The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) was founded in 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, independent India’s first Education Minister. Its objectives are to actively participate in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes pertaining to India’s external cultural relations; to foster and strengthen cultural relations and mutual understanding between India and other countries; to promote cultural exchanges with other countries and people; and to develop relations with nations.
Aims and Objectives of the ICCR
The objectives of the Council, as defined in its Memorandum of Association, are as follows:
- To participate in the formulation and implementation of policies and programs relating to India’s external cultural relations.
- Fostering and strengthening cultural relations and mutual understanding between India and other countries.
- to promote cultural exchange with other countries and peoples
- to promote and strengthen cultural relations and mutual understanding between India and other countries
- Establishing and developing relations with national and international organizations in the field of culture
Activities of the ICCR
The program wing of the ICCR is involved in overseas cultural exchange programs. This includes:
- Exchanges of visits by scholars, academicians, opinion-makers, artists & writers
- Facilitation of the organisation of and participation in seminars and symposia abroad
- Exchanges of visits by performing arts groups
- Exchanges of exhibitions.
- Presentation abroad of informatics, audio-visual material, books on India & Indian musical instruments.
- Active collaboration in the operations of Foreign Cultural Centres in India
The administration wing of the ICCR deals in:
- Administering of scholarship schemes for foreign students for studies in India.
- Exchange of scholars, academicians, opinion makers, artistes, and writers.
- Assisting organization of and participation in seminars, symposia, and conferences.
- Maintaining the Council’s Regional Offices in India and its Cultural Centres abroad.
- Establishing nad maintaining Chairs & Professorships for Indian Studies in Universities and all centres abroad.
- Administering the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding.
- Organising the Annual Maulana Azad Memorial Lectures and Essay Competition
- Organizing festivals of Indian Culture
The Main Regional Branches of ICCR
The Council has regional offices in Bangalore, Calcutta, Chandigarh, Goa, Chennai, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram.
Overseas Cultural Centers of the ICCR
The Council has Cultural Centres abroad in : Georgetown (Guyana), Paramaribo (Suriname), Port Louis (Mauritius), Jakarta (Indonesia), Moscow (Russia), Berlin (Germany),Cairo (Egypt), London (United Kingdom), Tashkent (Kazakhstan), Almaty (Uzbekistan), Johannesburg and Durban (south Africa), Port of Spain (Trinidad & Tobago); and Colombo (Sri Lanka).