Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Current Affairs - 2020

International webinar on Lokmanya Tilak: Key facts

A two-day international webinar on the 100th death anniversary of the great Indian freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak was organized by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. This international webinar on the theme of Lokmanya Tilak – Swaraj to Self-reliant India was inaugurated by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah.


During the webinar discussions revolved mainly around Tilak’s contribution to the Indian Freedom Movement, his global vision, his thoughts on swadeshi and also his attempts at India’s cultural revival.


On his 100th death anniversary, the webinar chaired by ICCR chief Vinay Sahasrabuddhe witnessed a group of eminent historians like Gordon Johnson and Sadanand More, history professor Rizwan Kadri, Muang Muang, a scholar who translated Tilak’s biography into Burmese Vikas Paranjpe from Mumbai along with participants from various institutes.


ICCR initial plan was to unveil a statue of Tilak at the Indian consulate in Mandalay (a city in central Myanmar) where Tilak was sent for confinement for six months and to name the consulates main hall after his name. However, the plan was put on hold due to COVID-19 pandemic which has badly affected the globe.

Key findings

The Home Minister in his long oratory speech mentioned the important role played by Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak in the country’s freedom movement. The Union Minister also talked about the slogan of ‘Swaraj is my birthright and I shall have it’ given by Lokmanya Tilak, in his speech. He said it will always be written in golden letters in the history of India’s freedom movement. The Minister also appealed to the youth of the country, urging everyone to read the writings of the Tilak to understand the glorious history of the nation.

ICCR launches International painting competition on COVID-19

On March 31, 2020, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) launched global painting competition on the title

Title: United against CORONA-Express through Art


The ICCR aims to build cultural links between countries in the world. It tries to bring all the cultures united against single emotion of fighting against the COVID-19 together.

The event encourages artistic expressions of ideas, feelings and thoughts on social distancing, fight against the virus and quarantine.


The Indian Council for Cultural Relations was founded in 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. He was the first Education minister of India. The Council organizes cultural festivals all over the world and in India. It supports cultural institutions and sponsors talented performers in the field of music, dance, theatre. The Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding is administered by ICCR since 1965.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad

Abul Kalam played a major role to establish a strong education foundation in India. His birthday (November 11) is celebrated as National Education Day all over India. His real name was Abul Kalam. He was honoured as “Maulana” meaning “Our Master” and Azad was his pen name.