Padmshri Dr Kiran Seth ji will be in Varanasi on 8th October 2015


Kiran Seth (born 1949) is an Indian academician, Professor Emeritus in the department of Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. He is most known as the founder of SPIC MACAY (1977), a non-profit organization which promotes Indian classical music, Indian classical dance, and other aspects Indian culture, amongst youth the world over; through its about 500 chapters and through conventions, baithaks, lectures and musical fests. In 2009, he was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India for his contribution to the Arts.
Seth was born on 27 April 1949. Seth's father, Bhojraj Seth, was a mathematician and the first professor at the IIT Kharagpur, established in 1951, while his mother Bhagawathi Seth was a housewife.[1] After completion of schooling from Modern School in Delhi, Seth secured AIR (All India Rank) 28 in the prestigious Joint Entrance Examination (IIT- JEE). Seth was one of the toppers of Mechanical Engineering (B.Tech) from IIT Kharagpur in the year 1970, after which he did his MS in 1971 and PhD in 1974 from Columbia University in New York.[citation needed.
He started his career working as a Member of the Technical Staff (MTS) at Bell Laboratories, New Jersey in 1974, a job he gave up to return to India in 1976 as an Assistant Professor to teach at IIT Delhi, where he has been working ever since. It was at IIT Delhi that he founded SPIC MACAY in 1977.
He has been member of several committees and boards, including, Central Advisory Board of Education, General Council of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Executive Board of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, and Advisory Board (Education) of the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan.He has also served as Vice Chairman of the Governing Council of the Film and Television Institute in Pune, 2012 -14.
Seth is credited with setting up the Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture amongst Youth (SPIC MACAY) in 1977, a society that has done phenomenal amount of work in the area of promoting classical music and culture amongst school and colleges in India and more recently in different parts of the world.
This is the biggest, nonprofit, voluntary, cultural, youth movement in independent India. Its contribution to Indian classical music & dance is unparalleled. Generations of Indians are today aware of Indian classical music and in a position to appreciate it, thanks to the efforts of Seth.
Today the movement conducts thousands of concerts, lec-dems, talks, yoga workshops, classic film shows, theater shows and craft workshops all over in schools and colleges so that the young person is inspired and awakened.
Awards and recognition
• Padma Shri – by the Government of India in 2009.
• Distinguished Alumnus Award by the IIT Kharagpur in 2010.
• NDTV Indian of the Year under Arts and Culture category in 2009.
• Sahitya Kala Parishad Award.
• Sanskriti Award.
• Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan Award in 2009.
• Keshav Kothari Smriti Award.
• Ustad Chand Khan Award in 2009.
• Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award 2011.
• FTII Vice Chairperson (2012-14)
India is world renowned for its varied classical music forms, classical dance forms and in totality, its rich culture and heritage. But, with the onslaught of rapid change and global homogenization, this multifaceted Indian heritage is being increasingly marginalized and diluted. SPIC MACAY seeks to conserve and promote an awareness of this rich and heterogeneous cultural tapestry amongst the youth of this country through focus on the classical arts, with their attendant legends, rituals, mythology and philosophy and to facilitate an awareness of their deeper and subtler values.
The Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth, often known by its initials (SPIC MACAY), is a voluntary youth movement which promotes Indian classical music, Indian classical dance, and other aspects of Indian culture. It is a movement with chapters in over 200 towns and cities all over the world.
The “Big Bang”- conception of the idea behind SPIC MACAY, happened way back in 1972. Kiran Seth, a young graduate from IIT Kharagpur, was studying for his doctorate at the Columbia University, New York, when he chanced to attend a Dhrupad concert by Ustad Nasir Aminuddin Dagar and Ustad Zia Fariddudin Dagar at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York.
In 1976, Dr Kiran Seth returned to India and started teaching and doing research work at IIT Delhi. There, he got together with the students and started SPIC MACAY in 1977, and its first concert was held at IIT Delhi in the same year.
SPIC MACAY seeks to foster the exchange of traditional Indian values and to generate awareness of the rich cultural traditions and heritage of India. In order to achieve its goals, SPIC MACAY organizes concerts, lectures, demonstrations, informal discussions, and seminars. These are hosted by the local chapters of the organization. Today, SPIC MACAY has some 500 chapters across the world and holds around 6000 events annually, mostly in educational institutions, but also occasionally in “public” venues like town halls or community parks.
Some of its major activities include: FEST series, VIRASAT series, National Conventions for students and teachers, National School Intensives, Music in the Park, the SPIC MACAY Scholarship Programme, heritage walks, talks by eminent thinkers, yoga and meditation camps, screening of classical cinema etc. Lately it has also started getting international artistes from other equally rich cultures to perform in India.
The organization structure of SPIC MACAY is very decentralized and democratic in its functioning involving college students/youth as its office bearers. It has a national executive body which is elected every two years. Each state has a central state facilitator based in New Delhi and a state coordinator in the respective state capital as well as chapter coordinators in different regions of the state. There are also various heads for publicity, finance, artiste management and programming scheduling. All chapters have a similar system of governance with a Chairman, Secretary (a student) and a Treasurer.
Some years ago the organization also formed an Advisory Board consisting of eminent personalities from all walks of life.
Since its inception and its first concert in 1977 at IIT Delhi, SPIC MACAY has grown geographically and in content to over 300 centres in India and 50 abroad. Over, 6000 events are conducted annually. And it has done so by engaging the youth at the grass-root level of early schooling years, for the exposure as well as in the organization of programmes.

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