CM chairs JKAACL Central Committee meeting

Srinagar: The Jammu Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages (JKAACL) will soon open new state-of-the-art regional cultural centres in different parts of the State.

The announcement was made during the meeting of the Central Committee of the JKAACL which was presided over by the Chief Minister Ms Mehbooba Mufti, who is also the President of the Academy, at CM's Secretariat here.

During the meeting, various committees like Central Committee, General Council, Finance Committee and Sub-Advisory Committee were constituted for a term of five years. The committee also decided that steps shall be taken for documentation of intangible cultural heritage of the State which is on the verge of extinction.

Minister of Finance, Labour and Employment, and Culture, Dr Haseeb Drabu, Minister of State for Culture, Priya Sethi, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, BB Vyas, Commissioner Secretary, Finance, Navin K Chaudhary, Secretary to Government, Department of Culture, Dilshad Khan and Member Secretary of the Committee and Secretary of JKAACL, Dr Aziz Hajini, also attended the meeting.

The Chief Minister said the Academy will be granted financial autonomy to make it an independent institution that will work towards the promotion of arts and culture in Jammu and Kashmir. She also directed Finance Secretary to put up a note so that the matter is included in the agenda of the next cabinet meeting.

"The state government will establish full-fledged and powerful cultural centres of JKAACL in Maraaz (south Kashmir), Kamraaz (north Kashmir), Basohli, Chenab valley, Pir Panjal and other important regions of the state," Mehbooba said.

To decide the contours of these centres, the Chief Minister ordered setting up of a committee, to be headed by the Minister for Culture, which has been asked to standardise the design and concept of such centres by consulting Oscar-award winning composers, AR Rehman and Resul Pookutty.

The Chief Minister also instructed Secretary Academy to organise special monthly folk and cultural programs in various villages of the State so as to promote and revive local folk and culture.

Meanwhile, the Committee also enhanced monthly financial assistance of Rs 700, being paid to artists and writers who are facing difficult times, to Rs 2500. The duration of the calligraphy course was reduced from three years to two years and the stipend of Rs 1000 and Rs 1200 was enhanced to Rs 2000 and Rs 2500 per month for students from urban and rural areas respectively.

The Chief Minister authorized the Secretary of JKAACL to finalize publication programs of the Academy at his level in consultation with the respective subsidiary committees. It was also decided that the meeting of the newly constituted General Council of the Academy will be held at Jammu in November in which, besides other things, vice-president of the academy will be elected as per the guidelines of the JKAACL constitution.

The meeting also enhanced the award money in favour of Best Book from Rs 40,000, decided by the Governor NN Vohra in a meeting earlier this year, to Rs 1 lakh and Best Translation work from Rs 40000 to Rs 50000, which is at par with the award money given by Sahitya Academy. (KNS)



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