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Written by Stuti Manchanda
The Indian government offers various scholarships schemes and grants to help the cause of promoting Art & Culture in a diverse country like ours. Here is a peep into some prominent ones offered by the Ministry of Culture that may be of interest to many young as well as veteran artists:
1. Scheme for Scholarships to Young Artists in Different Cultural Fields
Aimed at budding scholars in the field of Indian classical music and dance, Theatre, Mime, Visual Art (includes Graphics, Sculpture, Painting, Creative Photography, Pottery & Ceramics etc.) Folk, Traditional and Indigenous Arts and Light Classical Music, this two year scholarship offers a training suited to the hitherto skill and background of the candidate. With a whooping four hundred in number, it places each selected candidate under a Guru/Master or a recognized Institution so as to give best shape to the art that resides in young hearts and minds. Each scholar is paid a monthly stipend of Rs. 5000 to cover living expenses and other expenditure like books, travelling, equipment, tuition charges etc. The age requirement is 18-25. Also, the scholar is required to undertake at least three hours of daily practice other than the training imparted under the scheme. It is offered by the Ministry of Culture. An advertisement inviting applications is issued annually by the Ministry of Culture.
Contact: Section officer (S&F Section) at Phone No. 011-24642157 or through E-Mail at email@example.com
2. Performing Arts Grants Scheme
Financial Assistance is granted to dramatic groups, theatre groups, music ensembles, solo artists and for various other performing artists practicing various genres. The grant is offered in two major components, one is a production grant while the other is a Repertory grant. The production grant is generally for projects running for less than a year. It covers various expenditures ranging from salary to artists, cost of production, hall rental amount, transport logistics, costume to research expenditure and much more. Those forms promoting rare and traditional art styles and showcasing diversity, and in particular attempting innovation are given special preference. Original writing and research are acknowledged under the scheme particularly for promoting cultural activities in rural areas. The Repertory grant is for ensembles with a repertoire of sufficient quality and quantity, having performed at the nation wide level. An Artist is entitled to Rs. 6000 per month, a Guru/ Director to Rs. 10000 per month while a production grant can reach a maximum of Rs. 5 lakh contingent upon the project specifications. Ministry of Culture also conducts regular field visits to assess and evaluate as may be seen necessary.
Contact: Shri Ashish Kumar, SO (P. Arts), phone No.011-24642137. Enquiry time is from 3.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday.
3. Artists Pension Fund and Welfare Scheme
Many artists do not engage in any service or employed job and practice their art independently. This pension scheme is a ray of light for such artists. It covers, firstly the existing beneficiaries under the 1961 scheme and secondly the new cases of writers, artists and others, eligible under the scheme. It is for artists above the age of 58 and whose combined income with spouse is no more than Rs. 4000 per month. A prominent feature to be highlighted is that it offers assistance to those traditional artists also who have added to the annals of their respective arts irrespective of published works.
Contact: 1. Section Officer, 210, IInd, ‘D’Block, Puratatva Bhawan, G.P.O. Complex, I.N.A. New Delhi-110023. 011)-24642165.
4. Scheme of Tagore National Fellowship
Open to both Indian Nationals and foreigners (their share is restricted to one-third of the total), the scheme is an endeavor to promote collaboration between artists and various Institutions operating with affiliation to the Ministry of Culture (MoC). But it also includes some non- MoC institutions as well. These artists are encouraged to take up research and projects to further pursue the main objectives of these institutions. The pivotal idea is to infuse new knowledge and breakthrough based on academic excellence and creative experiments. It boasts of 37 participating institutions as part of the scheme including museums, galleries, libraries, archives and many others. Mostly about fifteen fellowships are offered every year for a maximum period of two years but the number can vary depending upon institution specific funds. The fellowship includes various benefits like infrastructure, settling in allowance, 30% accommodation etc. Scholars are also required to deliver one public lecture in a year at least.
Contact: Section officer (S&F Section) at phone no. 011-24642157 or through E-Mail at:firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Museum Grant Scheme
This took birth with the amalgamation of three schemes. The main purpose is to promote the development of large scale museums at par with International standards and quality based on PPP (Public Private Partnership) model. Both, development of new museums and up gradation and modernization of incumbent museums whether by state governments, academic institutions, local bodies, trusts, etc, are financed under this scheme. Antiquities, paintings, Numismatics, Folk art, Ethnological collections, art & craft, textiles, stamps and online virtual museums displaying above mentioned objects are broadly the collections that the scheme seeks to work for. The scheme also is divided into three kinds: a) Establishment and Development of District and Regional Museums b) Development of Museums in State Capitals and c) Establishment and Development of large scale museums in PPP mode. The eligibility criteria vary as per the three different components.
Contact: Section officer, Museum-I Section Room No 333A-C wing, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi-110115 Phone No: 23387108.