Home >> Press Releases >> Press Release Detail


Rashtrapati Bhavan : 11.12.2014

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee marked his 79th birthday launching several new initiatives in Rashtrapati Bhavan today (December 11, 2014).

The President unveiled on the President of India website (www.presidentofindia.nic.in)a new Electronic Art Catalogue titled‘Art Heritage of Rashtrapati Bhavan: A Selection’ andlaid thefoundation stone for a staff Housing Complex oftwo ten storey residential towers.

The President witnessed performances of nursery and KG students as well as differently-abled children of the Estate and launched ‘Samagam’, a community initiative for senior citizens residing in the President’s Estate. Both the children and senior citizens joined the President in cutting a cake.

The President inaugurated a Financial Literacy Centre and a Financial Library at Dr. Rajendra Prasad Sarvodaya Vidyalaya in the President’s Estate. A Financial Awareness Festival was also held in whichstudents ofDr. Rajendra Prasad Sarvodaya Vidyalaya as well as residents of the President’s Estate were trained in financial literacy using a model bank branch of the State Bank of India. NPCI through RuPay Cards gave Rs. 25/- credit to each student to buy books, educating them thereby about card transactions. Financial games, quizzes and other activities were also organized for students, children and parents.

The President further inaugurated a ‘RB Cycle’ initiative under which, 50 cycles are to be made available at four locations in the Estate to promote fitness and health amongst residents of the President’s Estate.

Dignitaries who called on the President to greet him on his birthday included Vice President Mohd. Hamid Ansari; Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi; Lok Sabha Speaker Smt. Sumitra Mahajan; former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh; Smt. Sonia Gandhi, UPA Chairperson; Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha Shri PJ Kurien; Union Ministers Shri Arun Jaitley, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Shri Kalraj Mishra, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Shri Ashok Gajpati Raju and Governors of Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya and Sikkim. The President was also greeted on twitter by Chief Ministers of Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Speaking on the occasion of the launch of the E Art Catalogue, the President said the Catalogue would be of great use to researchers, art lovers and visitors to Rashtrapati Bhavan. Maintenance of art and heritage is as important as its creation. Every effort must be made to preserve the rich art repository in Rashtrapati Bhavan. He drew attention to the historical context of many of the art objects and paintings in Rashtrapati Bhavan, such as, the painting of Louis XV which was won by the British as spoils in the battle against the French in 1757 and asked that the Catalogue be progressively expanded. He said greater efforts should be made to locate and research the history of art objects transferred from Calcutta and Shimla to Delhi as well as those left behind.


E Art Catalogue

Very few people in India and abroad are aware of the rich repository of art available within Rashtrapati Bhavan. Visitors to the Rashtrapati Bhavan are able to see only alimited part of theentire collection. Moreover, the location of the paintings, lighting, distance from the viewers etc. makes it difficult for casual visitors to study and fully appreciate thepaintings.

Through the E Art Catalogue, the Rashtrapati Bhavan has opened to people from across the world for the first time a cross section of the entire art collection of Rashtrapati Bhavan.The Catalogue contains 114 high quality photographsof paintings and select art objects in the collection of Rashtrapati Bhavan.It will enable viewers enlarge the paintings as well as zoom in to see the details in a manner far superior to viewing with the naked eye. The catalogue is user friendly and designed to look like a photo album, with photos of the paintings on the left page and a description of the item, background of the artist as well as the subjectof the painting on the right side. Viewers can browse through the catalogue by categoryor by location.

Paintings/art objects have been categorized into nine groups namelyIndian antiquities; Murals and Frescos; French portraits; Portraits of British Royals, Viceroys and Vicereines; Chinese paintings and Tapestries; Company Paintings, Lutyens sketches and Walcott watercolours; History paintings and portraits of Indian leaders; Sculptures, Busts, Zardosis and Carpets and Modern Indian art.

Housing Complex

The Housing Complex will have two residential towers with 36 type-II and type III quarters each. The green Complex will consist of features like insulated roof slab and outer walls, rain water harvesting, recycling of waste water, solar water heating, LED street lighting etc. The likely date of completion of this Complex is April, 2017.


‘Samagam’ will offer an opportunity for all Senior citizens residing in the President’s Estate to get together everyday. The facilities that are being made available on a daily basis are Yoga Classes, Board Games such as Carrom, Ludo and Chess, newspapers and magazines, Television and Radio, community singing and counselling Services.Periodichealth checks will also be conducted for senior citizens from time to time with the first check up being held today.

This release issued at 1820 hrs.