The Ministry ofJustice and Empowerment is set to unveil ‘Dr Ambedkar International Centre’, a research centre for socioeconomic studies, on December 7, a day after the 62nd death anniversary of B R Ambedkar.
Spread over a 3.25-acre plot in Janpath, the Rs 195-crore project is slated to be inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi this week. Modi is also expected to announce the setting up of ‘Dr Ambedkar International Centre for Socio-Economic Transformation’ within the complex, meant to serve as a ‘centre of excellence’ for research in the fields of humanities and social sciences.
The centre will act as a government think-tank engaged in preparing policy briefs and undertaking projects, research and field work, with an emphasis on Ambedkar and Buddhist studies. “The centre will assist researchers from across the world who want to take up social justice issues concerning Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, women, and minority,” a ministry official said.
The ground-plus-three-floor structure will house a library equipped with 10,000 books, an e-library with access to international libraries through which students and researchers can refer to 2 lakh e-books and 70,000 journals, according to information provided.
The structure also hosts two giant bronze statues of Ambedkar, one stone statue of Dhyani-Buddha, and an Ashok stupa, which, at almost 70 feet, is said to be the country’s tallest. The two statues of Ambedkar have been designed by sculptors Ram Sutar and Anil Sutar, who have also been given the contracts for Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s statue in Gujarat and the mid-sea Shivaji statue in Mumbai.
“The two statues — a seated one below the dome of the building and the other standing statue outside — are each meant to represent two aspects of Ambedkar’s personality: as the father of the Indian Constitution, and as the liberator,” said Anil Sutar. Officials said the architecture combines modern and traditional Buddhist styles. The complex’s two gates are designed after the Sanchi Stupa toran, its pillars bearing relief engravings depicting Buddha’s teachings. The complex will also have a 700-seat auditorium and two smaller halls with 100 seats each.