National Archives of India Current Affairs - 2020

Culture Ministry launches a portal to showcase Indian culture

Union Minister of State (M/s) for Culture and Tourism (IC) Prahlad Singh Patel, launched the Indian Culture web portal, http://www.indian culture.gov.in, which brings together all the cultural resources of the country on one platform. The Indian Culture portal was envisioned by Union Ministry of Culture and was developed by a team from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay in collaboration with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), over a course of three years.

This project is a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India initiative to showcase information about the rich tangible and intangible cultural heritage of India both at home and abroad. The larger aim of portal is to create awareness among the citizens about the diverse heritage of our country.

About Indian Culture Web Portal

It is the first government authorized portal where knowledge and cultural resources of various organizations of Ministry of Culture such as the National Archives of India, Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Smriti, Archaeological Survey of India and Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, are now available in public domain on a single platform.

This portal is a digital resource of documents, artefacts, paintings and other items available in the archive. It hosts images, audio-video files and other data from archives, museums, academies and libraries across the nation. Information about more than 90 lakhs items are currently available on this portal.

One of the unique features of portal is the stories, based on original archival documents narrated in an interesting, easy to read and understand format. Portal also contains write-ups and beautiful pictures on festivals, folk art and classical art, cuisines, paintings, from different states of India, along with rich information about rare books, manuscripts and research papers on India’s cultural heritage.

Content on portal is available in both English and Hindi language in an interactive, user-friendly interface. The portal also will soon be available in other regional languages.

‘The Diary of Manu Gandhi’ Book launched in New Delhi

The book ‘The Diary of Manu Gandhi’ (1943-44), edited and translated by Tridip Suhrud, was launched by Prahlad Singh Patel, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Culture and Tourism, at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in New Delhi. The book has been brought out on occasion of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi by National Archives of India in collaboration with Oxford University Press.

Manu Gandhi (Mridula): She was a grand niece of Mahatma Gandhi, daughter of his Nephew Jaisukhlal Amritlal Gandhi, and stayed with M Gandhi till his assassination on 30 January 1948. She was an aide to Kasturba Gandhi (wife of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi) during her imprisonment in Aga Khan Palace in 1943.

About ‘The Diary of Manu Gandhi’

The book was originally written in Gujarati and has been edited and translated by Tridip Suhrud, a well known scholar engaged in understanding Gandhian Intellectual tradition.

First volume of the diary covers period from 1943-1944 which includes a record of her life and times with Mahatma Gandhi. She had expressed the deep emotional bond she had developed with Gandhiji.

The book has been authenticated by M. Gandhi himself. The meticulous and intimate entries in Diary throws light on his life as a prisoner and his endeavour to establish possibility of collective non-violence.

It chronicles spiritual and educational pursuits of a woman who takes up writing as a mode of self-examination. Author has shared a moving portrait of Kasturba Gandhi’s illness and death.

Significance: The publication of such books immensely benefit scholars interested in Gandhian studies and history of modern India at large.  The book will be another milestone added to publications that have been brought out by National Archives of India from time to time.

About National Archives of India

It is an Attached Office under Union Ministry of Culture.

It was established as ‘Imperial Record Department’ on 11 March 1891 at Kolkata (then Calcutta).

Following the transfer of capital from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911, the present building of National Archives of India was constructed in 1926. The New Delhi’s building was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.  All records stored were completely transferred from Calcutta to New Delhi in 1937.