#CongregationsIndia: More PPP; Monuments to Become Cultural Spaces -Jt Secy, Culture, Nirupama Kotru

Industry Watch | December 24, 2020 | News

Nirupama Kotru Indian Ministry of Culture Sanjoy Roy Teamwork Arts Congregations India

The COVID-19 pandemic put a brake on most of the plans of the Indian Ministry of Culture, said its Joint Secretary, Nirupama Kotru, but she added emphatically that “we are headed there 100%”.

She was responding to a question by Sanjoy Roy, MD, Teamwork Arts and co-curator and moderator of a session at ‘CONGREGATIONS INDIA: Government, Political & Religious Events Summit’ organised by EVENTFAQs Media on December 24, 2020, on allowing event organisers to use monuments as a backdrop for events.

Kotru said, “We have had extensive discussions in the Ministry involving all stakeholders. The spaces will be opened up to agencies. The ASI (Archeological Society of India) is making a list of monuments where they can start.”

The Joint Secretary added that several of the shows at monuments were being upgraded alongside their restoration and new events showcasing India’s intangible culture (performing arts) as well as melas and artefacts were being introduced.

“The thinking is towards developing these monuments as cultural spaces,” explained Kotru.

More Public-Private Partnerships the way forward

The speaker affirmed that more public-private partnerships were indeed the way forward to drive the cultural agenda.

“Certainly. This year, we understand that private players may not have funds to invest. But hopefully by next year, we will be better off. I am hopeful that by April, we can start talking to the industry and getting them on board. Each building or even a museum gallery can be a separate project,” explained Kotru.

She added, “None of us have these hang-ups anymore. You can just give credit that ‘So-and-so has contributed to the upgrade of this gallery’. Everyone takes pride in their culture. Why would I bar a private person who is interested in investing in culture?”

A level playing field for agencies

Moderator Roy, former President of the Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA), brought up the subject of smaller agencies and their inability to bid for Government work, given pre-conditions. He asked the Joint Secretary if things will change to allow smaller players a level playing field.

Conveying good news for micro and mid-sized agencies, Kotru said, “I think we are headed in that direction. Some of the tenders we have seen point to that. Everyone now realises that start-ups can be really smart. Even a small catering outfit could have an excellent menu. We are on the same page here.”

The Ministry of Culture is moving towards a level playing field to allow smaller agencies to bid for work.

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