National Archives of India Current Affairs - 2019

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‘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.

P V Ramesh appointed as the director-general of the National Archives of India

The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of P V Ramesh appointed as the director-general of the National Archives of India. Currently, he is serving as the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Rural Electrification Corporation.

National Archives of India

The genesis of National Archives of India can be traced to the traced to the report of  Sandeman, the Civil Auditor who had stressed the need of relieving the offices of congestion by the destruction of the papers of routine nature and transfer of all valuable records to a ‘Grand Central Archive’.

In 1889 Professor G.W. Forrest of Elphinstone College, Bombay entrusted the job of examining the records of the Foreign Department of the Government of India made a strong plea for transferring all records of the administration of East India Company to a Central Repository

This led to the establishment of Imperial Records Department (IRD) on 11 March 1891 in the Imperial Secretariat Building at Calcutta (Kolkata).

In 1911 the IRD was shifted to Delhi. After the Independence, the government of India rechristened IRD as the National Archives of India with Director of Archives as its head and in the year 1990 the office of the Director of Archives was redesignated as Director General of Archives.

At present National Archives of India is an attached office under the Ministry of Culture and has a Regional Office at Bhopal and three Records Centres at Jaipur, Puducherry and Bhubaneswar.