Friday October 19, 2018

Centre urges artists to join Culture Ministry’s FoI cell to boost India’s culture abroad

To enhance the presence of Indian Culture in abroad, Centre has invited proposals from individuals and agencies from different states in various fields of art

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(Representational Image) Culture. Image Source: hobbygiri.com
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  • Festivals of India (FoI) are part of the strategy to focus on the country’s cultural ties and are conducted by MoC’s all over the world
  • The Centre has invited proposals from individuals and agencies from different states in various fields like-theatre, food, dance, folk arts, exhibitions, music, performing arts, Yoga demonstrations, workshops and literary festivals to register with FoIs cell
  • The FoI Cell of the ministry will administer the coming applications from agencies and individuals

In an effort to showcase the cultural flair and rich traditions of the country, the government is all set to expand its ambit of artists and performers from different regions who can participate in the festivals organised abroad to boost country’s soft power globally.

Festivals of India (FoIs) are the part of the initiative that aims to focus on the country’s cultural ties and are conducted by Ministry of Culture (MoC) across the world. FoIs are organized by the Indian Missions residing in foreign countries.

Culture Ministry of India. Image Source: www.indianbureaucracy.com
Culture Ministry of India. Image Source: www.indianbureaucracy.com

The Culture Ministry has called agencies or persons from the fields of art like dance, music, theatre, films, food, literary festival, Yoga demonstration, Folk Arts, Performing Arts, Exhibitions, and workshops etc. to step up and enroll with the FoI cell, which was revived by the Ministry in 2013.

Quoting a source, India Today reported that at present there are only 185 names lying with the ministry who have been going to perform overseas for a while.

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An official said, “There are hundreds or thousands of performers we have in our country who can really make us proud internationally. This initiative will help us achieve that.”

Talking about the lack of artists from North Eastern states, the official added that there was no cultural representation from the region, in spite of it being the state with rich cultural heritage.

A statement released by the ministry read as, “We have already welcome proposals from artists, performers, and desirous agencies to empanel with the Festivals of India (FoI) cell online so that they can be sent abroad to exhibit their talent. With that, the old list of existing artists will also get overhauled and fresh names can be brought-in the category,” quoted India Today.

Festival of India in Chengdu. Image Source: www.indiaculture.nic.in
Festival of India in Chengdu. Image Source: www.indiaculture.nic.in

An official press release states that all those who want to register and participate in various festivals should visit the following website: http://www.indiaculture.nic.in/ and provide details of the performances in prescribed format within the given time to the FoI Cell of the ministry. A summary of the event and performance with their links would also be included.

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In addition, the hard copy should also be submitted and posted to the address: Ministry of Culture, Festival of India Cell – ICR Division,Central Secretariat Library, 1st Floor, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi-110001. And a soft copy in MS Word format needs to be sent by email at foicell-culture@gov.in

The FoI Cell of the ministry will manage and administer the flow of applications from agencies and individuals. The cell will also detail about probable aspects like the venue, budget requirements and handling of cargo among others to the participants.

-prepared by Aparna Gupta, an intern with NewsGram. Twitter @writetoaparna99

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  • Aparna Gupta

    India is known for its culture. Its good that our Culture Ministry is making efforts to to strengthen our culture.

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Indian culture should be encouraged more but not only abroad.

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India Continues Engaging With USA Over H-1B Passport Issue

India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

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As Trump proposes changes in H1-B visa, India continues to engage with US

India is continuing to engage with the US over the H-1B visa, largely availed of by Indian IT companies, after the Trump administration proposed changes to the programme, a senior official said on Thursday.

“It is a very important topic for us and that is the reason why we have time and again at various levels, we have taken up this matter with the US side,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to queries by journalists here.

Kumar said that most recently, the issue was raised during the first ever India-US 2+2 Ministerial Meeting held here last month that was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis.

On Wednesday, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to come out with its new proposal by January 2019.

India n Passport
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The DHS said it was also proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B non-immigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation.

The move to end the rule could have an impact on more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders, who have work permits.

The H-4 visas are issued by the USCIS to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the holders of H-1B visa.

The DHS said it will propose to revise the definition of speciality occupation to increase focus on obtaining the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B programme.

It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages, the DHS said.

Donald Trump, India
President Donald Trump speaks about immigration alongside family members affected by crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, at the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex, June 22, 2018, in Washington, VOA

In his remarks on Thursday, Kumar said that India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

Stating that there are certain bills which have been introduced, he, however, said that “it is important to note that none of these bills have been passed so far”.

“When we have engaged with the US, we have emphasised that our partnership which we have in the digital sphere have been mutually beneficial,” the spokesperson said.

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“We have highlighted the role which has been played by the highly skilled Indian professionals who have actually contributed to the growth and development of the US economy,” he stated.

“And also they have helped the US to maintain a competitive edge in the world towards innovation and science and technology.” (IANS)