YuppTV launches entertainment channels Colors, Rishtey in Middle East

YuppTV, an internet TV provider of South Asian content, today said it had launched Indian entertainment channels Colours and Rishtey for viewers in the Middle East.
“The launch of Colors and Rishtey on YuppTV is another strong step in providing premium content to the Middle East viewers," Mr. Sachin Gokhale, Vice President- Business Head – Middle East & Africa and Head of Sales & Marketing, APAC at IndiaCast, said.
"Our partnership with YuppTV gives us an infinitely wider reach with the App being available on multiple internet supported devices in this region thereby enabling the viewers to watch their favorite programs at their own convenience. With this collaboration our commitment to deliver high quality entertainment to viewers in Middle East strengthens further," he said.
Mr. Uday Reddy, CEO of YuppTV said, “Keeping up with the high demand for Indian content in Middle East, we are pleased to bring popular channels Colors and Rishtey to television and internet consumers in this region. With the addition of these leading channels to our repertoire, we continue the trend of growth and expansion. This launch, we trust, will be the source of much pleasure to viewers and subscribers in the Middle East region.”
Colors is Viacom18’s flagship brand in the Hindi entertainment space in India. Showcasing content that varies from Reality, Drama, Events, Format Shows, Award Functions and Movies, Colors has consistently been amongst the top rated channels since its inception, a press release from YuppTV said.
Some of its shows include Bigg Boss, Khatron Ke Khiladi – Darr Ka Blockbuster Returns, Comedy Nights With Kapil, The Anupam Kher Show – Kucch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai, Ud?nn, Shastri Sisters, Sasural Simar Ka, Meri Aashiqui Tum Se Hi, Balika Vadhu - Kacchi Umar Ke Pakke Rishtey, Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat, Uttaran, Code Red and Swaragini.
Rishtey is a variety general entertainment channel customized and programmed for international audience, catering to the varied needs of the viewers in different markets. Rishtey offers a wide array of programs including Indian, Pakistani and Turkish dramas, kids animation, historical & mythological series and Bollywood movies.
IndiaCast is a multi-platform Content Asset Monetization entity, jointly owned by TV18 and Viacom18. 
IndiaCast mandate includes Domestic Distribution, Placement Services, International Channel Distribution & Advertising Sales, New Media (digital) distribution and Content Syndication for all the group company channels and content. Internationally, IndiaCast has a portfolio of over 10 channels that are viewed in over 80 countries as linear services. IndiaCast also syndicates content in over 135 countries in 25+ languages. IndiaCast also offers Indian feature films (both Bollywood and Regional) on digital platforms in India and overseas markets. 
YuppTV delivers more than 200 live Indian TV channels in 13 Indian languages worldwide. 

Bringing India’s art forms to life -- Art on Walls

Shibani Jain
Shibani Jain
If you have flown into Bengaluru in recent times, you would have noticed the aesthetic murals at the airport there. If you visit the Axis Bank office in Mumbai, you will get a breathtaking exposure to the art forms of India represented on each of the nine floors of the building with a theme – ranging from environment, to brotherhood to unity. 
Or it could be a hotel in the pilgrim centre of Tirupati, which features murals to carefully designed door knobs and handles.
The person behind all this is a very soft spoken and unassuming curator cum artist Shibani Jain, who has been running a successful design studio called Baaya based in Mumbai.
A designer by education, Ms Jain is an alumnus from National Institute of Design (NID) Ahmedabad. In the last 25 years, she has worked with the corporate sector and grown two sizeable companies from scratch. She is now passionately involved in growing Baaya Design, a design studio she founded in 2009. 
Over the last 14 years, she has worked extensively with arts and crafts at the grass root level and with various craft groups across India, bringing their products to new markets. She is well-versed 
with the real-life issues involved with the crafts sector. She inherits many interests. Being a design-entrepreneur, she claims extensive knowledge of folk art from India. She travels extensively through 
India and overseas essentially to collect curios from across the states and the world! 
At Baaya, design meets tradition , says Ms. Jain , who was in Delhi at the invite of Asian Paints to showcase her work on actual walls for the benefit of designers, artists and prospective customers. 
Says Ms Jain: “Baaya is a design store and studio. We provide a unique experiential environment, which not only showcases the most authentic arts and crafts from across India, but also presents them in the most innovative manner, that meet contemporary expectations.”
“One can see and purchase or order a customized artwork from over 30 types of arts and crafts, surface applications, installations all across India. Baaya Design works with master artisans to create the most fascinating murals, accent furniture, accessories and lights. Baaya’s designers work closely with customers towards creating theme/size/color-based customized applications for interiors”, she told NetIndian in a freewheeling interview in the capital. 
"It’s a delight for travelers and tourists to see the amazing richness and variety of Indian art forms ranging from Kalamkari to Madhubani. Baaya actually promotes as many as nine art forms on walls and is discovering more, there is a lot in Jharkhand to be popularized," says Ms Shibani Jain. 
You can also discover stunning artworks from various states. For instance, you can explore how brass work has been contemporized with Italian design or rich stained glass  painting at Baaya. 
Wall Art by Baaya Design at Asian Paints store in Kolkata
Wall Art by Baaya Design at Asian Paints store in Kolkata
Ms Jain works with passion promoting the crafts sector and the talented artisans to bring them fame and their dues. She founded Baaya Design at Raghuvanshi Mills, Mumbai, where design meets tradition in the most meaningful way. 
Baaya Design, says Ms Jain, also offers project-based consultancy for interiors (folk art murals, skill-based installations, artefacts, art furniture and lighting). “We design and develop our own range of home accessories. We also select and source interesting products from various corners of India,” she said. 
Baaya Design has completed many large projects for prestigious corporate houses to provide art and interior styling. It has created murals, furniture, lights and other exciting interior options in guest 
houses, residences, and restaurants and worked closely with architects and designers to create dazzling spaces that are truly one of a kind. 
Ms Jain, who describes herself as a social entrepreneur, said she participates in international expos where there is an opportunity to showcase Indian art forms. But that’s a crowded space demanding attention from visitors which is a big challenge, she said.
While taking Indian art forms to overseas for education and popularity, Ms Jain said it was equally possible to pick up art forms from different nations and bring them to India. Citing an example, she said South Africa had excellent art works in stone which can be brought to India and popularized. 
But this art form has not got the recognition due to it. She said the African continent is so rich in culture, tradition and art forms which need to be brought out more on the global stage. Countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Ghana are places from where art forms or artefacts can be brought out, she pointed out. 
"Art on walls is yet to gain popularity in these countries to promote their arts and this is an opportunity," she said.
Ms. Jain does most of her work through her own funds to promote her rendition of Indian art and culture through various forms from art on walls to designing artefacts and making them more contemporary. 
“I sincerely believe that this is an area that I want to insulate myself against investors, because I do this work more for promoting art forms than for commercial reasons. An artist would tend to lose her independence and creativity if investors came on board,” she added.

Delhi Metro, INTACH sign MoU to develop two stations as art, culture hubs

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and the Indian National Trust for Art & Cultural Heritage (INTACH) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) here yesterday to develop the Green Park and Jor Bagh metro stations as hubs of art and culture and to promote the cause of bringing awareness of heritage sites to the general public.
As per the MoU, DMRC will allocate prominent locations of the concourse area of Green Park and Jor bagh metro station on its Yellow Line for the installation of exhibition panels displaying photographs and information about heritage sites in the country.
While INTACH will arrange, display and maintain the art works, artifacts and so on, DMRC will provide the necessary space and other ancillary requirements such as cabling, wiring and civil works.
The displays will also be periodically replaced by INTACH so that the visitors to the station get to see new artifacts and art works from time to time.
INTACH, a non-profit NGO, is recognized as one of the world’s largest heritage organizations, with over 180 chapters across the country. The MoU is a continuation of the Delhi Metro’s endeavours to utilize its premises for the promotion of Indian heritage, art and culture.
DMRC has earlier associated itself with other organizations such as the Ministry of Culture, Delhi Tourism, India Habitat Centre, Indian Council of Historical Research as well as independent artists for setting up display panels, art works and so on at metro stations. To promote the culture of book reading among commuters, book stores have also been opened at the Kashmere Gate and Vishwavidyalaya stations by the National Book Trust as well as Sahitya Akademi.
Recently, DMRC and the National Museum, New Delhi signed a MoU to develop the Udyog Bhawan station as the gateway to the National Museum.

Executive Council of NMML accepts resignation of its Director Mahesh Rangarajan

Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma today said the resignation of Prof Mahesh Rangarajan, Director of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML), had been accepted.
Addressing a press confererence here, Dr Sharma said Prof Rangarajan's resignation dated September 16 had been accepted by the Executive Council of NMML, headed by its chairman Lokesh Chandra.
He said that, following the acceptance of the resignation, the process of searching for and appointing a new Director of Nehru Memorial Museum & Library would now begin.

Reliance Foundation showcases traditional Pichvais art form in Chicago

Reliance Foundation Chairperson Nita Ambani and Art Institute, Chicago (AIC) President Douglas Druick in front of a Zardozi Pichvai of Vitthaleshji, Mid-17th Century, at the ‘Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Paintings' exhibition at AIC on September 13, 2015.
Reliance Foundation Chairperson Nita Ambani and Art Institute, Chicago (AIC) President Douglas Druick in front of a Zardozi Pichvai of Vitthaleshji, Mid-17th Century, at the ‘Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Paintings' exhibition at AIC on September 13, 2015.
As part of its efforts to promoting art, culture and heritage, the Reliance Foundation is showcasing the traditional Indian art form of Pichvais to global audiences in Chicago.
The foundation is the lead sponsor of the exhibition "Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Paintings" being held at the Art Institute, Chicago (AIC) in the United States from September 13, 2015, through January 3, 2016. 
Speaking at the inaugural reception, Mrs. Nita Ambani, Founder & Chairperson, Reliance Foundation, said: “The artists of the temple town of Nathdwara are renowned for having preserved their painting traditions in an unbroken legacy for more than three centuries. Reliance Foundation has supported this exhibition to provide the US audience with an opportunity to celebrate these living traditional artists who have remained unrecognized for far too long.”
Thanking the Reliance Foundation for its support, AIC Director and President Douglas Druick said: “The patronage of Mrs. Nita Ambani and Reliance Foundation has allowed us to showcase this collection of Pichvais paintings. This vibrant art form is sure to enthral discerning US audiences. We at AIC are proud of our historic relationship with India, and we welcome Mrs. Ambani as an honorary member of the President’s Council of the AIC.”
Pichvais (Sanskrit for back and hanging) art is an old and living artistic tradition of India. It involves intricate paintings on textiles that are hung behind the idol of Shrinathji. The themes of these paintings are Shrinathji, a form of Lord Krishna as a child, and his exploits. 
The paintings depict scenes of Lord Krishna lifting the Govardhan mountain on his little finger, playing with the gopis (milkmaids), or pastoral scenes with cows and forests. The Pichvais art form, which developed in the 17th century, is a tradition of the Pushtimarg sect, founded by Sant Vallabhacharya about 500 years ago.
The exhibition at AIC features drawings, paintings and historic photographs. This exhibition of the Pushtimarg sect of Hinduism is the first of its kind anywhere in US. 
The exhibition is an outcome of the lead sponsorhip of Nita and Mukesh Ambani and the Reliance Foundation. It comprises paintings from two prestigious and rarely exhibited private collections, the Amit Ambalal collection from Ahmedabad, and the TAPI collection, Surat.
It was at the AIC that Swami Vivekananda delivered his famous “Sisters and Brothers of America” speech in 1893. Since 1890 AIC has collection of Indian art including Himalayan, Islamic and Southeast Asian art that  goes back to Indian art forms from 1890. For the last eight years, it has been developing this field with a full-time curator. In 2010-11, the museum did the first Indian contemporary installation by a major Indian artist, Jitesh Kallat’s Public Notice 3. 
AIC was the first museum to receive a grant from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, to set up the Vivekananda Memorial Program for Museum Excellence in 2012 to retrain Indian museum professionals.
Reliance Foundation is an initiative of energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Ltd. 

Kerala Tourism wins PATA Gold for Muziris Heritage Project

Kerala Tourism was bestowed the top Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Award for heritage conservation here yesterday in an honour that highlights the state's efforts in reinventing the millennia-old Spice Route heritage.
The international award, which recognises excellence and innovation in global tourism practices, was presented to Kerala Tourism at a glittering awards ceremony held during PATA Travel Mart in Bangalore.
Kerala Tourism was awarded the PATA Gold in the Heritage and Culture category, honouring the state tourism department's leadership in carrying out the Muziris Heritage Project.
The PATA awards, which are sponsored by the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO), praised Kerala Tourism for the Muziris project's conservational aspect, uniqueness and impact on local community.
"We are humbled by this huge honour for our state," said Kerala Tourism Minister A P Anilkumar.
"The award is an acknowledgement of the initiative to bring back our tradition and history for the sake of the modern generation and through it achieve the goal of growth and development for our people," he said.
"Muziris Heritage Project is a mammoth conservation undertaking never before attempted in our country in recent times in terms of its size and scale," said Mr. Anilkumar.
"This is an award for the community and stakeholders in the state who are involved in the day-to-day work carried out on the ground to preserve our rich heritage," he added.
Kerala Tourism Secretary G Kamala Vardhana Rao received the award at the ceremony held at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre during the PATA Travel Mart. 
"The Muziris Heritage Project is a vital element in the restoration of the historical Spice Route led by Kerala Tourism and supported by the Central government and international organizations like UNESCO," he said.
"The revival of the rich cultural heritage of Spice Route, which occupies a vast geographical area from Kerala to countries in Asia  Africa, Europe and the Far East, will play a significant role in cultural tourism in the world," he added.
This year’s PATA Awards recognise the achievements of 25 separate organisations and individuals.
The Muziris project has further established Kerala as a top destination on the international cultural tourism map.
There were 269 entries from 83 organisations and individuals worldwide for this year's PATA award, the highest number since 2007.
"The list of PATA Gold Awards 2015 winners unveils once again the very best of Pacific-Asia tourism practices," said MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes.
Ms Fernandes said the excellence and innovation revealed by the works and projects awarded were impressive and could provide inspiration to raise the standards of tourism industry stakeholders in the region.
PATA had earlier honoured Kerala Tourism for its Responsible Tourism initiative in Kumarakom and Kerala Tourism's popular e-Newsletter in 2014.
Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association is a not-for-profit association that is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region.

CCI imposes penalty on Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a penalty on Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation (KFEF), an association of theatre owners, after finding it guilty of conducting its activities in contravention of Section 3 of the Competition Act, 2002.
The informant, Crown Theatre, had approached CCI alleging anti-competitive conduct by KFEF in not allowing screening of Malayalam and Tamil films in its theatre since May 2013.
Consequent upon detailed investigation by its Director General, CCI found that the conduct of KFEF amounted to limiting and restricting the provision of films in the market. It was found that due to its differences with the informant, KFEF ensured that the informant did not receive Malayalam and Tamil movies for release in its theatre. 
Such denial of Tamil and Malayalam language movies for screening due to the interference of KFEF was found to be in contravention of section 3(1) read with section 3(3)(b) of the Act.
CCI observed that the distributors in the film industry denied Malayalam/Tamil films to the Iinformant due to the ban imposed by KFEF. They apprehended that non-observance of the directions of KFEF would result in their boycott as well by the members of KFEF.
Accordingly, CCI held that KFEF has indulged in anti-competitive conduct in violation of the provisions of section 3(3)(b) read with section 3(1) of the Act. Further, its president P.V. Basheer Ahmed and secretary M.C. Bobby were found to be in-charge of and responsible for the conduct of business of KFEF during the relevant period under section 48 of the Act.
While imposing penalty under section 27 of the Act, the Commission observed that the objective of penalty is to discipline the erring entities for their anti-competitive conduct as well as to create deterrence to prevent future contraventions. The Commission also took into account the rampant instances of anti-competitive conduct by associations in the film industry and past orders of the Commission where heavy financial penalties have been imposed.  
The Commission further noted that the conduct of KFEF and its office bearers was under investigation in a previous case and despite this fact, they had resorted to anti-competitive activities.
An official press release said the Commission had issued the orders in viewof the "utmost disregard" by KFEF and its office bearers to its past orders against like film associations in other cases as well as the on-going investigation against it.
Accordingly, KFEF was ordered to cease and desist from indulging in anti-competitive conduct. The Commission also imposed a penalty of Rs 82414 on KFEF, calculated at the rate of 10% of its average income.
Further, a penalty of Rs. 56397 and Rs. 47778, calculated at the rate of 10% of their average income, is imposed on Mr. Ahmed and Mr. Bobby, respectively.
KFEF has been directed not to associate the two office-bearers with its affairs, including administration, management and governance, in any manner for a period of two years. Furthermore, KFEF has been directed to organize, in letter and spirit, at least five competition awareness and compliance programmes over next six months in the State of Kerala for its members. 

Modi releases digital version of Ramcharitmanas

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today released the digital version of  Ramcharitmanas, as a set of digital CDs produced by public broadcaster All India Radio. 
Praising the efforts of the artistes who had contributed to this musical production, Mr. Modi said they had performed not just "sangeet sadhna", but also "sanskriti sadhna" and "sanskaar sadhna" (devotion not just to music, but also to culture and tradition). 
He described the Ramcharitmanas as a great epic which contained the "essence of India." He mentioned how Indians who had travelled to various parts of the world, such as Mauritius, kept alive their link with India over successive generations, through the Ramcharitmanas. 
The Prime Minister appreciated the role played by All India Radio – Akashvani – in uniting the people and spreading awareness and information in India. He said that he has been informed that All India Radio has approximately 9 lakh hours of audio recordings of various artistes from across the country. He said this was a priceless collection, which should be documented in detail for posterity. 
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Arun Jaitley and Prasar Bharati Chairman A Suryaprakash were present on the occasion. 

Sun TV Network partners with Hooq platform for delivery of movies

Sun TV Network, which has a large catalogue of movies from the South, today said it had entered into a partnership with Hooq, one of Asia's biggest video-on-demand services, in a multi-year deal.
A press release from Sun TV said Hooq had recently entered the Indian market with more than 30,000 hours of movies and television series.
Under the agreement, it wll now also carry Sun TV's library that includes a mix of Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada films.
The content catalogue includes titles such as 3, Jilla, Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kanaom, Manam Kothi Paravai, Mayakkam Enna, Oru Kal Oru Kannadi, Ragalapuram, Kanchana, Neram, Kazhugoo (New), Sundara Pandian, Mankatha and many more.
S L Narayanan Group CFO, Sun TV Network, said, "We are excited about the possibilities arising out of our association with Hooq, a digital distribution platform of impeccable lineage. Sun TV holds a large library of blockbusters and timeless classics with enduring appeal."
"We are proud to partner Sun TV Network. Their extensive library with titles from Tamil to Malayalam will help us ensure we have something for everyone in India," said Mr. Peter Bithos, Chief Executive Officer of Hooq.
"More importantly, we want our customers to continue to enjoy the largest and best catalogue of Hollywood and Indian content of any service available today," he added.
Hooq is a joint venture established in January 2015 by Singtel, Sony Pictures Television and Warner Bros. It currently operates in the Philippines, Thailand and India with a population footprint of over 1.4 billion people. 

Sahitya Akademi opens book shop at Vishwavidyalaya metro station in Delhi

The Sahitya Akademi opened its second book shop on the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) network at the Vishwavidyalaya station today.
The first book stall is functional at the Kashmere Gate station since February this year.
The shops have been set up as part of a joint initiative by the academy and DMRC to promote Indian literature by providing quality books in Indian languages published by the Akademy and also to cultivate reading habits among Metro commuters and employees.  
Metro passengers can avail 15% discount on the books purchased from this book shop by showing their Delhi Metro Smart Card. Limited editions of DMRC publications will also be made available for sale from the Metro book shop.
The book shop was formally inaugurated by Mr. Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari, Chairman of the Sahitya Akademy in the presence of senior DMRC and Sahitya Akademi officials. 
DMRC had earlier, in 2014, opened two book shops in association with the National Book Trust (NBT) at Kashmere Gate and Vishwavidyalaya stations.
DMRC in recent times has taken up the initiative of tying up with various government bodies and other organizations (National Book Trust, Delhi Tourism, Sahitya Akademy, India Habitat Centre, Ministry of Textiles) authorizing them to use the Metro premises in such a way that they are treated as a hub for promotion of Indian art, culture, literature, craft, tourism and so on.

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Mukherjee presents Saraswati Samman for 2014 to Veerappa Moily

President Pranab Mukherjee presenting the 24th Saraswati Samman 2014 to former Union Minister M. Veerappa Moily, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on August 10, 2015.
President Pranab Mukherjee presenting the 24th Saraswati Samman 2014 to former Union Minister M. Veerappa Moily, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on August 10, 2015.
President Pranab Mukherjee presented the 24th Sarasati Sammaan for 2014 to former Union Minister M. Veerappa Moily for his epic ‘Sri Ramayana Mahanveshanam’ written in Kannada. 
He described Dr Moily, a senior Congress leader and member of the Lok Sabha, as a "fellow Parliamentarian and friend of several decades" and congratulated him for contributing to literature through his prolific writings along with having a successful political career.
The President said in his magnificent composition of 43,000 lines inspired by the original epic of Valmiki, Dr. Moily had shared with people his unique insight into contemporary situations. 
"He has then addressed them through the prism of the eternal principles of good governance, high morality and righteousness. He has shared his belief that present day India has a lot to learn from the Ramayana – especially that our nation-building effort must be based on the strong foundation of tolerance, pluralism and inclusiveness," he said.
The President said that just as good prevails over evil in the Ramayana - and Gandhiji’s words “Satyamev Jayete” remind people that truth alone triumphs, the epic brings to them such ageless values as compassion, self correction and discipline in thought and deed.
"In Dr. Moily’s message, an echo of his own perceptions – that our democracy can only flourish if there is an active Parliament, if the representatives of the people have a clear vision, if their efforts are supported and supplemented by a diligent Government and an independent judiciary. Additionally, the system depends on a responsible media and a vigilant society. The composition could truly be called a milestone – not only in the realm of Indian literature; but in the tradition of the Ramayana," he added.
Mr Mukherjee said democratic rights came with responsibilities and the people of India were duty bound to make collective efforts to build their society, and contribute sincerely to the economic growth and inclusive development of the nation. 
"I have no doubt that through his magnificent work, Shri Ramayana Mahanveshanam, Moilyji will help create a greater sensitivity to such values.
"This composition can truly be called a milestone – not only in the realm of Indian literature; but in the tradition of the Ramayana.
I am very glad that the poem has been translated into Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and English and has thus become accessible to a larger readership," he said
The Saraswati Samman is an annual award for outstanding proose or poetry literary works in any of the Indian languages listed in Schedule VIII of the Constitution. It was instituted in 1991 by the K K Birla Foundation.

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Bollywood gets its own version of Rangabati!

The Hindi version of Odisha cult classic Rangabati from Nila Madhab Panda’s film Kaun Kitney Paani Mein launched yesterday on YouTube.
The song has been inspired by the Sambalpuri hit Rangabati and is Panda’s tribute to the composer and creators of the original song. 
“I am very proud to bring the song and the Sambalpuri flavour into Bollywood and Hindi cinema. The song is all the more important and of great significance, since my film is based in Odisha. And coming from the Oriya community myself, the song is a tribute to its original creators and composers at a national level," he said.
The number has actress Radhika Apte reveal her dancing avatar on the big screen for the first time as she dances to the tune of Rangabati. The track sung by Rekha Rao and Krishna Beura also features Odiya actress Prakriti Mishra and famous Odishi dancer Saswat Joshi. 
The music has been composed by KB tunes, while the lyrics are by Protiqe Mojoomdar.
The filmmaker said that it was matter of great pride and honour for him to be able to present the song to the Hindi audiences as well.
The Sambalpuri song, Rangabati is one of the most popular songs in Odisha, ever since it was first recorded in the mid-1970s. Written by Mitrabhanu Gauntia, composed by Prabhudatta Pradhan and sung by Jitendra Haripal and Krishna Patel, the song continues to be a hit in popular culture too. 
Talking about his version of the song, Panda said, “The Rangabati song in my film is in Hindi and has been inspired by the original cult classic. The idea is to share and showcase the rich culture on a wider scale and what better platform than to have it in a Bollywood film."
Kaun Kitney Paani Mein is Panda’s most ambitious film yet and deals with one of the most critical challenges facing the world -- water.
Starring Kunal Kapoor, Radhika Apte, Gulshan Grover and Saurabh Shukla, the film has been funded by One Drop Foundation, Montreal and produced by Eleeanora Images and One Drop Foundation and is slated to release on August 28.

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Salman Khan-starrer Bajrangi Bhaijaan crosses Rs 300 crore at Indian box office

Salman Khan-starrer Bajrangi Bhaijaan, directed by Kabir Khan, crossed the Rs 300 crore mark on Wednesday at the Indian box office, taking its worldwide gross to over Rs 500 crore and making it now the highest grosser of 2015.
A press release from film entertainment major Eros International Media Ltd and producers Salman Khan Films said the film, that release on July 17, had a thunderous start at the box office with the fastest Rs.100 crore in the opening weekend itself. 
The film also earned the highest single day collections for a film at Rs. 38.75 crore on Sunday in the opening weekend. The film then crossed the Rs. 150 crores milestone within five days of release in India and went on to collect the highest second weekend ever of Rs. 56.10 crore.
The release said Bajrangi Bhaijaan has been doing phenomenal business in the overseas markets too with the film garnering Rs. 155 crore ($ 24.3 million) till Wednesday. 
"The film has broken all previous overseas records of Salman Khan films and is in Top 10 in the UK. It crossed Rs. 50 crores (29 million Dirhams) in UAE and GCC regions to become the highest grosser for any Hindi film in the region," it said.
Amar Butala, COO, Salman Khan Films and co-producer of Bajrangi Bhaijaan said, “It's a matter of pride for Salman Khan Films that our first film as producers continues to set new box office benchmarks both in India and worldwide and has found both box office success and critical acclaim. We are overwhelmed with the love and appreciation the audience is showering on the film across the globe".
Nandu Ahuja, Senior Vice-President, India Theatrical, Eros International Media Ltd added, “We are so delighted that our first collaboration with SKF has garnered such an unprecedented response and we hope for many more to follow. Bajrangi Bhaijaan has created box office history; Salman mania persists amongst his fans and audiences and records continue to shatter as there is no stopping the film”.
Pranab Kapadia, President - Marketing and Distribution, Eros International Plc, said, “Bajrangi Bhaijaan’s performance in the overseas markets has amazed trade pundits with unheard of numbers. The movie has surpassed the overseas collections of Salman’s previous blockbusters and has gone on to become the highest grossing Salman Khan movie ever.”
Bajrangi Bhaijaan is produced by Salman Khan and Rockline Venkatesh and distributed worldwide by Eros International.

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Actor Shahid Kapoor marries Delhi girl Mira Rajput

Actor Shahid Kapoor marries fiancee Mira Rajput
Popular Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor, 34, married his 21-year-old fiancee Mira Rajput of Delhi at a ceremony attended by their close friends and family on the outskirts of the national capital today.
The couple later made a brief appearance for the media and were due to attend a reception later this evening at a hotel in Gurgaon.
Those present at the ceremony included Shahid's father and well-known actor Pankaj Kapoor.

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Sahitya Akademi announces Bhasha Samman awards for 2013, 2014

The Sahitya Akademi today announced that the Bhasha Samman would be given to Dr. K. Meenakshi Sundaram in recognition of his outstanding contributions to Classical and Medieval Literature (Southern) for the year 2013.
A press release from the academy said that Acharya Munishwar Jha would get the award in recognition of his significant contributions to Classical and Medieval Literature (Eastern) for the year 2014.
The award will also be given jointly to Mr Charu Chandra Pande and Mr Mathuradutt Mathpal for their valuable contributions to the enrichment of Kumauni language, a language not recognized by the Akademi. 
Bhasha Samman carries a cash prize of Rs. 1,00,000, an inscribed copper plaque and a citation. In the case of joint winners, the prize money is equally shared between the winners. The Samman will be presented to them by the President of the Sahitya Akademi at a special function to be held later.
Dr. Meenakshi Sundaram, born in 1925, is a founder director of International Institute of Tamil Studies and his contribution to ancient and medieval literature is phenomenal. He is an authority of Cilappatikaram, an ancient Tamil epic. His masterly works on Cilappatikaram, minor characters in Cilappatikaram and the role of the characters in Cilappatikaram have won laurels for him. To his credit goes an earlier work on the society of the Cankam age. He has written scholarly essays on Tirukkural. He has made rich contribution to medieval literature and his work on Kambar stands as an example. An author of 16 works on literature, his contribution extends up to modern literature also (Manonmaniyam –Puratchi-Thiran).
Acharya Jha, born in 1928, is an eminent scholar, teacher and educationist. He is a former Vice-Chancellor of K.S.D. Sanskrit University, Bihar (1989-1992). He has made valuable contribution in the area of Sanskrit literature for which he was honoured with the Presidential Award in 2006. He has over more than a dozen books in Hindi, English, Maithili and Sanskrit. Among which Vidyapati Vanmaya (Maithili), Tapasa Kavi Vidyapati (Maithili), Bhu-Parikramanam (Sanskrit) among others. He also worked on a project on Maithili Bhashaki, Evolution and Reconstruction of the Maithili Language.
Mr Pande was born in 1923 at Kasoon, Almora (Uttarakhand). He has worked extensively on Kumauni language and has published Sej Gumani, Eco Farms Hills (in English), Chhodo Gulami Khitab and Angwal. He has received awards like Umesh Dhobhal Smiriti Samman and Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthan Award.
Mr Mathpal, born in 1942, at Bhikiyasain, Almora (Uttarakhand) is a poet, teacher and Kumauni scholar. He has published Aang-Aang Chichail Haigo (poetry), Mook Geet (a book based on famous Kumauni poet Pandit Kripal Dutt Joshi) along with the translation of many poems in Hindi. He has been awarded with the Sumitranandan Pant Award by the Uttar Pradesh Government (1989) and Sherda ‘Anpad’ Smriti Samman, among other awards.

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Kerala: CCI imposes penalty on KFEF, FDA for contravening competition law

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has found Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation (KFEF), an association of theatre owners, and Film Distributors Association, Kerala (FDA), an association of film distributors, in contravention of Section 3 of the Competition Act, 2002.
The informant, Kerala Cine Exhibitors Association (KCEA), had approached CCI alleging anti-competitive conduct by KFEF and FDA in not allowing screening of new films in the theatres owned by its members. 
An official press release said that, consequent upon detailed investigation by its Director General, the CCI concluded that the conduct of KFEF and FDA in agreeing on the number of theatres where the new movies would be released resulted in restricting/ limiting the release of new movies. 
CCI found that KFEF ensured that despite having necessary infrastructure and appropriate classification/ grading from the Committee appointed by the Government of Kerala, the theatres owned by members of KCEA were not getting fresh releases/new movies. It was observed by CCI that any industry player who flouted the said mandate of KFEF was boycotted by its members.
Accordingly, CCI held that by controlling and limiting the distribution of movies to pre-determined release centres in Kerala through an agreement, OP-1 and OP-2 have infracted the provisions of section 3(3)(b) read with section 3(1) of the Act. 
Further, CCI imposed a penalty of Rs. 56,134 upon KFEF calculated at the rate of 7% of its average income. Taking into consideration the mitigating factor that FDA succumbed to the diktats of KFEF to protect the commercial interest of its members, a penalty of Rs. 45,189 was imposed upon it, calculated at the rate of 3% of its average income.
CCI also found that during the period of contravention, the President and General Secretary of KFEF and FDA were actively involved in the affairs of their respective associations and as such they were responsible for the anti-competitive decision making by their respective associations. Accordingly, financial penalties were imposed upon them under section 48 of the Act.

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Bachchan, Graphic India join Disney Channel India for animated series "Astra Force"

Graphic India and Disney Channel India announced today that renowned Hindi movie star Amitabh Bachchan will start production on a 52-episode animated series, “Astra Force".
The series created by Bachchan and Graphic India CEO Sharad Devarajan is slated to air on Disney Channel India in 2017.
"I am truly excited to be collaborating with my friends Sharad Devarajan at Graphic India and Sid Roy Kapur at Disney to launch this exciting new superhero series, ‘Astra Force'," said Bachchan.
"In the same way animation from other markets has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide, it’s now India’s time to create new heroes and animated shows to spark the imaginations of children all across the world," he said.
Billed as a funny and fast-paced, action-adventure series, filled with laughs and thrills, “Astra Force” tells the story of a mythical hero from a distant world, who was stranded on Earth millions of years ago after an epic space battle, a press release from Graphic India said.
When 8-year old brother and sister twins accidentally awaken the mythical superhero from his long hibernation, they must teach him about our modern world and join Astra to save the universe from a new wave of giant monsters and intergalactic threats. If monsters were not enough, Astra’s new young friends also have to hide the superhero from their parents and deal with Astra’s insatiable hunger for modern desserts after an eternity spent in hibernation.
“At Disney, we believe in showcasing great stories with compelling characters that are loved by our audiences. It is imperative to get the local texture right for any story to resonate and emotionally connect with the viewers. With Mr. Bachchan associating with Graphics India and Disney Channel India on ‘Astra Force,’ we will be bringing an interesting facet to storytelling in the local animation space,” said Kapur, Managing Director, Disney India.
“Amitabh Bachchan is a real life superhero to millions, including myself, so it’s no surprise that he is the perfect person to become immortalized in this new animated avatar,” Devarajan said.
“The opportunity to collaborate with Mr. Bachchan on ‘Astra Force’ is made that much stronger by partnering with Disney, a company whose creativity and storytelling I have admired all my life," he said.
"Disney Channel India has been entertaining kids and families through a range of locally relevant stories spread across high-quality animation and live-action series. 'Astra Force' will be the perfect complement to the line-up of existing shows," the release said.
Devarajan is the producer on “Astra Force” along with Jeevan J. Kang, SVP Creative at Graphic India, who is overseeing visual development, character design and art for the project. Graphic’s previous animated superhero, Chakra The Invincible, was created with Stan Lee (co-creator of Spider-Man, Iron Man and The Avengers) and received over 30 million views globally on Rovio’s ToonsTV platform available through the Angry Birds app.
In addition to the partnership with Disney Channel India, Graphic India will also be launching the character in a series of digital and print comic books available through a special Facebook comic app through Bachchan’s large social media following. 

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FTII students go on strike against Gajendra Chauhan's appointment as Chairman

FTII students protest appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as Chairman
Students at the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) have gone on an indefinite strike since yesterday in protest against the appointment of actor Gajendra Chauhan as the Chairman of its Governing Council.
All classes and activities such as shoots and practicals have come to a halt on the campus, sources said. Students raised slogans against Chauhan and put up posters and banners all over the institute.
Chauhan is best known for his portrayal of "Yudhishthira" in the television serial Mahabharat. He is also associated with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The students have objected to his appointment because of his perceived political leanings as well as because of reports that some eminent film personalities with a much bigger body of work were overlooked in the process. 
The Government had on June 9 announced Chauhan's appointment and the reconstitution of the FTII Society. Chauhan was named as the President of the Society and the Chairman of its Governing Council.
Well-known personalities such as Shyam Benegal, Mrinal Sen,  Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Mahesh Bhatt, Girish Karnad, Vinod Khanna and U.R. Ananthamurthy have served as Chairman of the Governing Council in the past.  Filmmaker Saeed Mirza is currently the Chairman of the Governing Council. 
Chauhan felt it was unfair on the part of the students to protest against his appointment when they had not interacted with him or seen his work.
He said the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting had finalised him after a six-month process and must have taken into account various factors, including his contribution to films and television.
He said he had been associated with the industry for long years and had also served as president of the film artistes' association.
The Government had on the same day also nominated various people connected with Films and Television Education, Journalism, Literature, Fine Arts, Dramatics, Performing Arts and so on as members of the society.
They are: Ms Anagha Ghaisas, Ms Vidya Balan, Mr Jahnu Barua, Ms  Pallavi Joshi, Dr. Narendra Pathak, Mr. Urmil Thapliyal, Mr Pranjal Saikia and Mr Rahul Solapurkar.
Similarly the following persons have been nominated in the category of Alumni of FTII in pursuance of Rule 3(1)(12) of the Rules of the FTII, Pune: Mr. Shailesh Gupta, Mr. Santosh Sivan, Mr Raju Hirani and Mr Imo Singh.
The ex-officio members of the society are: Joint Secretary (Films), Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B); Chief Executive Officer, Prasar Bharati; Additional Secretary & Financial Adviser, Ministry of I&B; Chairman, Central Board of Film Certification; Managing Director, National Film Development Corporation; Director General, Films Division, Mumbai; Director, National School of Drama; Director, Indian Institute of Mass Communications; Director, National Film Archive of India (NFAI), Pune; Director, Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune; and Director, Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute (SRFTI), Kolkata.
The following have also been nominated in pursuance of Rule 3(1)(10) of the Rules of FTII, Pune, in the category of “Experts representing the activities of the Central Government” as Members of the FTII Society: Mr Shravan Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Children's Film Society of India (CFSI); Mr Chaitanya Prasad , Officer On Special Duty, Ministry I&B; and Mr Shashi Prakash Goyal, Joint Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development.
Established as 'Film Institute of India' in 1960 on the erstwhile Prabhat Studio premises at Pune, FTII is today regarded worldwide as a centre of excellence and its alumni have left an indelible imprint on Indian cinema and television.
The institute is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of the Government of India. Its policies are determined by a Governing Council. The latter appoints the director of the institute.

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Sathyu, Janakiraman, Kichlu, Borkar elected Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellows

M. S. SathyuS R JanakiramanM. S. Sathyu and S R Janakiraman
Carnatic vocalist S R Janakiraman, filmmaker M. S. Sathyu, singer Vijay Kichlu and harmonium player Tulsidas Borkar are the four eminent personalities from the field of performing arts elected as Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellows for 2014.
The decision was taken by the General Council of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama, at its meeting held here on June 10.
The Fellowship (Akademi Ratna) is a prestigious and rare honour, restricted to a very limited number at a given time. Presently there are only 40 Fellows of the Sangeet Natak Akademi.
The General Council of the Akademi also selected 36 artistes from the fields of Music, Dance, Theatre, Traditional/Folk/Tribal Music/Dance/Theatre & Puppetry and Overall contribution/scholarship in Performing Arts for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) for the year 2014.
In the field of music, nine eminent artistes -- Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan and Nath Narelkar for Hindustani Vocal Music, Pandit Nayan Ghosh for Hindustani Instrumental Music (Tabla), Ronu Majumdar for Hindustani Instrumental Music (Flute), Neyveli Santhanagopalan for Carnatic Vocal Music, T A Kaliyamurthy in Carnatic Instrumentl Music (Thavil), Sukanya Ramgopal in the field of Carnatic Instrumental Music (Ghatam) and Dwaram Durga Prasad Rao in the field of Carnatic Instrumental Music (Violin) -- have been selected for the Akademi Awards 2014.
In the field of dance, the awardees are Adayar Janardanan for Bharatanatyam, Uma Dogra for Kathak, N. Amusana Devi for Manipuri, Vedantam Radhesyam for Kuchipudi, Sudhakar Sahoo for Odissi, Anita Sharma for Sattriya, Jagru Mahato for Chhau, Navtej Singh Johar for Contemporary Dance and Varanasi Vishnu Namboothiri for Music for Kathakali.
Vijay KichluTulsidas Borkar
Vijay Kichlu and Tulsidas Borkar
In the field of Theatre, eight eminent persons have been selected for Akademi Awards 2014. They are Asgar Wajahat for Playwriting, Surya Mohan Kulshreshtha and Chidambar Rao Jambe for Direction, Debshankar Haldar and Ramdas Kamath for Acting, Amod Bhatt in Allied Theatre Arts- Music for Theatre, Manjunath Bhagwat Hostota for Other Major Traditions of Theatre (Yakshagana) and Amardas Manikpuri for Music for Theatre- Chattisgarh.
In the field of Traditional/Folk/Tribal Music/Dance/Theatre & Puppetry, eight artistes have been selected for Akademi Awards 2014. They are Puran Shah Koti for Traditional Music of Punjab, K Kesavasamy for Puppetry (Puducherry), Kalamandalam Ram Mohan for Makeup/Costume for Kathakali, Reba Kanta Mohanta for Mask Making of Assam, Abdul Rashid Hafiz for folk music of Jammu & Kashmir, K Shanathoiba Sharma for Thang-Ta of Manipur, Ramdayal Sharma for Nautanki of Uttar Pradesh and Thanga Darlong for Folk Music of Tripura.
Akshara K.V and Indudhar Nirody have been selected for the Akademi Awards 2014 in the field of Overall Contribution/ Scholarship to Performing Arts.
The honour of Akademi Fellow has been conferred since 1954 and Akademi Award since 1952. They not only symbolize the highest standard of excellence and achievements on a national basis, but also recognize sustained individual work and contribution to the practice and appreciation of the arts through performance, teaching and scholarship.
The honour of Akademi Fellow carries a purse money of Rs 3,00,000 and Akademi Awards carry Rs 1,00,000, besides Tamrapatra and Angavastram.

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FTII Society reconstituted, Gajendra Chauhan nominated as President

Gajendra Chauhan
Gajendra Chauhan
Actor Gajendra Chauhan, best known for his portrayal of "Yudhishthira" in the television series "Mahabharat", was nominated as the President of the Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) Society, Pune and the Chairman of its Governing Council.
The Government has also reconstituted the FTII Society for a period of three years in pursuance of Rule 3 of its rules, an oficial press release said.
The Government has also nominated various people connected with Films and Television Education, Journalism, Literature, Fine Arts, Dramatics, Performing Arts and so on as members of the society.
They are: Ms Anagha Ghaisas, Ms Vidya Balan, Mr Jahnu Barua, Ms  Pallavi Joshi, Dr. Narendra Pathak, Mr. Urmil Thapliyal, Mr Pranjal Saikia and Mr Rahul Solapurkar.
Similarly the following persons have been nominated in the category of Alumni of FTII in pursuance of Rule 3(1)(12) of the Rules of the FTII, Pune: Mr. Shailesh Gupta, Mr. Santosh Sivan, Mr Raju Hirani and Mr Imo Singh.
The ex-officio members of the society are: Joint Secretary (Films), Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B); Chief Executive Officer, Prasar Bharati; Additional Secretary & Financial Adviser, Ministry of I&B; Chairman, Central Board of Film Certification; Managing Director, National Film Development Corporation; Director General, Films Division, Mumbai; Director, National School of Drama; Director, Indian Institute of Mass Communications; Director, National Film Archive of India (NFAI), Pune; Director, Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune; and Director, Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute (SRFTI), Kolkata.
The following have also been nominated in pursuance of Rule 3(1)(10) of the Rules of FTII, Pune, in the category of “Experts representing the activities of the Central Government” as Members of the FTII Society: Mr Shravan Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Children's Film Society of India (CFSI); Mr Chaitanya Prasad , Officer On Special Duty, Ministry I&B; and Mr Shashi Prakash Goyal, Joint Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development.

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ErosNow signs content acquisition deal with Pakistan’s Hum TV

ErosNow, the online entertainment portal from film entertainment major Eros International, today said it had signed a content acquisition deal with Hum TV of Pakistan.
Under the deal, registered users of ErosNow across the world will get access to Hum TV's entire library, including the current shows, at no extra subscription cost.
The deal also gives ErosNow subscribers in India an exclusive opportunity to view the content 48 hours prior to its telecast on any other platform, a press release from the company said.
"Hum TV is a 24-hour entertainment TV channel in Pakistan. The channel provides consistent high quality programming across a wide spectrum of genres. The members of ErosNow will be privy to some of Hum TV’s most popular television shows like Zindagi Gulzar Hai, Humsafar and Dastaan," the release said.
Ms Rishika Lulla Singh, CEO, ErosNow said, “We are extremely happy to introduce Pakistan’s popular soaps to a new digital generation of South Asians globally and add to our roster of content. The partnership with a leading channel like Hum will give our subscribers an opportunity to view the much sought after and varied Pakistani content.”
Ms Sultana Siddiqui, President, Hum Network Limited, said, “We at Hum are delighted to partner with ErosNow, a leading global digital entertainment provider. This association enables us in reaching out and providing some of our best Pakistani content to millions of keen internet users across the globe.”

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4th NE Youth Festival to be held at Majauli in Assam from May 29-31

About 2100 delegates will participate in the 4th North East Youth Festival which will be held at Majuli in Assam from May 29 to 31.
The festival is being organized by the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) on behalf of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India. 
Participants in the event will include contingents from the North- Eastern States, NYKS volunteers, delegates from other states for the Food Festival and Yuva Kriti and cultural troupes and youth delegates from the neighboring districts, an official press release said.
The festival will feature competition events such as folk dances, folk songs, one-act plays, instrumental guitar and rock bands.
Non-competition events at the festival will include cultural, musical and martial arts show. There will also be a food festival and seminars on youth related issues.
The festival is scheduled to be inaugurated by Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilisers Ananth Kumar on May 29.
Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Mahesh Sharma and Assam Youth Affairs Minister Ajit Singh are amongst the others expected to attend the festival.
The Governor of Assam will be the chief guest at the closing ceremony of the festival on May 31 when Union Ministers Shripad Naik and Kiren Rijiju will also be present.
Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Sarbananda Sonowal will preside over both the inaugural as well as the closing ceremonies.
The North East Youth Festival is organized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sport, Government of India to showcase the rich cultural traditions and colours of the North East.

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Exhibition of vintage miniature paintings on Ramayana opens in Australia

An exhibition of vintage miniature paintings titled, "The story of Rama: Indian Miniatures from the National Museum, New Delhi", opened in the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra yesterday.
The three-month show features 101 paintings done between the 17th and 19th centuries, and is the first major initiative under a recently-inked pact on culture between India and Australia. 
National Museum Director-General and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Mr Sanjiv Mittal, who was present, expressed his country’s delight in sharing with Australians the story of Ramayana. “It is one that transcends generations and is reflective of our rich and deep culture,” he said.
According to an official press release, the agreement demonstrates India’s readiness to partner with countries and celebrate the arts, Indian High Commissioner to Australia  Navdeep Suri said.
“We hope that all Australians enjoy these wonderful works of art that reveal one of my country’s most well-known stories,” he said.
National Museum curator Vijay Kumar Mathur, who has selected the 101 paintings in a chronological progression capturing the story of the Ramayana, revealed that the collection had been pooled in from India’s northern, central and eastern territories. 
“These miniatures are from schools such as Mughal, Deccan, Pahari, Rajasthan and Central India. They represent a matured movement that colourfully visualises the spirit of the Ramayana,” he said, recalling that the National Museum had organised a Rama Katha exhibition in 2013, after which it travelled to Belgium. 
The Director of National Gallery of Australia , Mr. Gerard Vaughan said the exhibition of “vibrant and exquisite Indian miniature paintings is important” for the gallery. 
“It forms part of our commitment to share the art and rich cultural heritage of India with all Australians,” he added about the finely-detailed paintings featuring a rich diversity of regional styles—and selected from the collection of National Museum (NM) of over 17,000 miniatures, the largest in the world. 
The NGA exhibition will remain open till August 23, and entry is free for the public. 

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10th World Hindi Conference to be held in Bhopal from Sep 10-12

The 10th World Hindi Conference (WHC) will be held from September 10-12 in Bhopal by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in partnership with the government of Madhya Pradesh.
The first WHC was held in Nagpur, Maharashtra in 1975 and the last one in September 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The last time the conference was held in INdia was in 1983 when it was hosted by New Delhi.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is the chaiperson of the Advisory and Programmes Committee of the conference while Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh is the chairman of the Management Committee.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is the Chief Patron. Makhanlal Chaturvedi Rashtriya Patrakarita avam Sanchar Vishwavidyalaya, Bhopal is the partner organization for the conference, a press release from MEA said.
The main theme of the conference is "Hindi Jagat: Vistar avm sambhavnai”. The venue of the Conference is "Lal Parade Ground”, Bhopal.
Alongside the conference, special exhibitions will be held on various themses. There will also be a separate area designated for book releases where release of Hindi books and magazines will go on simultaneously.
During the conference, there will be cultural programmes in the evenings organized by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and Department of Culture, Government. Madhya Pradesh. 
A "Kavi Sammelan" will be organized by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR), New Delhi. The cultural programmes and the Kavi Sammelan will be coordinated by the ICCR. The ICCR will bring out a special issue of "Gagananchal” dedicated to the conference.
In keeping with the past practice, Hindi scholars from India and other countries would be honoured for their distinguished service in the field of Hindi at the conference.
The website of the conference was formally launched by Ms Swaraj here yesterday. The winner of the conference logo design competition Ms. Khyati Gupta from Bangalore, was awarded the prize money of Rs 50,000 by Ms Swaraj on the occasion.

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Show on calligraphy, craftsmanship opens at National Museum in Delhi

National Museum Director General Sanjiv Mittal and Curator Anamika Pathak explain to Union Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma the aesthetics of an early 19th-century prayer carpet from Masulipatanam of Andhra Pradesh, in New Delhi on May 15, 2015.
National Museum Director General Sanjiv Mittal and Curator Anamika Pathak explain to Union Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma the aesthetics of an early 19th-century prayer carpet from Masulipatanam of Andhra Pradesh, in New Delhi on May 15, 2015.
A two-month exhibition of Islamic-stye writing on objects of daily use was inaugurated at the National Museum here yesterday evening by Union Minister for Culture Mahesh Sharma, highlighting age-old aesthetics of calligraphy and craftsmanship.
Displaying 56 utility artefacts from the past five centuries, ‘Art of Calligraphy and Beyond: Arabic-Persian Inscriptions on Decorative Arts objects’ focuses on tastefully done inscriptions on metal-ware, wood, textiles and semi-precious stones — all of them from the museum's own reserve collections.
The minister, after taking a round of the 59-day exhibition, said the show sought to reinforce the country’s syncretism. “This great institute (NM) is doing a wonderful work to preserve our art and culture with this calligraphy exhibition,” he wrote in the visitors’ register.
NM’s Director-General Sanjiv Mittal said the show curated by  Dr Anamika Pathak and Mr Zahid Ali Ansari focused on inscriptions beyond the usual medium of paper and architecture.
Dr Pathak, who is NM curator (decorative arts) explained to the minister how the show has its artefacts arranged in five main groups: writing implements, religion, faith, tradition and trade.
All what is written on the exhibits has been made intelligible to the general visitor as Dr Naseem Akhtar, an authority on Arabic-Persian language, has transcribed all the inscriptions at the gallery designed by NM’s Layout Artist Kuldeep Pokhriyal and Priya.
The exhibition, which will be on till July 12, is not just about Arabic-Persian inscriptions on a set of artefacts, the oldest among them being from 1494. Several other qualities make it unique. For instance, it shows different forms of surface ornamentation and aesthetic values.
“Sometimes it increases its value, especially when the name of the patron or calligrapher is inscribed on the object,” said Dr Pathak.
For instance, a brass shallow bowl from circa 1495 CE (the oldest at the show) belongs to Sultan Sikander Lodi who ruled Delhi for 28 years from 1489. It mentions the name of the calligrapher—as Mohmood Bin Mahammad Bin Haji Mahmood Farsi.
Similarly, a brass globe from the period of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (1627-58) mentions the maker’s name: Mohammad Ibn Illahdad Humayuni Lahori.
What is more, the works are not confined to paper. One can find beautiful inscriptions on objects such as metal-ware pen-cases, bowls, plates, alams, wooden boxes, mendicant bowls, amulets, bracelets, textiles and costumes.
Twenty artefacts at the exhibition are “very important”, said Mr Ansari, assistant curator (decorative arts). For, these provide details such as the name of the calligrapher, the date of manufacturing or/and the name of the owner. The objects have been decorated with different techniques such as koftagari or damascening, bidri, niello, engraving, writing, printing and embroidering on textiles.
The calligraphy exhibition got on a day before the concluding date of another temporary show — on the culture of India’s biggest tribal community. 
Named ‘Cadence and Counterpoint: Documenting Santal Musical Traditions’, the 32-day exhibition has 44 instruments and a film on their culture, besides their photographs over six-and-a-half decades from 1950.

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