On 23rd March 1985, Late Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India made his momentous announcement on the setting up of the Zonal Cultural Centres of India; he said

“It is our endeavour that these seven Centres will represent individually the cultures from the States in their zones and will represent jointly the culture of this nation. Thus a new culture, combining all these cultures, will progress in India. Our heritage will thus be preserved for the coming generations …….… If India loses its spirituality, its internal might, then such progress will have no meaning. The Cultural Centres will help strengthen our internal might ….… These Centres should help in making the common culture of Indian people reach other people.”

With the diversity of cultures that exist in the country, there are various regional forms and styles but there are also some common characteristics that run through the cultures of the people living in that area although they may speak different languages and may have different historical experiences. Such integrated cultural patterns are discernible in various regions of the country and they serve the purpose of an integrating force.

Emphasizing the importance of the ‘Cultural Unity’ that characterizes the heritage and its identification at the regional level Seven Zonal Cultural Centres were established in the country in different regions as follows:

1.         North Zone Cultural Centre - Patiala (Punjab)

2.         Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre - Santiniketan (West Bengal)

3.         West Zone Cultural Centre - Udaipur (Rajasthan)

4.         South Zone Cultural Centre - Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu)

5.         North Central Zone Cultural Centre - Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh)

6.         South Central Zone Cultural Centre - Nagpur (Maharastra)

7.         North East Zone Cultural Centre - Dimapur (Nagaland)

The Zonal Cultural Centre of the Northeast India, North East Zone Cultural Centre, registered under the Nagaland Societies Registration Act XXI 1860 (Nagaland First Amendment) Act, 1969 was set up in June 1986 with its headquarters at Dimapur, Nagaland. The 8 (eight) North Eastern States, viz., Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura are the constituent States of the North East Zone Cultural Centre. The NEZCC started functioning with the formal inauguration of the Centre by Late Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India on 6th October 1987. The NEZCC has also established its Shilpgram (Crafts Village), at Panjabari, Guwahati which was inaugurated by Dr. Manmohan Singh, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India on January 17, 2006.

The NEZCC was established with the main objective of promoting and preserving the rich cultural heritage of the North East region.

The management of the Centre is vested in its Governing Body. Supervision, direction and control of the affairs vest in its Executive Board, which is assisted by the Finance Committee, Programme Committee, etc.

The Chairman of the Governing Body and the Executive Board is Governor of Nagaland and the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre is the Director.

Chronology of Chairmen of NEZCC

1.         Gen. K. V. Krishna Rao PVSM (Retd.)                 1986 – 19.07. 1989

2.         Dr. L. T. Gopal Singh                                             20.07. 1989 – 03.05. 1990

3.         Shri. Chintamani Panigrahi                                   04.05. 1990 – 08.05. 1990

4.         Dr. M. M. Thomas                                                    09.05. 1990 – 12.04. 1992

5.         Shri. Loknath Misra                                                13.04. 1992 – 01.10. 1993

6.         Lt. Gen. V. K. Nayar, (Retd.) PVSM, SM                 02.10. 1993 – 04.08. 1994

7.         Shri. O. N. Srivastava                                              05.08. 1994 – 11.11. 1996

8.         Shri. Omprakash Sharma                                        12.11. 1996 – 27.01.2002

9.         Shri. Shyamal Datta                                                  28.01.2002 – 28.01.2007

10.       Shri K. Sankaranarayanan                                      01.03. 2007 – 27.07.2009

11.       Shri Nikhil Kumar                                                     28.07.2009 –20.03.2013

12        Dr. Ashwani Kumar                                                  21.03.2013 -  01.07.2014

13        Dr. Krishan Kant Paul                                              02.07.2014 – 20.07.2014

14        Shri P.B. Acharya                                                     21.07.2014 – Till date

 Chronology of Director’s of NEZCC

1.         Shri M. Alemchiba Ao-Acting Director                  11.02. 1986 – 17.09.1987

2.         Shri N. Bendang Ao                                                 18.09. 1987 – 17.09. 1991

3.         Shri R. N. Bhattacharjee -Acting Director              18.09. 1991 – 31.08. 1992

4.         Dr. (Mrs). Temsula Ao                                               01.09. 1992 – 30.08. 1997

5.         Shri Metongmeren Ao, IAS-Acting Director           31.08. 1997 – 18.04. 1999

6.         Shri A. Birendra Singh                                             19.04. 1999 -

7.         Shri I. Kina Jamir - Director-in-Charge                   29.08.2001 – 06.01.2003

8.         Smt. Angau I. Thou, NCS, Director                         07.01.2003 – 31.07.2006

9.         Smt. V. Hekali Zhimomi, IAS, Director                    01.08.2006 – 12.04.2010

10.       Shri. Talinokcha, Director-in-Charge                     13.04.2010 – 06.10.2010

11.       Shri Som Kamei, IPS, Director                              07.10.2010 – 06.10.2013

13.       Shri. Talinokcha, Director-in-Charge                    07.10.2013 - 18.12.2013

14.       Shri Lipokmar Tzudir                                              19.12.2013 - upto date       

NEZCC covers the folk-arts, performing arts and other traditional art forms practiced by the people of the region since time immemorial and identify the commonalities in the various cultural elements and provide a forum for interaction of the various cultures. One of the major functions of the Centre is to encourage documentation of the various forms of the folk and tribal music and dances and establish support mechanism for the art forms that are disappearing. The Centre arranges presentation of the art forms of the one unit to others within the region and also to the rest of the country.

NEZCC has been in the vanguard of preserving, nurturing and disseminating the mosaic of cultures and art forms of the seven North Eastern States since its inception. Through this Centre, the rich composite culture of the country is also seen through the prism of the local cultural traits and identities.




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