New Delhi: The year-long commemoration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda formally came to a close today with functions organised at various places in the country.
Addressing a function here, Culture Minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch said, 54 proposals involving an estimated cost of Rs 253 crore have been approved to propagate teachings of Swami Vivekananda and were at different stages of implementation.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Defence Minister AK Antony were also present among others.
Katoch also said Culture Ministry was in the process of setting up an Indian Ministry of Culture Swami Vivekananda Chair in the University of Chicago and amount of USD 1.5 million have been earmarked for it.
An agreement in this regard has been signed and university is in the process of appointing a person for it, Katoch said.
Antony, while paying glowing tributes to Swami Vivekananda said, Swamiji was probably the first modern Indian saint to understand the value of youth in nation-building.
He said Swami Vivekananda never preached superiority of any one religion, but accepted all the religions and showed the way of unity and peace to the world.
The formal inauguration of this commemoration was held on January 12, 2013 by President of India at a function in the Rashtrapati Bhawan Auditorium, during which a set of commemorative postage stamps and commemorative coins were released.