A step change in cultural co-operation between India and the UK was made today when a new cultural agreement was signed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt and Jawhar Sircar from the Indian Ministry of Culture, in the presence of British Prime Minister David Cameron and the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Delhi will give a boost to cultural exchanges between the UK and India and will lead to an extensive programme of activity in both countries over the next five years.
Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt said:
“The UK and India share a cultural bond that has been richly celebrated in art, literature, film and music for generations.
“This agreement will lead to a fantastic array of cultural activity over the coming years and I’m delighted that already new exhibitions by Anish Kapoor have been secured, along with a new Hay Festival of Literature in Kerala.”
The Indian Secretary of Culture Jawhar Sircar said: ““The heads of the major cultural institutions of the UK and those of India met across the table, for the first time on such a scale after Independence. The sincerity on both sides was very apparent and we are positive that at least a few of the dream projects will finally materialize”.”
Among the commitments laid out in the MoU are:
To develop an active programme of cultural exchanges in each country;
To facilitate exchanges of exhibitions and reciprocal visits;
To collaborate on skills sharing, digitizing missing parts in libraries and archives to bring together collections;
To facilitate exchange of best practice within media, broadcasting and information services; and
To encourage contacts between sporting organisations of both countries and the co-operation and exchanges in the hosting of major international sporting events.
Those witnessing the signing also included a sporting and cultural delegation that have been accompanying Jeremy Hunt on his visit to India including, Dame Lynne Brindley (British Library), Vernon Ellis (British Council), Sir Mark Jones (Victoria & Albert Museum), Neil MacGregor (British Museum), Lord Sebastian Coe (LOCOG), Dame Kelly Homes and Sir Steve Redgrave.