New Delhi: To mark the 150th birth
anniversary of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore, the
government is instituting an international award with Rs 1
crore as its prize money in his memory for those promoting
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in his budget speech
today announced the award that would be part of a series of
events to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of the Nobel
The year-long celebrations, for which the Ministry of
Culture has launched massive preparations, will begin from May
7 this year with a series of events like cultural programmes
and exhibitions to be held across the world.
"An international award with prize money of Rs 1 crore
is being instituted for promoting values of universal
brotherhood in the memory of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore," the
Finance Minister said.
He said this year India will conduct a number of
important events in several countries of Europe, America and
Asia, besides holding a series of joint events with Bangladesh
under the aegis of the India-Bangladesh Celebrations
Besides this important announcement, the Finance
Mukherjee widened the exemptions from customs duty to works of
art and antiquities brought back to the country for exhibition
or display in private museums and galleries that are open to
Works of art and antiquities are already exempt from
customs duties when imported for exhibition in a public museum
or national institution, and now the exemption would also be
valid for private institutions that cater to general public.
"In recent years, many organisations have joined the
cause of promoting and popularising both traditional and
contemporary art. Some of them have been active in locating
heritage works of Indian art and antiquities in foreign
countries and bringing them back home.
"To encourage such initiatives, I propose to expand
the scope of this exemption for works of art and antiquities
to also apply to imports for exhibition or display, in private
art galleries or similar premises that are open to the general
public," he said.
Welcoming this exemption, Minister of Culture Kumari
Selja hoped this would act as an encouragement to people
working for the benefit of arts.
She said this will encourage more private, corporate
and philanthropic organisations and individuals, to promote
and popularise Indian art.
She also expressed pleasure at the international award
instituted in the honour of Gurudev.