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Government dissolves IGNCA board, Ram Bahadur Rai to head new 20-member team

India TV News Desk 14 Apr 2016, 13:59:19 PM IST
India TV News Desk

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government today reconstituted the board of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) by appointing a new 20-member team.

According to an official statement senior journalist Ram Bahadur Rai will be the new the president of the trust. He will replace Chinmaya Gharekhan. The reconstituted trust of IGNCA, an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Culture, will be functional with immediate effect.

Besides Rai, the trust comprises 19 other members including classical dancer Sonal Mansingh, lyricist Prasoon Joshi, artist Vasudeo Kamath and Union Culture Ministry Secretary.

The Ministry has also appointed Dr Sushmita Pandey, head of School of Studies in Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology in Ujjain's Vikram University, as chairman of National Monument Authority.

Meanwhile, Gharekhan, a former Indian diplomat, downplayed the reconstitution of the trust saying "there is no mystery" in it as he noted that "all successive" governments have done the same in the past.

"There is no mystery about it. The board of trustees is always appointed by the government. Government has every right to reconstitute the board, change its composition any time it wants to. And all successive governments have done this," he said.

Gharekhan said such a move was expected "for a long time" after NDA came to power and wondered why the reconstitution did not happen despite the BJP-led coalition being at the helm of country's affairs for nearly two years now.

Defending the government's move Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said, "Change is a continuous process, it was overdue. New people who have been inducted will take it (IGNCA) to new heights."

"All other people who are listed in this are scholars in their fields. This is not the first time, this was done earlier also," he added.

The IGNCA was established in memory of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and is envisioned as a centre for study of arts. The IGNCA was launched on 19th November, 1985 by the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

With PTI Inputs