What is KalaUtsav Initiative By HRD Minister Smriti Irani?Full Explaination

Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani On 8th December Inaugurated KalaUtsav Where exhorted students from various parts of the country to “compete, but also co-operate” with each other and advised the youth to learn about different cultures to enhance their knowledge

1. Introduction

Kala Utsav is an initiative of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to promote arts in education by nurturing and showcasing the artistic talent of school students at the secondary stage in the country.In the context of education of Arts (Music, Theatre, Dance, Visual Arts and Crafts), the initiative is guided by the recommendations of the National Focus Group Position Paper (No. 1.7) on Arts, Music, Dance and Theatre for National Curriculum Framework 2005 (NCF- 2005), and by the report of the Central Advisory Board on Education (CABE) Sub-committee on Integration of Culture Education in the School Curriculum. Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) recognises the importance of aesthetics and artistic experiences for secondary-level students, which play a major role in creating awareness of India’s rich cultural heritage and its vibrant diversity.

Though India has a long tradition of art and artistic practices, a uniform process of identifying artistic talents in school education is yet to be developed. We also have a tradition of using arts in the process of learning: the narrative tradition is one such example. These traditions also show us the creative expansion from the individual to the community, which contributes towards the overall development of the society

Arts education may be perceived as a tool for development of aesthetic sensibility among learners to enable them to respond to the beauty in various forms, colours, sound and movement. Arts integration in education helps to encourage creativity, develop problem-solving ability, and improves the ability to handle mental imagery and better expression.

Arts education helps the learner to view the increasingly violent and divided society through an alternative prism of beauty and aesthetics and hence, is crucial for the holistic development of the learners. Integration of arts in education benefits learning in many ways. It serves to overcome inhibitions and promote exploration, stimulate reativity, broaden imagination, nurture values and play an important role in the development of an individual. Unfortunately, arts education has been neglected in schools, depriving our younger generations of all these traits which otherwise can help them to become contributing citizens. Also, our cultural values are deteriorating due to over – emphasis on certain school subjects and disconnect from our cultural roots, thus,arts have taken a back seat. Kala Utsav is an initiative to bridge this gap and establish a connect between society and schools. This platform will encourage and showcase the artistic talent of students of secondary level and bring arts to the centre stage.

As an effort to mainstream students with special needs (differently-abled and from diverse socio-economic backgrounds) and celebrating their abilities, Kala Utsav is envisaged as a fully integrated platform. It would provide an opportunity and favourable environment to nurture and showcase their talents and help in making learning more concrete, creative and joyful.


Kala Utsav will be a pioneering celebration of art forms in the school system and shall continue as an ongoing programme. The District/state/national-level Kala Utsav is structured as an art festival which will include performances and display of exhibits along with their online art projects (e-project). The design of Kala Utsav will help students explore, understand and showcase their living traditions in art. Through Kala Utsav, students will get the opportunity to understand and celebrate cultural diversity at school, district, state and national levels. It will not only spread awareness among students, but also create awareness of India’s cultural heritage and its vibrant diversity amongst other stakeholders. Further, this will help to promote networking of artists, artisans and institutions with schools.

Kala Utsav—the Legacy

Kala Utsav will enhance the life-skills of the participants and prepare them as carriers of culture. Children are the seeds of the future and therefore our schools will become the laboratory of tomorrow’s India. Kala Utsav will help in identifying and understanding our diverse tangible and intangible cultural expressions.

Kala Utsav is not a onetime activity but the beginning of a complete process of identifying exploring, understanding, practising, evolving and showcasing the artistic experience. Once part of the process, the participants will not just perform pieces from their living traditions only, rather they will live that cultural experience while documenting ‘online art project’ as part of their Kala Utsav entry.

The online art project (e-project) involves research on the selected topic and documentation of its different aspects. These e-projects will emerge as an empirical data-base on cultural mapping of the country. The database can further help us create a repository of artistic and cultural resources and the legacy continues.

The participation in the e-projects for Kala Utsav would involve exploration of multiple resources for researching and documenting. This in turn would promote team work and collaboration rather than relying on individual means or resources.

Sharing the stage collectively by boys, girls, students from isadvantaged groups and students with special needs will be a precursor in breaking many existing stereotypes.

Students with special needs will find an added opportunity to express their hidden talents through this initiative. This will further provide them an opportunity to share the limelight with their abled counterparts and the hidden talents of these students will surface from grassroots to the national level. Their participation would initiate a multiplier effect and will serve as a source of inspiration for others to follow In Future.

Living Traditions of  Art:(Tribal, Folk and Traditional Art Forms)
The theme of  Kala Utsav is ‘Living traditions of  tribal, folk and traditional arts of  different regions’.

India is a
land of  performing and visual arts,some of  which are gradually fading outfrom the mainstream.Though these art forms are in the category of  our living traditions at present, but if not given due attention, these might disappear in due course of  time.
States may send their entries for Kala Utsav, focussing on the tribal,
folk and traditional art forms of  their region.
Some examples of  the Living Traditions in Arts are:
In Theatre:
(i) Ramleela – It is a famous folk theatre form of  Uttar Pradesh. It is
enacted during Dussehra in most parts of  Northern and Central India.
The Ramleela of  Ramnagar is famous all over the world.
(ii) Jatra – It is a popular folk-theatre form of  West Bengal.
The origin of  Jatra, intrinsically a musical theatre form, is traditionally
credited to the rise of  Sri Chaitanya’s Bhakti movement. The Jatra season
begins in the autumn, around September and ends before the monsoon
sets in. Performances of  Jatras are common place after festivities and
religious functions, ceremonies in traditional households, and fairs,
throughout the region.
(iii) Suwang is another such example of  theatre in Haryana.
In Music:
(i) Pulluvan Paattu from Kerala  –  A Pulluvan is a male member (female
Pulluvatti ) of  a particular caste called Pulluvar. The Pulluvar of  Kerala
are closely connected to the serpent worshipping Mulluthara Devi
Temple. The musical instruments used by the Pulluvar are pulluvan veena
(one stringed violin), pulluvan kutam (earthernware pot with one string
attached to it) and thaalam (bell-metal cymbals). These instruments are
made by the Pulluvars themselves.
(ii) Traditional Music of  the Manganiar tribe  of  Rajasthan – This is a
Muslim community in the desert of  Rajasthan, belonging to the districts
of  Barmer and Jaisalmer, along the border with Pakistan. They are also
found in the districts of  Tharparkar and Sanghar in the province of
Sindh in Pakistan. The Manganiar musicians sing marriage songs, songs
on women’s issues, male domination etc. in the state. There are special
compositions to praise the patrons and their families; also songs in praise
of  the Almighty.
The Manganiars
In Dance:
(i) Cheraw dance from Mizoram is characterised by the use of  bamboo
staves which are kept in cross and horizontal forms on the ground. The
common costumes worn by the female performers during the Cheraw
dance include Thihna, Vakiria, Kawrchei and Puanchei. Expressions of
Cheraw dance resemble the swaying of  trees and the flying birds.Kalautsav2
(ii) Rouf dance is one of  the most popular traditional dances of  Kashmir.
This beautiful dance form graces all the festive occasions, especially
Eid and Ramzan days. This dance is performed as a welcoming dance
for the spring season. The dance is clearly inspired by the bee and it is
the lovemaking of  the bee that is portrayed in the dance.roufFor Guidelines PDF Link(26mb File):http://ncert.nic.in/kalautsav/images/FINAL-Guidlines_KU_july%201.pdf