Potted Bio-profile
Dr Shyamalkanti Chakravarti

Ex-Chairman, INC-ICOM

 An Indologist of wide acclaim and an author specializing in Indian art, iconography, epigraphic studies and museology, Dr. Chakravarti had his debut in the museum world in 1966 as Curator in the Archaeology Department of the Indian Museum, Kolkata. He then speeded through the posts of Education Officer and Deputy Director and finally shot up to the exalted position of the Director-Secretary, Indian Museum (1997-2004).

The precinct of his scholastic attainments covered, among other things, a seemly UNESCO training in museum method in Japan (1983) and active participation in many academic seminars abroad. He is the recipient of a special honour from the Instituto Cultural Cabanas, Mexico for his outstanding contribution in the field of art and museum-education (1986) He also received Museum Management training organized by Govt. of India from the Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad (1994). After obtaining his Ph D in Arts from Jadavpur University, he was also awarded D Sc (honoris causa) for his contribution to art, culture and social service. He received also Syed Muztaba Ali literary award for the best belletrist of the year (1978) and Rashtriya Vikas Jyoti award for his services to art, culture and museum science (1999).

Dr Chakravarti had assumed the office of the Honorary Executive Secretary of the Gurusaday Museum of Folk Art (1995-2004) and held additional charge of the Director; National Library of India (2001-2003). He was also awarded the Senior Visiting Fellowship in the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC by the Smithsonian Institute, USA (2004). He obtained the Fellowship in the Museology Department of the Rabindra Bharati University (2005-2006 ).He also acted as the Adviser in the Institute of Tibetan Studies at the Barcelona University.

Dr. Chakravarti has widely travelled in Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Thailand, and Hong Kong in pursuit of Buddhist studies and the countries of Europe and America, such as Belgium, Holland, U.K., Norway, Spain, France, Mexico and the USA for specialization in classical art and culture as well as in museography.

He has authored many valuable titles which include Patralekha: romance of letter writing in Indian art and literature; Descriptive catalogue of Prakrit and Sanskrit inscriptions in the Indian Museum; Wood and metal effigies of Nagaland; Wood carvings in the Gurusaday Museum; Kalighat paintings in the Gurusaday Museum; Bengal terracotta in the Indian Museum; The Bamiyan Buddhas. He has the credit of editing the updated and annotated volume of the history of the Indian Museum (1814-2004); Vinayatoshini; a compilation of essays on Indology, art and alternative medicine; Select work of Benoytosh Bhattacharya; Raja Rajendralala Mitra-a centenary obit; Mahatma Gandhi in murals.

His Bengali books include Jaccho kothay jadughare ;Patravilas ; Navanarikunjara Mummy rahasya; Rigveder kavyanatak ; Boier bari Belvedere, Ajana Bamiyan; Buddha deshe deshe.He also edited Itihaser prekshapate tamralipta and Banglar lokasamskritite nari ; and Bauddhader dev-devi by Benoytosh Bhattacharya.

Dr. Chakravarti has served as the committee member and subject-expert in the leading educational and cultural institutions of the country like, the University of Calcutta, Visva Bharati, Rabindra Bharati University, Jadavpur University; Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Birla Industrial & Technological Museum, Tourism Department, Govt.of India, Gandhi Memorial Museum, Calcutta Panorama and others. He is currently the Adviser to the Raja Rammohun Roy Museum .He also acted as examiner of theses submitted at various universities of India and Bangladesh.

Dr Chakravarti has developed many prestigious galleries in the Indian Museum; planned and organized international exhibitions in Germany, Mongolia, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan; as well as inter- state expositions in Assam, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. He has the credit of developing the infrastructural facilities of the museums and libraries on behalf of the Union Govt. of India in the northeastern states. He introduced many novel features in the Indian Museum and National Library such as museum on wheels, gallery classes to correlate museum education with school and college curricula; mobile conservation laboratory and the exhibit of the month. He has also created museum corners in the Metro subway stations, akshara vriksha at the Surendranath Park and akshara-patanga in the garden of the National Library besides advising for other architectural wonders in the city of Kolkata.

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