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IIT-KGP to Follow MHRD’s ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ Events in November

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, last year, launched the programme to promote cultural exchange among people from different states and Union Territories.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:October 17, 2017, 7:02 PM IST
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IIT-KGP to Follow MHRD’s ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ Events in November
Earlier, an MHRD official had said that West Bengal was the only state which didn't show any interest in 'Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat' programme.
Kolkata: Amid a raging controversy over Central government's "Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat" programme in West Bengal, IIT-Kharagpur has distanced itself from the debate, going ahead with the cultural integration programme. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, last year, launched the programme to promote cultural exchange among people from different states and Union Territories.

Students from Bengal have been paired with students from other states whose numbers are proportionately higher.

The Technology Students Gymkhana, the nerve centre of student activities at the Institute, has organized cultural exchange programmes between each of the paired states each month.

Events have been planned for Jammu and Kashmir and Tamil Nadu in the coming month. The student societies will organize food fest, Meena bazar, handloom fancy dress, cultural programs etc.

The next event is scheduled for January between Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. December being the winter recess, the students will not be available on campus.

Speaking to News18, Mayank Srivastava, Vice President, Technology Students’ Gymkhana, IIT Kharagpur, said, “We, under the directive of MHRD, are carrying out the ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ programme to make students learn various cultures prevalent in India. Students of different states have already been identified for the same. The pairs of states, as directed by MHRD, will be made to sit in a classroom and perform different activities like general quizzing, literary events, dramatics etc.”

He said, “As the number of students varies drastically from different states, states with the lesser number of students are being involved with another state of lesser strength to participate in the process. This will help students from different states to explore multiple cultures. As West Bengal has not been paired with any other state, they will be made to join other states having less student strength for mutual benefits. The set of activities will be conducted by end of October and IIT Kharagpur Student Council will be carrying out these activities in future as well.”

Raj Kolamuri, General Secretary, International Relations Cell, IIT Kharagpur, said, “IIT Kharagpur can be considered as a mini India. Students take advantage of cultural diversity in solving problems and finding new ways to deal with a problem.”

He further said, “It’s not the mental uniformity that unites us but the coherence of cultural diversity that inspires us to aim for greater heights. The international students at IIT Kharagpur are often surprised of how we bind together and say that if it were the same case in their homelands, there would be chaos. I believe this initiative by MHRD would be effective in scaling this to a great extent uniting entire India for common development objectives.”

There are allegations that Bengal refused to take part in the ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat' Scheme, but the Bengal higher education department claimed that they were not aware of any such circular issued by the Centre.

However, Additional Secretary, MHRD, R Subrahmanyam, said, “It was a proposal which we sent to all the states, including West Bengal. We suggested them to participate, but they showed no interest. A total of 32 states have signed MoUs with us except Bengal. It is a harmless event on cultural integration and I don’t know why they showed no interest.”

On October 31, 2016, ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ programme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to promote engagement amongst the people of State/UTs in the country so as to enhance mutual understanding and bonding between people of diverse cultures, thereby securing stronger unity and integrity of India.

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| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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