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Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts

India’s prestigious government-funded arts organisation, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts is recognized in the whole country. Coming under the Union Ministry of Culture, this institution is an autonomous body which had been established to dedicate country’s former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. Kapila Vatsyayan was the founding director of IGNCA which was formally launched by late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on 19 November 1985. The function at which launching ceremony held was an appealing on to symbolise various vividly articulated components at multiple levels possible. It was exceptionally appealing to see numerous elements such as fire, water, earth, vegetation and sky having been brought at single platform. Similarly five major rivers were represented by bringing five rocks of rivers Sindhu (Indus), Ganga, Kaveri, Mahanadi and the famous Narmada that housed the most ancient ammonite fossils for the composition of sculptural form of notable value. Such was the planning to keep unique antiquities of Indian culture which also advocated all rivers’ sacredness in the form of rocks brought from them. Simulated pool of it had bloomed lotus as an indication of the first vegetation principle. The inauguration by Rajiv Gandhi held uniquely with lighted lamps floating on the water. It was on 24 March 1987 that Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts Trust had been constituted with its registration at New Delhi.

IGNCA’s founder trustees included former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, Shri R. Venkataraman, Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao, Smt. Pupul Jayakar, Shri H. Y. Sharada Prasad, the then Finance Minister in 1987 besides Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan to govern it.  

Following are the official goals:

  • With a purpose to become crucial Indian arts resource centre, it will serve in that capacity to safeguard the written, visual and oral resource materials to the best extent possibe;

  • Conduction of researches on arts and humanities disciplines besides publication of various types of reference works, dictionaries, encyclopaedia and glossaries;

  • Establishment of tribal & folk arts division that would have its essential collection tools and facilities that can initiate systematic scientific studies conduction to live presentations et al;

  • Provision to offer a forum which augurs for various dialogues to begin with numerous types of performances, multi-media projections, exhibitions, seminars, conferences on traditional plus contemporary Indian arts and workshops on them;

  • Support the formulation of different types of dialogues between arts and numerous current ideas pertaining to science & technology to philosophy that could start a new approach with an aim to bridge the gap and to understand culture, arts and modern sciences intellectually;

  • Evolving various research programme models pertaining to and arts administration that are guiding forces for ethos representing Indian philosophy;

  • Take steps to explain influential and dynamic elements in interactions that are too much complex amongst variegated social circles or region and communities needing discussions;

  • Develop interactive spirit with rest national and global institutions for debate; and

  • Promote conduction of research in arts, humanities and culture areas.


  • The multimedia collections library is named Kalānidhi.

  • The research & publications division is called Kālakośa which takes initiatives to investigate traditions of intellectualism through assessing their various multi-layered and multi-disciplined dimensions.

  • The division which engages the lifestyle studies is named Janapada Sampadā. With its unique character based on programs, the classifications are of Lifestyle Studies besides Multi-media Presentation, Children’s World and Events included in the multiple sub-programmes here.

  • Executive unit is named Kalādarśana, meant to transform various researches or studies to originate from IGNCA and to ascertain numerous noticeable forms in exhibitions concerned.

  • The Cultural Informatics Laboratory has welcomed the application of various technologies and related tools to help propagate and preserve the culture. Kalāsampadā is one of its key projects that have digital content repository means to preserve various types of information and content as combined to make them completely user-friendly interface and so can it give choice for better preference to encircle IGNCA’s rare archival collections for betterment.

  • The administrative section of this institute is named Sutrādhāra which make all support and coordination related aspects easy. Institute’s executive head is its Member Secretary who also looks at the academic roles besides taking into account various administrative divisions. The section therefore manages institute’s administration, services & supplies, finance and accounts and the unit that covers International Dialogue.

The centre named Diaspora Cultural Resource Centre focuses on inspiring the cross-cultural and inter disciplinary dialogues in the Indian citizens as well as those from abroad besides promoting cultural vastness for overall visionary development which Indian Diaspora draws.