About Us Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Cultural Co-Operation

Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Cultural Co-operation

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations was established in April 1950 to meet its primary objective,   to establish, revive and strengthen cultural relations and mutual understanding between India and other countries. In order to promote awareness and appreciation of India’s composite cultural heritage abroad, the Council has set up 26 Indian Cultural Centers in different parts of the world. The Cultural Centers function under the administrative control of the Council and the respective Indian Missions abroad.

The idea of opening a Cultural Centre was conceived during the visit of Smt. Indira Gandhi, to Trinidad & Tobago in 1968 when a Cultural Agreement was signed between the two countries. The Agreement apart from other things included the establishment of a Cultural Centre in Trinidad & Tobago.

          The Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Cultural Co-operation (MGICC) was set up under the bilateral Cultural Exchange Programme of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and the Government of India in 1997 and is administered by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) under the overall charge of the High Commission of India. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has given a plot of land in the Institutional area of Uriah Butler Highway for setting up the Cultural Centre.  The Institute is operating from Level 3, Plaza De Montrose, Chaguanas.

MGICC endeavors to promote bilateral cultural co-operation between the two countries in the field of culture at both Government and NGO levels. Regular classes are conducted by India-based teachers in Hindustani Vocal Music, Bharatnatyam and Kathak Dance and Tabla.  Yoga classes have also been introduced since January 2010 which is conducted by a local yoga teacher.    Also to popularize Hindi in Trinidad, the Institute, since its inception in 1997, has been conducting regular classes in Hindi at MGICC, as per the mandate of the High Commission of India.  These classes have proved immensely popular with the Trinidadians and there has been a significant increase in the number of students enrolling in the Institute. 

          The Institute maintains close and collaborative relationship with the University of the West Indies, where two Chairs for teaching of Hindi and Contemporary Indian Studies sponsored by ICCR, New Delhi, are set up.   The MGICC in collaboration with the University of the West Indies also hosts the Annual Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture.

In addition to imparting training to the students in music and dance, the teachers of the Institute actively participate in the programmes organized by local cultural, educational and religious organizations. The Institute regularly organizes a variety of cultural events like exhibitions, music and dance programmes, painting competitions, kavi sammelans, lectures, workshops, film shows, etc. 

MGICC also offers Scholarships under ICCR’s General Cultural Scholarship Scheme (GCSS).  There are a large number of private schools of Indian music and dance operating in this country.  Some of these schools are run by individuals who have received advanced training in India either on their own or under ICCR scholarship schemes. The Institute also offers the services of its teachers to conduct workshops, lectures/demonstrations at the University and Schools in Trinidad.

The MGICC has a full-fledged reference library containing books on history, philosophy, arts and culture.

The Institute performs various cultural activities to promote Hindi Language Programme, by organizing the following activities under the aegis of the High Commission of India viz.,

·         Holding/arranging cultural programmes on International Hindi Day and International Hindi Day every year, where Hindi scholars are awarded with Hindi Sewa Samman in recognition of their services rendered to promote Hindi in Trinidad & Tobago.

·         Organizing/Hosting   Kavi Sammelan/Visits of Hindi Poets  sponsored by

·         ICCRCoordinate artistes on Hindi for tri-monthly magazine YATRA brought out by the High commission of India

·         Organize screening of Hindi movies at Cine Club launched  by the High Commissioner of  Indion on 26th February with the collaboration of Centre for language Learning and Film Program of University of West Indies .This initiative has created significant interest among students of Hindi and Film Program at UWI.

·         Hindi Baatcheet Club started under the aegis of NCIC High commission of India has supported this initiative and further strengthening of Language labis underway.

·         Establishment of a review committee to review and the status of Hindi in Trinidad

·         Formation  of a  Review Committee to promote and propagate Hindi in Trinidad & Tobago.

·         Strengthen the newly established Hindi Baatcheet Club and its Language Lab through new software and learning material

·         Review of Hindi classes of  High commission of India and  introduction/implementation of a new syllabus

·         Review and broadening  the sphere of Hindi Chair

·         Celebration of International Hindi day/Hindi Day in a big scale.

·         Regular screening of Hindi Film under the aegis of Hindi Cine Club ,CLL and Film programe University of west indies

·         Promotion of Hindi in the schools of Trinidad at secondary level

·         Strengthening the  Support to various organizations involved in promotion of Hindi like Hindi Nidhi, Bhartiya Vidya Sansthan, SWAH and NCIC.