Days after expiry of the three-year term of the Director of Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML), Shakti Sinha, the organisation remains headless as neither has the term been extended nor any new appointment made.
Sinha, who completed his term on October 4, is not going to office. “I don’t want to read too much into it. At times, the extensions to such posts have taken two-three weeks to come by,” he told The Indian Express, admitting that he hasn’t gone to office after last Friday “in the absence of any official communication”.
Sources in the Ministry of Culture, under which the NMML operates as an autonomous body, said, “As of now, the Ministry hasn’t been asked to recommend another name for the post.” But they remained clueless on the future course of action as the appointment for the top job is directly monitored by the PMO.
Since the post hasn’t been advertised so far, it is being widely believed that either Sinha’s term will be extended by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), or the Ministry of Culture will directly supervise the organisation, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project — the Rs 270-crore Museum of Prime Ministers — is taking final shape these days.
Government recently made a key appointment to oversee the Museum of Prime Ministers with former culture secretary Raghavendra Singh becoming CEO of Development of Museums and Cultural Spaces for three years, under Culture Ministry.
The Museum of Prime Ministers project, which was supposed to be complete by October 2020, is running behind schedule and is now expected to open only in early 2021. While the structure is being built at the Teen Murti Estate, it is being said the delay is owing to the content. “The content to be displayed inside…is still being finalised,” a source said.
Recently, eight firms were shortlisted to plan the interior , including UK’s Museum & Expo International, Mumbai firm Abha Narain Lambah and Hyderabad’s Visual Quest.