languages not formally recognized by the Akademi as also for contribution to classical and medieval literature.
It has also system of electing eminent writers as Fellows and Honorary Fellows and has also established fellowship in the names of Dr. Anand Coomaraswamy and Premchand. The Akademi has launched Centres for Translation in Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Delhi, and an Archive of Indian Literature in Delhi. A project office for the promotion of Tribal and Oral literature has also been set up in the North Eastern Hill University Campus, Shillong. Many more imaginative projects are on the anvil. Sahitya Akademi is aware of cultural and linguistic differences and does not believe in forced standardization of culture through a bulldozing of levels and attitudes.
At the same time, it is also conscious of the deep inner culture, spiritual, historical and experimental links that unify India's diverse manifestations of literature. This unity seeks an international species-dimension through the Akademi's Culture Exchange Programmes with other counties on the globe.
Languages Recognised: Besides the 22 languages enumerated in the Constitution ofIndia, the SahityaAkademi has recognised English and Rajasthani as languages in which its programme may be implemented. Names of present members of various language Advisory Boards, which have been constituted to render advice for implementing literary programmes in these 24 languages are given in the website
Head Office: The Head Office of the Sahitya Akademi is housed in Rabindra Bhavan, 35 Ferozeshah Road, New Delhi. This elegant building was constructed in 1961 to commemorate the birth centenary of Raindranath Tagore, and houses all the three National Akademies, namely, the Sangeet Natak Akademi, the Lalit Kala Akademi and the Sahitya Akademi.
A nucleus of a 'National Museum of Man' began functioning from New Delhi from 21st March, 1977 as part of the Anthropological Survey of India. In 1978 it was separated from the Anthropological Survey of India and declared as an Independent Subordinate Office of the Department of Culture (now Ministry of Culture), GOI. In March 1985 the Museum was renamed as Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, at the instance of the then Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, which was later (1993) through a Cabinet decision named after Indira Gandhi as Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya. For international perspective the term 'National Museum of Mankind' was adopted. Unlike other national Museums, which were set up to house certain collections in possession, the IGRMS was started without any collection to display, rather with a set of ideas. Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya acts as a facilitator for forging interrelation between Community and Museums.
To present an integrated story of the Evolution of man and culture with special reference to India; To highlight the richness and diversity of Cultural patterns in India and its underlying unity; To promote national integration; To organize indoor and outdoor Exhibitions on :
Human Evolution and Human Variation; Culture and Society in Pre and proto historic times; and Patterns of culture; To take steps to salvage and preserve the fast vanishing aspect of the Indian Culture;
To promote and conduct research in the related subjects and provide funds and enter into arrangements with other similar institutions for the purpose of furtherance of the objectives of the Samiti;
To act as a centre of research and training in museology of the appropriate kind and generate in the course of time a new museum movement in the different regions of India to present and preserve variety of cultural life; and
To undertake all such activities as and when considered necessary for the achievement of the said objectives.
National Commission for Women (NCW) will support Northeast livelihood programmes for women, particularly for those in younger age group, through Skill development and Specialized training, which can enable them to earn their living and also empower them as individuals. This was discussed at a meeting between Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh and the newly appointed member of the three-member National Commission for Women, Smt Soso Shaiza, who called on the Minister here today.
During the meeting, it was observed that even though the women in Northeast, by and large, are quite emancipated as far as their contribution in outdoor work is concerned, but there was a huge scope for raising the levels of education among the women living in remote and rural areas, and also to impart skill training to make them self - reliant.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that the National Commission for Women can supplement its efforts and resources in carrying forward several of the women oriented projects which are already undertaken by the Ministry of Development of North-eastern Region and the NEC. In this regard, he made a special mention of a number of Self Help Groups (SHGs) of women doing a commendable work in the region.
The Japanese Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) is in India for a bilateral air exercise SHINYUU Maitri-18 with Indian Air Force from 03-07 Dec 18 at A F Station Agra. The theme of the exercise is joint Mobility/Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief (HADR) on Transport aircraft. The JASDF C2 aircraft along with aircrew/observers are part of this first air exercise between the two Air Forces. IAF is participating with An-32 and C-17 aircraft with aircrew & observers. The focus of the exercise is set for the IAF and JASDF crews to undertake Joint Mobility/ HADR operations. Display of heavy loading/ off loading are also planned to be practiced during this exercise.
The genesis of the National Archives of India may be traced back to the year 1860 when Sandeman, the Civil Auditor, in his report stressed the need of relieving the offices of congestion by destruction of the papers of routine nature and transfer of all valuable records to a ‘Grand Central Archive’. However, things took a concrete shape in 1889, when Professor G.W. Forrest of Elphinstone College, Bombay was entrusted the job of examining the records of the Foreign Department of the Government of India. Earlier, he had earned reputation as an Archivist for his work in the Bombay Records Office. In his report, he made a strong plea for transferring all records of the administration of East India Company to a Central Repository. As a result, Imperial Records Department (IRD) came into existence on 11 March 1891 which was located in Imperial Secretariat Building at Calcutta (Kolkata). Professor G.W Forrest was made its Officer in Charge. His main task was to examine, transfer, arrange and catalogue records of all the Departments and to organise a Central Library in place of various Departmental Libraries. After G.W. Forrest, the work at Imperial Records Department (IRD) progressed well under S.C. Hill (1900), C.R. Wilson (1902), N.L. Hallward (1904), E. Denison Ross (1905), A.F. Scholfield (1915), R.A. Blaker (1919), J.M. Mitra (1920) and Rai Bahadur A.F.M. Abdul Ali (1922-1938) who were scholars as well as Records Keepers in their own right.
Subsequent to the transfer from Calcutta (Kolkata) to New Delhi in 1911, the Imperial Records Department (IRD) shifted to the present building in 1926. After independence, the IRD was rechristened as the National Archives of India and the Head of the Organisation was designated as Director of Archives from Keeper of Records. Dr. S.N. Sen, who succeeded A.F.M. Abdul Ali and held office till 1949, gave an overall orientation to the activities of Imperial/ Records Department/ National Archives of India. For the first time, records were thrown open for bonafide research in 1939 and by 1947 all pre 1902 records were available for consultation. A Conservation Research Laboratory (CRL) was established in 1940 to conduct research into problems relating to conservation which was Dr Sen’s visionary contribution. Training in Archives Keeping was introduced in 1941 and in 1944, a scheme of Post War Re-organisation of Archives offices in India was laid down by the Indian Historical Records Commission. In 1947, the Departmental Journal, The Indian Archives came into existence; which contained research papers on source material of modern Indian history, conservation of documents, records-management, reprographics, archival awareness and all other allied aspects of functional archives.
Thus, the National Archives of India marched towards the path of progress after independence to play a more dynamic and inspiring role in the archival field of the entire country. It has witnessed manifold expansion of its activities since then in the field of accession of public records, acquisition of private papers/ collections and library material, records management, research and reference, publication, training, conservation, reprography, digitalization outreach programmes, coordination at national and international level and expansion of office at regional level. The Department witnessed further impetus to its status in June 1990 when the office of the Director of Archives was re designated as Director General of Archives. At present National Archives of India is an attached office under the Ministry of Culture and has a Regional Office at Bhopal and three Records Centres at Jaipur, Puducherry and Bhubaneswar.