Gone are the days when cultural institutes were set up only for the purpose of promoting arts and culture, as from now on they will also have to generate revenue up to 25-30 percent of their budget in order to attain “self-sufficiency” in the longer run.
For the first time, many autonomous institutions which come under the Culture Ministry, which are run by the government grants, have agreed to meet the revenue targets. The decision has evoked mixed responses, some have applauded it while some have raised the concern on the move by stating that this will destroy “fundamental character” of the institutes.
According to a report in The Indian Express, Sahitya Akademi is one of the first institutes to the set the target, on April 27, it signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Culture Ministry. In a document, the MoU states, “The Administrative Division (of the ministry) shall encourage Sahitya Akademi to maximise internal resources and eventually attain self-sufficiency”.
Following Sahitya Akademi, some other institutes will soon be signing the MoU in coming weeks. Lalit Kala Akademi has sent the draft copy of the MoU to the Ministry, whereas, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the arts (IGNCA) will be signing the MoU by this week.
However, there are some members who have agreed to set the revenue targets on papers but seem not very pleased with the move. In a meeting with the ministry officials, one of the members of an institution’s executive council. “The worth of National School of Drama or Sangeet Natak Akademi cannot be gauged by their ability to generate revenue. They are for public welfare”.