ICCR's Centres Abroad
The primary objective of the Council is to establish, revive and strengthen cultural relations and mutual understanding between India and other countries. In order to promote awareness of India’s composite cultural heritage abroad, the Council has 35 Indian Cultural Centres in different parts of the world. The Cultural Centres function under the administrative control of the Council and the respective Indian Missions abroad.
The ICCR has adopted an plan for establishing fifteen new Indian Cultural Centres in order to expand its reach and promote India’s “soft power” abroad. Under its expansion plan, the Council is opening Centres in India's immediate and extended neighborhoods, in P-5 capitals, in Africa and Latin America.
The Council has already established its new Cultural Centres at Bangkok, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Abu Dhabi and Dhaka. The other centres in the pipeline are at Dar-es-Salaam, Yangon, Paris, Washington, Hanoi, Lagos, Singapore, Rome and Kuwait.
SERVICING DIFFERENT NEEDS
The various Cultural Centres service different types of needs.
In countries which have sizeable expatriate Indian population such as in Trinidad and Tobago, Mauritius, Guyana, Suriname, Indonesia, Fiji and South Africa (Johannesburg and Durban),the centres focus on programmes involving the participation of the local population and on the teaching of various dance forms, vocal and instrumental music, yoga for both beginners and advanced students, etc. These classes are very popular and attract a large number of students. ICCR deploys teachers from India in different disciplines to conduct these classes and also employs qualified local teachers. Successful students are awarded certificates/diplomas. To facilitate these programmes, ICCR sends books in Hindi, Sanskrit, English and Urdu, as well as musical instruments, Indian traditional costumes etc. The centres also organize programmes to observe National Days, and festivals such as Diwali, Holi, Dussehra etc.
In countries with a known interest in India such as London, Berlin, Moscow, Almaty and Tashkent, etc. the activities of the centres have a greater intellectual focus --- such as lectures, panel discussions and seminars on subjects of contemporary and cultural interest, aimed primarily at enhancing an understanding of India.
The ICCR Centres have yielded rich dividends and have been recognized as important instruments of India’s cultural diplomacy. Apart from organizing their own activities, these Cultural Centres also provide a supportive role to their respective Indian Missions in cultural and educational matters. They develop and maintain contacts with the local citizens particularly students, teachers, academicians, opinion-makers and cultural personalities to project a composite picture of the Indian heritage. All centres have libraries and reading rooms as well as substantial collections of Indian films, documentaries and other multi-media material.
Details of Local Hindi Teachers at Indian Culture Centre, Abroad (विदेश में स्थित भारतीय सांस्कृतिक केंद्र के अध्यापकों का विवरण)