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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 19.11.2012

The President of India inaugurated the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of the Indira Gandhi National Centre of the Arts (IGNCA) at a function, which coincided with the 95th Birth Anniversary of the Late Smt. Indira Gandhi, in Rashtrapati Bhavan today (November 19, 2012).

The President stated that as India stands at the threshold of substantive economic progress and scientific development, the role of culture as a balancing factor between progress and the inner needs of an individual; between his spiritual quest and material aspirations; between technological advancement and the need to maintain ecological parity cannot be over-emphasised. He said that the role of institutions such as IGNCA becomes more significant in this context. Institutions like IGNCA constantly need to discover and re-invent new ways of establishing a creative and meaningful dialogue between different stakeholders and adding cultural dimensions to the development debate, he said.

While recognising the stellar contribution of IGNCA over the years, the President said the President's Secretariat is presently collaborating with IGNCA for undertaking a multi-volume project on various aspects of Rashtrapati Bhavan's archaeological history, its making, its art and cultural artefacts. He wished the project all success.

The President wished IGNCA the very best in its academic pursuits and hoped that its network with the universities and institutions, both in India and abroad, would grow further. He was confident that IGNCA, under the able guidance of its Trust, would continue forward on its journey of excellence.

Among the dignitaries present on the occasion was Ms. Chandresh Kumari Katoch, Union Minister of Culture.

This release issued at 1350 hrs

The President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented the Indira Gandhi National Service Scheme Awards at a function organized in Rashtrapati Bhavan today (November 19, 2012).

National Service Scheme (NSS) is one of the flagship programmes of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports aimed at developing qualities of good citizenship, spirit of Volunteerism and to provide youth an opportunity to work with the people in the villages and slum dwellers. The scheme seeks to achieve its objectives through a twin approach i.e. "Campus to Community" and "College to Village".

The National Service Scheme was launched during the birth centenary celebration of Mahatma Gandhi on 24th September 1969 in 37 Universities involving 40,000 students. Today, NSS has more than 3.2. million student volunteers on its roll spread over 299 Universities. The scheme is implemented through the State Governments and the operations of NSS are at the University/ College and Higher Secondary School level.

Indira Gandhi National Service Scheme awards have been instituted to recognize outstanding contribution of University NSS Cells, Programme Officers, College/+2 NSS Units and NSS student volunteers in community service.

This release issued at 1830 hrs.