Need to add cultural dimensions to development debate: Pranab Mukherjee

Pranab Mukherjee

Lauding the role of culture as a "balancing factor", President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday underlined the need for institutions to constantly discover new ways of adding cultural dimensions to the development debate.

Inaugurating the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the Indira Gandhi National Centre of the Arts (IGNCA) here, he said the President's secretariat is 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.

Observing that India is standing at the threshold of substantive economic progress and scientific development, he said the role of culture as a "balancing factor between progress and inner needs of an individual, between his spiritual quest and material aspirations, between technological advancement and need to maintain ecological parity" cannot be over-emphasised.

He said 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.

Mukherjee quoted extensively from late Indira Gandhi's speeches at the function in Rashtrapati Bhavan, which coincided with the 95th birth anniversary of the Prime Minister.

Recognising the "stellar" contribution of IGNCA over the years, he wished IGNCA the very best in its academic pursuits and hoped its network with the universities and institutions, both in India and abroad, would grow further.

Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were Defence Minister A K Antony, Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid, Minister of Culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch and founder Director of IGNCA Kapila Vatsyayan.

Mukherjee also released a publication on a retrospect of IGNCA in the past 25 years.

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