India attends BRICS Culture Ministers Meet

On September 4, 2020, the Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Shri Prahlad Singh Patel attended the 5th BRICS Culture Ministers Meet. It was held under the chairmanship of the Russian Federation.

Highlights

During the meet, India proposed the following

  • To explore options of hosting Digital Online Exhibition.
  • To extend full cooperation of content sharing website under BRICS alliance.
  • India has planned to open libraries during its Presidency in 2021. Thus, opening of BRICS corner in these libraries have been suggested. The corner will provide information about history and culture of BRICS countries. It will also display periodicals, books gifted by BRICS countries
  • The National Gallery of Modern Arts located in New Delhi is to host an exhibition on “Bonding regions and Imaging Cultural Synergies”. The gallery will provide 100 works of art form in five prestigious institutions.

How will Culture help bind BRICS countries?

Lately, BRICS countries are holding cultural exchange programmes. This is to develop tourism and increase people-to-people contact.

Steps taken earlier to improve cultural relations

  • BRICS countries introduced Visa waiver programme in 2010
  • This increased the number of Brazilians visiting Russia. The numbers increased from 15,131 in 2010 to 30,049 in 2013.
  • Brazil and South Africa also signed similar agreements in 2013
  • In 2013, on the side lines of BRICS Cultural exchange programme, China allowed Brazilian and Russian passport holders to spend 72 hours in Shanghai or Beijing without Visa.

Currently, Incredible India is one of the international marketing campaigns launched by Indian Government to develop tourism in the country.

India does not hold any of such above agreements with its BRICS partners. However, India is taking steps to bring in such programmes. India introduced e-visa facilities to Russia, china and Brazil tourists.

South Africa, of all the other BRICS countries has eased Visa norms for Indians. Indians were ranked 16th among arriving foreign tourists in Russia.

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