The British Council will be celebrating its 50th birthday in India over the next 12 months and is planning, in association with partners both in Britain and India, a year long festival of events highlighting the links that have been and are being created in the arts, education, science and technology and development.
The first event to be announced is the all-India Logo Competition encouraging one of the themes of the festival, design and communications. Work by the finalists will be developed into an exhibition to tour throughout the country and the winning design will be used for festival events throughout the year and on the Council's stationery and other publications. The winner will receive an all expenses paid trip to Britain and an opportunity to visit leading art and design schools and companies.
Full details of the other events will be announced towards the end of May but those already confirmed include :
In the Arts :
Appropriately, the season starts this month, internationally and multinationally, with concerts in all 4 metros by the European Union Chamber Orchestra.
Sir Martin Jacomb, the Council's Chairman (and also Chairman of Prudential Insurance, the sponsor of the EUCO Delhi concert) will also be flying in to Delhi and Mumbai to meet leading contacts in the world of the arts and business.
On 1 October - World Music Day - we will be inaugurating the first of a 6 month series of concerts by Indian and British Young Musicians again, on tour throughout the country, and accessible we hope by all, through extensive radio and even television coverage.
Other art events include :
A national tour by a leading British contemporary theatre company (probably January/February 1999).
A smaller scale but highly 'physical' theatre group to enliven a planned British Week in Mumbai in November-and then tour to other cities.
One or more high level seminars on design, advertising and communications and a series of design related exhibitions and a tantalizingly entitled film festival called 'Raw and Cooked' !
And finally back on the key theme - and for those who have seen or would like to make a mark on the Council's headquarters building in Delhi designed by the leading Indian architect Charles Correa - another competition to design a large scale mural on the theme of communications for the entry to what is one of the largest and best equipped libraries in the region.
In Education and Training we plan :
The second edition of our Directory of British Alumni featuring details of some 5000 Indians who have studied in Britain over the last 50 years and the formal creation of an All India British Alumni network.
An Indo-British Higher Education conference focussing on management, funding and quality.
Anniversary Education Fairs - in Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Calcutta in November 1998 and Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai in February 1999.
A new Indo-British Partnership Golden Jubilee Fellowship scheme for young managers at Warwick University complementing our other 'Chevening' scholarships both for academic study and for young professionals in business, banking, law, and journalism and our special 'Gurukul' programme in leadership.
New Management Centres offering MBA courses and shorter modules for young executives and an all India Business Simulation Game for teams from business and industry culminating in the Indo-British Business Championship to be held in Mumbai in November.
And for those who are young at heart and highly computerate, a specially produced CD game testing your knowledge of 'Britain To-Day'.
In Science and Technology :
A series of Golden Jubilee Lectures bringing to India some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the rapidly changing field of Science and Technology.
Continued support to the UK-India Science and Technology Research Fund (in the fields of agro-food and biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and telecommunications).
And in Development : A substantial new On-line Development Information Service pooling information both nationally and internationally for professionals in government departments, national and international agencies and NGOs.
Each region and city will also be having their own special events and introduction of new facilities and services - including Hyderabad, Cochin, Bhopal and Bhubaneshwar not to mention the main metros of Calcutta, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai. Do keep in touch as plans develop.
India is the largest British Council operation in the world - with 4 main offices, 8 other libraries and 3 specialist development project offices - and we aim to use the occasion of our 50th anniversary for a range of new initiatives and innovations and to create even closer partnerships between Britain and India.
Write to the British Council Division, Mumbai.