Considered one of the country’s premier cultural institutions, the India International Centre is a non-government institution widely regarded as a place where statesmen, diplomats, policymakers, intellectuals, scientists, jurists, writers, artists and members of civil society meet to initiate the exchange of new ideas and knowledge in the spirit of international cooperation. Its purpose, stated in its charter, was ‘to promote understanding and amity between the different communities of the world’. In short, the Centre stands for a vision that looks at India as a place where it is possible to initiate dialogues in an atmosphere of amity and understanding.
The Centre’s dedication to the values of liberal humanism is best reflected in its activities and calendar of events. These cover a wide range, from lectures, seminars, panel discussions, international and national conferences to a variety of cultural events of music, cinema, performing and visual arts, both classical and folk. Entry to these is not restricted to members as all its programmes are open to the wider public of the city. Three core departments provide fitting platforms for its activities; the Programmes Division, the Library and the Publications Division.
The activities of each of these departments complement the work done by others. Moreover, none of these activities are commercial in nature but are carried out in the spirit of public service. The Centre is equally famous for its gracious hospitality, and its hostel rooms are in great demand as they provide comfortable and personalised service with modestly priced meals. Beautiful gardens, with shady trees and fountains, a bar, a tea lounge and several refreshment areas are popular venues for members to meet or entertain guests.
If you live in Delhi or are passing through the city, you may happen to visit the Centre for a conference, to listen to classical music, or converse over tea in the verandah overlooking the lily pond. Against the frenetic pace of city life, there prevails here a different order of things. You are offered an ambience for reflection and leisured conversation. Cradled by the vivid green of the Lodi Gardens stretching out towards the southwest, the Centre seems to extend beyond into another time and space.