NEW DELHI: The Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) has signed a one-of-a-kind Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 23 states to strengthen and promote cultural diplomacy abroad.
The organisation, an autonomous Government body under the Ministry of External Affairs, will help states showcase their culture by organising seminars and exhibitions, as well as promoting tourism, literature, handicrafts and cuisine.
“The collaboration with states would lead to more resources both financially and socially, which would help Indian states move their rich cultures to a global stage,” ICCR President Vinay Sahastrabuddhe said.
The initiative will also help “take the global community and international culture to the states of India and act as a gateway to Indian states,” he said. This would enable traditional artisans to bring rich cultural heritage to the fore and would lead to greater awareness among the global community about the rich, literary tradition of the states. It would also bring regional literature and textiles to a larger platform.
The MoU is a formalisation of the collaboration between states and is meant to ensure equal representation for each state. The signatory states are: Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.