Political Science Answer Writing Practice 2018 - Week 8 - Question 4

90 Days Political Science Answer Writing Practice Question 2 for 02-Jan-2019

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02-Jan-2019 - Question 2

Discuss the role of Indian council of culture relations in promoting India’s soft power abroad. (2018) - 250 words


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Model Answer

Soft power is one of the key components of foreign policy in this age of mass communication, global trade and tourism. This soft power includes cultural factors, sharing the intellectual, artistic and spiritual culture of a country with the other nations of the world.

Soft power is part of what we can perhaps better call “cultural diplomacy”, using culture to create a favourable foreign policy image for a country to expand its associations and its interests. Cultural diplomacy aids in educating the people of foreign countries as to the values and heritage of a nation, and can correct negative portrayals in foreign media, academic and political presentations Cultural diplomacy has many economic, political and social benefits, but also aids in the defence and security of a nation.

Such cultural diplomacy is particularly important in the case of India that is one of the world’s oldest, most profound and diverse civilisations, with an enduring worldwide impact. India’s older civilizational connections with the many countries of Southeast Asia form a common cultural heritage that can aid in favourable relationships and sustain a common regional identity. India can benefit by such cultural alliances with its neighbours, and they can benefit by India as a cultural ally to help sustain their own national ethos from inimical outside forces.

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) was founded in 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, independent India’s first Education Minister. Its objectives are to actively participate in the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes pertaining to India’s external cultural relations; to foster and strengthen cultural relations and mutual understanding between India and other countries; to promote cultural exchanges with other countries and people; to establish and develop relations with national and inter-national Organization in the field of culture and to take such measures as may be required to further these objectives.

In order to promote India’s Soft power and enhance India’s skills of cultural diplomacy and reinforce the dialogues between the civilizations, Council organizes International conferences on subjects like Indology, Buddhism, Sufism, Tagore and other subjects related to Indian culture, philosophy and society. 
These Conferences eventually help the Council to accomplish its resolve to continue to symbolize India’s great cultural and educational efflorescence. To sustain and share this idea to promote India’s rich heritage, these Conferences prove very useful and interactive, with bringing eminent Indians scholars & other International scholars at the same platform.

The ICCR extends support to many academic institutions, universities and NGOs for organizing seminars and conferences on subjects such as Indian Literature, Buddhism, Languages, Indian Art & Culture.

ICCR, in consultation with Indian Missions abroad, has established Chairs of Indian Studies in various foreign universities. The purpose of these Chairs, apart from educating foreign students about India, is to become a nucleus around which Indian Studies could develop in academic institutions abroad. The academics/scholars deputed to these Chairs not only teach courses on various aspects of India from politics & economy to society & culture, but through other academic activities like research guidance, seminar co-ordination, publications, delivering public lectures, develop scholarly interactions with the academics of that country and assist in disseminating information on India and in creating a better appreciation of various India related issues.

In addition to Chairs abroad, ICCR also operates two Chairs in India i.e. SAARC Chair and Nelson Mandela Chair for which scholars from abroad are invited to India. While African scholars are invited for the Nelson Mandela Chair which is permanently based in JNU, scholars from SAARC countries are invited for the SAARC Chair which rotates between different universities.

Thus we can say that Indian council of cultural relations has profoundal role in promoting india ‘s soft power abroad.

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