BJP Government Reconstitutes IGNCA Board

Government on Thursday (April 14) reconstituted the board of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), appointing senior journalist Ram Bahadur Rai as the president of the trust. Rai, former news editor of Hindi daily Jansatta, replaces Chinmaya Gharekhan. The reconstituted trust of IGNCA, an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Culture, will be functional with immediate effect, an official statement said. Besides Rai, the trust comprises 19 other members including classical dancer Sonal Mansingh, lyricist Prasoon Joshi, artist Vasudeo Kamath and Union Culture Ministry Secretary. The Ministry has also appointed Dr Sushmita Pandey, head of School of Studies in Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology in Ujjain’s Vikram University, as chairman of National Monument Authority.Meanwhile, Gharekhan, a former Indian diplomat, downplayed the reconstitution of the trust saying “there is no mystery” in it as he noted that “all successive” governments have done the same in the past. “There is no mystery about it. The board of trustees is always appointed by the government. Government has every right to reconstitute the board, change its composition any time it wants to. And all successive governments have done this,” he said. Gharekhan said such a move was expected “for a long time” after NDA came to power and wondered why the reconstitution did not happen despite the BJP-led coalition being at the helm of country’s affairs for nearly two years now.
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