To promote India's culture and intellect ICCR offers 3,500 annual scholarships: Jaishankar

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New Delhi, Mar 18 (PTI) To promote India's culture, intellectual and academic activities, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) offers more than 3,500 scholarships annually, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday.

Replying to a query during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, Jaishankar said the ICCR programmes that include dance, music, performing arts, fine arts, Yoga and teaching of languages like Hindi, Sanskrit, Tamil and Bengal are aimed at promoting intellectual and academic activities of India.

'The ICCR offers more than 3,500 scholarships annually and holds various conferences/seminars and intellectual discourses. The ICCR has a wide range of exchange programmes in visual and performing arts and sends over 150 cultural troupes annually to perform abroad,' he said.

The activities of the ICCR are a continuation of both ongoing and regular activities as well as many new initiatives and special activities.

The ICCR has 38 cultural centres in 36 countries, he said, adding that in addition it is also running cultural centres in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model in Valladolid, Spain and Busan, South Korea. The ICCR works with the Ministry of Culture to fulfill the activities under the Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) signed with different countries, Jaishankar said.

He said the ICCR also collaborates with various foreign organisations to promote Indian culture and implement cultural exchange activities.

Annual budget of Rs 250 crore was allotted to the ICCR for the year 2019-20, the External Affairs minister said. PTI NAM KJ KJ