The Information & Cultural Affairs Department comprises 4 Directorates namely Information, Culture, Films, and Archaeology and Museums. The principal objectives of this department are to disseminate information about the activities & achievements of the state government through different media, to keep the ministers & other senior government functionaries aware of public reactions reflected through the media & other sources, to promote & preserve the cultural heritage of Bengal (including the folk culture), to preserve West Bengal's archaeological heritage, to co-ordinate with important personalities and facilitate all activities related to films, theatre, art, etc., to organize state ceremonies, and to extend hospitality to visiting Indian and foreign dignitaries. The department also organizes the Kolkata International Film Festival, Children’s Film Festival, Film Appreciation courses. The department is actively involved in setting up of integrated Film Cities and other related activities for overall development of film industry of the state.
The Directorate of Information carries out works relating to exhibitions, hospitality and protocol, state ceremonies, news bureau, rural information, publication and advertisements.
Awareness Programmes on Child Marriage and Women Empowerment, Health Related Issues and Panchayet & Rural Development have been continuing throughout the State round the year under Awareness Raising Action Plan.
A two-day campaign highlighting the achievements of the Government byorganizing exhibitions on "Unnayaner Pathe Manusher Sathe" accompanied by Folk Cultural Programmes was organized in all Districts& Sub-divisional offices on the occasion of completion of Two Years' Term of this government.
Digitization of Manuscripts
Digitization of manuscripts and letters of eminent authors of Bengal has been completed.
Participation in Republic Day Parade
After 12 years, West Bengal participated in the Republic Day Parade, New Delhi in the year 2012. The West Bengal Tableau having the theme of Chhou Dance of Purulia in the Republic Day Parade 2014 at New Delhi has been selected as the best and ranked first.
A scintillating live performance was staged by a ten member Chhou group led by Shri Jodaharam Kumar of Shibsakti Chhou Dance Academy, Purulia. This group received first prize for their performance at the cultural programme organized by the Ministry of Defence, Govt. of India, on January 20, 2014 at the Rashtriya Rangashala Camp in Delhi.
Revitalization of Folk Art
In order to revitalize the Folk Arts of Bengal, thousands folk artistes across the State have been identified and registered and Identity Cards have been issued to them.
Financial Assistance and retainer fee have been provided to thousands distressed folk artistes all over the state.
A scheme has been launched for enlistment of folk artistes for undertaking campaign programme for catering the message of the Government as well as for ensuring a steady means of livelihood for them.
Recognition to various languages as official language
By an amendment in the concerned law, Nepali, Urdu, Hindi, Alchiki, Oriya, Santhali and Gurmukhi (Punjabi) languages have been enlisted as official languages.
Tributes have been paid to great personalities through 174 functions in the financial year 2013-14.
New Comprehensive Cultural Hub
A Master Plan has been prepared for building up of a new comprehensive cultural hub incorporating the precincts of Rabindra Sadan-Nandan-Bangla Academy etc.
Celebration of Birth Anniversaries
The State Govt. has continued to honour the contribution of the distinguished personalities from West Bengal through commemoration of their birth anniversaries. The birth anniversaries of Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam and Dwijendra Lal Roy were observed in a befitting manner across the State.
Bangla Sangeet Mela was organized from 10th February to 17th February with participation of about 1200 singers.
Awards and Sammans
In order to recognize the lifetime contribution of distinguished personalities in the fields of art, culture, sports, music and cinema, awards were conferred by the State Govt. The 3rd Bangabibhusan and Bangabhusan awards were conferred to 24 persons and 6 persons respectively for their outstanding contribution in the field of art, culture and sports.
For the 3rd time, Sangeet Mahasamman was conferred to 3 individuals and Sangeet Samman upon 4 individuals and upon 6 groups for their outstanding contribution in the field of music.
The “Mahanayak Sammanana” were conferred for the 2nd time upon 46 individuals and 4 Production Houses for their outstanding contribution in the field of cinema.
“Tele Academy Award" were given to 90 persons for their outstanding contribution in the field of Tele-media.
21 awards in the name of Rabindra Smriti Puraskar (3 categories), Nazrul Smriti Puraskar, Bankim Smriti Puraskar, Vidyasagar Smriti Puraskar (2 categories), Girish Puraskar, Dinobandhu Puraskar, Abanindra Puraskar, Ramkinkar Baiz Puraskar, Binod Behari Mukhopadhyay Puraskar, Allauddin Puraskar, Udai Shankar Puraskar, Girija Shankar Puraskar, Gyan Prakash Ghosh Puraskar, Thakur Panchanan Barma Puraskar, Pandit Raghunath Murmu Puraskar, Sudhi Pradhan Puraskar, Lalan Puruskar, Bina Dasgupta Award were conferred upon distinguished persons who have contributed significantly in the field of literature/culture/folk-arts etc. by different Academies/ Kendras/ Parshads under this Department.
Shilpi Mahasanman, Shilpi Sanman, Life Time Achievement Shilpa Aitihasik-Kala Samalochak Awards were conferred upon 10 eminent persons for significant contribution in the field of Fine arts by Rajya Charukala Parshad.
Besides, "Shanti Gopal & Tapan Kumar Puruskar" has also been conferred upon distinguised Jatra Artistes by the Jatra Academy.
Concluding ceremony of 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda
The concluding ceremony of 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda was held throughout the State through different activities involving youth and students. The Vivek Chetana Utsav was organized for the first time on Red Road, Kolkata on 10th January 2014.
Paschimbanga Kazi Nazrul Islam Academy
In order to preserve and nurture the invaluable literary contributions of Kazi Nazrul Islam, the Nazrul Academy has been constituted. Paschimbanga Kazi Nazrul Islam Academy organized workshops on “Nazrul-Geeti” in the districts of Cooch Behar & Purulia.
Nazrul Tirtha, a composite cultural complex having an auditorium with all modern facilities and capacity of 400 seats has been inaugurated, for research and other allied works on Kazi Nazrul Islam’s multifarious literary contributions under the aegies of Nazrul Islam Academy.
Work is going on in full swing for construction of Dhana-Dhanney Stadium with State of the art facilities at Alipore, Kolkata to commemorate the memory of D.L. Roy for further promotion of Art & Culture of Bengal.
Natya Mela involving 5 theatre groups was organized from 4th – 8th December 2013 at Malda, from 8th – 15th December 2013 at Kalyani (with 8 groups), from 29th December 2013 to 1st January 2014 at Kolkata and Howrah (with 90 theatre groups) and 19th to 26th January 2014 at Asansol (with 7 theatre groups).
Observance of the Birth Anniversary of Uday Sankar
The Birth Anniversary of Uday Sankar was observed through a 7 day-long Dance Festival where 48 cultural troupes from across the country presented different dance forms.
Infrastructure Development Works
In order to upgrade the cultural infrastructure across the state, the repair and renovation works of Rabindra Sadan, Minerva Theatre, Mahajati Sadan, Rathindra Mancha were taken up in Kolkata. Thirty two (32) Rabindra Bhavans /Sadans are being renovated across the state under the Tagore Cultural Complex Scheme. The construction of Purulia Rabindra Bhavan has been completed. It will be inaugurated shortly.
Publication and Digitization
The Department has decided to publish the complete works of Rabindranath Tagore in 17 volumes, out of which 8 volumes have already been published through Paschimbanga Bangla Academy. The complete works of Bankim Chandra Chottopadhyay will also be published in 2 volumes within this year. Work for digitization of music, cinema, paintings etc. is going on.
The Rajbanshi Bhasa Academy, set up in Cooch Behar, has started functioning. The Birsa Munda Academy has also been set up at Jhargram and the Sidhu-Kanu Academy at Suri, Bribhum is under process.
Kolkata Little Magazine Mela & Literary Festival
In order to promote small newspapers and magazines, the Kolkata Little Magazine Mela & Litarary Festival has been organized from 11th – 15th January 2014 at Kolkata, where 400 little magazines have participated.
Literary and Cultural Pension Scheme
In order to provide financial assistance to aged and needy artistes, the State Govt. provided pension under the Literary and Cultural Pension Scheme to 136 persons and Special Grants to 28 persons.
6th State Level Shishu Kishore Utsav
6th State Level Shishu Kishore Utsavwas also held from 5th – 12th January 2014 at Bishnupur, Bankura with participation of about 600 students.
“Poush Utsav” and “Barsha Baran Utsav”
“Poush Utsav” and “Barsha Baran Utsav" were organized from 22nd to 24th December 2013 and 30th, 31st December 2013 and 1st January 2014 respectively for the first time at James Prinsep Memorial on Strand Road, Kolkata.
Dhrupad Festival and AyeeBahar
Dhrupad Festival and Ayee Bahar were also held on 28th February 2014 to 1st March 2014 and 2nd to 3rd March 2014 respectively at James Prinsep Memorial on Strand Road, Kolkata
The Second Mati Utsav has been celebrated from 14th to 21st February 2014 at Panagarh in Burdwan district.
Jatra Utsav-2014 (25 days-long) was organized in Barasat, North 24 Pgs. on and from 6th to 9th February 2014 and in the Phani Bhusan Vidyabinod Jatra Mancha, Bagbazar, Kolkata on and from 9th February to 1st March 2014.
Financial Assistance to Theatre Groups
200 theatre groups have been identified for extending financial assistance of Rs. 50,000/- each. Rs. 2 crore has been allotted to 98 organizations for observing the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
Renovation of Roy Villa and Ancestral Houses of Sarada Ma, Swami Vivekananda and Sister Nivedita:
Roy Villa, associated with the memory of Sister Nivedita in Darjeeling has been renovated with the financial assistance of Rs. 1 crore from this department by Belur Math Ramakrishna Mission and a sum of Rs. 1 crore has also been provided to Barahanagar Ramakrishna Mission for it’s renovation. It is to be mentioned here that Roy Villa, associated with the memory of Sister Nivedita has been declared as a Heritage Site by the West Bengal Heritage Commission. Further renovation and restoration works of the ancestral house of Swami Vivekananda, Sister Nivedita's house and 'Mayer Bari' in Kolkata are under consideration of the Government.
Charukala Utsav-O-Pradarshani has been organized on & from 14th – 23rd February 2014 at Rabindra Sadan – Nandan Complex and Academy of Fine Arts.
The Film Directorate holds the brief for all-round development of the film and television industry in the State. This includes development of infrastructural facilities like development of existing studio floors as well as construction of new studio floors for shooting of cinema as well as Television serials; construction and development of two integrated Film Cities; organizing the Kolkata International Film Festival and the Children's Film Festival with participation of eminent personalities from India and abroad; holding retrospectives, seminars for critical appreciation of films; preservation of important documentaries & feature films.
To support and facilitate the film & television industry in the State, the Govt. of West Bengal took over the general superintendence, direction, control and management of the affairs of the business of the Technicians' Studio.
Four new floors have been constructed in the studio and the two existing floors have been thoroughly renovated with modern facilities with a total Budgetary Allocation of Rs. 33.50 crores approximately. Of the six floors, three are already in operation, two are almost ready for operation and the acoustics works for the sixth one is going on. These floors have been named after the pantheon of Bangla cinema - Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Tapan Sinha, Uttam Kumar, Suchitra Sen and Rituparno Ghosh.
The auditorium adjacent to the Cinema Centenary Building has also been completed and only the Fire Protection System remains to be certified.
Setting up of Film Cities
Sites have been identified for development of two Integrated Film Cities through the PPP model, at Dabgram in Jalpaiguri and at Baruipur in South 24 Parganas. The I&CA Deptt. has taken possession of land for the Baruipur project. Taking possession of land for the Dabgram project is under way. A Transaction Advisor has been engaged. Feasibility studies and preliminary DPRs have been completed and Expressions of Interest received.
Nandan is West Bengal's premier film centre and the pride of cine-lovers. Exhibitions of foreign and Indian movies of the highest quality, retrospectives of renowned film makers and seminars on different aspects of films are conducted at Nandan. Apart from the Kolkata International Film Festival and Social Communication Cinema Conference, different Film Festivals were held in Nandan during 2013-14 in collaboration with Film Societies and foreign missions. It is now a cultural reference point in Kolkata. New Sound and Lighting Systems and a modern 2K projection system have also been installed in Nandan.
Cinema Centenary Building
The Film Appreciation Course is a regular activity of this Department. It is conducted at Cinema Centenary Building. In 2013 – 14 a six-week Film Appreciation Course was organized by C.C.B. with 49 participants and expenditure of Rs. 2.70 lakh. In 2014-15 the course will be conducted in the same manner like previous years. Moreover a separate course on similar lines has been proposed to be conducted in North Bengal.
Kolkata International Film Festival
19th Kolkata International Film Festival was held successfully from 10-17th November, 2013. Apart from the unprecedented response to the Festival this year, the opening and closing ceremonies were particularly well-received by a large audience both in the venues and on television broadcasts. 187 films of 60 different countries were exhibited with a Government Budgetary Allocation of Rs. 2.08 crore. For the first time, Kolkata International Film Festival will become competitive in nature. In 2014, we are introducing “Best Film” and “Best Director” competitions. Other sections will be introduced in the coming years.
Kolkata International Children Film Festival
I & CA department organized Kolkata International Children's Film Festival from 20th – 28th December 2013 at various auditoriums in Kolkata along with Nandan, Rabindra Sadan and Sisir Mancha, where 186 children’s films were screened.
The Film Archive is a prestigious wing of the Film Directorate. Apart from the films made by Sri Satyajit Ray, the original manuscripts, film scripts, posters and still photographs of different films of the great maestros are also preserved here. The classic films of Rituparna Ghosh and Mahanayak Uttamkumar will also be preserved in the said Archive. At present, the archive has 245 documentaries and short films and 140 feature films. During 2014-15, the Deptt. has taken up the project of restoring and digitizing prints of significant films.
Formed out of an Indo-Italian cooperative venture, Roopkala Kendro is now engaged in carving out a space consisting of moving images which would narrate the social desires and success stories of the less-privileged and the marginalized. This Centre, with its high level excellence in video graphic training, offers six 2-year Post-graduate Diploma courses in Direction. Motion Picture Photography, Editing, Sound Design, Development Communication and Animation Creation & Direction, with updated technology and proper academic resources. In the year 2014-15, to keep pace with the changing technology, the said Institution will procure some modern equipment.
Restoration and Digitization of Old and Important Films
Apart from providing Archival and academic facilities to the cine-lovers and cine-critics, a major objective of the Chalachhitra Satabarsa Bhavan is to digitize old and important films that are now in celluloid. The Archive has 10,000 film reels now of many eminent and prominent persons. A studio floor of erstwhile Radha Studio has also been renovated and will be made operational soon. The Auditorium adjacent to this Bhavan has been completed. Audio and Visual equipment will be purchased and installed to start its functioning.
Health Insurance for Cine and Television artistes and workers
In 2013-14, a new scheme has been started to provide health insurance for Cine and Television artistes and workers along with their dependents. This scheme provides coverage up to Rs. 1.50 lakh per year. 13,682 beneficiaries have been covered till date.
DIRECTORATE OF ARCHAEOLOGY AND MUSEUMS
The Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Govt. of West Bengal, is responsible for the preservation of 108 State Protected Monuments and Sites under the purview of "The West Bengal Preservation of Historical Monuments and Objects and Excavation of Archaeological Sites Act 1957 and Rules 1964". The Directorate also maintains and administers the State Archaeological Museum in Kolkata with seven display galleries, representing the history &culture of West Bengal. Apart from these, six District Museums and about twenty Rural Museums in West Bengal are provided financial aidand technical assistance. During the financial year 2014-15, the Directorate will undertake several projects and schemes to continue the archaeological and museum activities as regular programs.
Exploration & Excavation
i) Artifacts dating back to the Gupta-era have been discovered from the excavation at Moghalmari, a Buddhist site of 6th century AD, under Dantan Police Station, Paschim Medinipur. Work will be continued in 2014-15. ii) Trial excavation at Ahiron in Murshidabad will be undertaken. iii) The Exploration of Suvarnarekha valley in Paschim Medinipur will be undertaken.
The conservation of the excavated Buddhist monastery at Moghalmari will be taken up in 2014-15. Several conservation projects of the state protected monuments are included in the 13th Finance Commission Plan. The ongoing conservation of Radha Gobinda temple at Antpur, Hooghly will be continued during this year also.
a) State Archaeological Museum: The new building of the State Archaeological Museum has seven galleries. Apart from these, four new galleries will be openedon the second floor of the building after the completion of the civil and electrical works by P.W.D. The conservation Laboratory will also be upgraded for better conservation works of the Museum. The documentation of the antiquities will be undertaken.
b) District Museums: District Museums are also being looked after by the Govt. of West Bengal with regular financial and technical support, viz. 1) Acharya Jogesh Chandra Purakirti Bhavan (Bankura District Museum) at Bishnupur 2) Malda District Museum at Malda 3) Dakshin Dinajpur District Museum at Balurghat. 4) Uttar Dinajpur District Museum at Raiganj 5) Murshidabad District Museum at Jiaganj and 6) Bagnan Ananda Niketan Kritishala (Howrah District Museum).
c) Local Museums: Apart from District Museums, several rural museums initiated by the local people and NGOs for displaying various artefacts of regional and local characters in different parts of the state are being supported regularly with annual grants,
d) Site Museums: Several Site Museums will be constructed during the year 2014-15 at archaeological sites at 1) Chandraketugarh in North 24 Parganas. 2) Pakbira in Purulia. 3) Mangalkote in Burdwan. 4) Jagjivanpur in Malda and 4) Moghalmari in Paschim Medinipur. Fund has already been placed for construction of Museums at Moghalmari and Pakbira.
Erection of Memorials
Memorials will be erected at the historic battle-field Plassey in Murshidabad and at Chowgachi in Nadia at the residence of Dinabandhu Mitra.
Research and Publications
The Directorate publishes books, albums, excavation reports and journals on regular basis. Besides, it organizes lectures, seminar and workshop, highlighting recent archaeological activities West Bengal. The Directorate also organizes exhibitions, awareness campaigns and other extra-mural activities in Kolkata and other towns of West Bengal. Catalogue of stone sculptures and terracotta plaques of Jagjivanpur, kept under the possession of the State Archaeological Museum, will be published during this year.
West Bengal Heritage Commission
West Bengal Heritage Commission has declared 166 (one hundred sixty six) sites as Heritage Sites up to February, 2014. From June, 2011 restoration and conservation works of 13 (thirteen) Heritage Sites have been taken up. Out of 13 (thirteen) sites taken up for restoration and conservation, 10 (ten) projects have been completed up to February, 2014 and works of 3 (three) projects are nearing completion. It is to be mentioned here that Roy Villa, associated with the memory of Sister Nivedita has been declared as a Heritage Site by the West Bengal Heritage Commission. The Commission in collaboration with National Museum of Denmark and Hooghly district administration organized a stakeholders’ workshop on ‘The Preservation of Heritage and Promotion of Tourism at Serampore’ on 22nd November, 2013 in its office. The Danish collaborators have expressed their appreciation of the work undertaken at this site and expressed their desire for more collaborative projects including training and appreciation courses. The Dutch government has also participated in the Heritage Commission's workshops and now seeks to collaborate with the Govt. of West Bengal. The Commission has now taken the initiative for Financial Autonomy and is also examining the requirements for amendments in the West Bengal Heritage Act, 2001. With these words, I commend my motion to the Hon’ble Members for sanction of Budget Grants of my Department.