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Partnerships with India

See also: Statements of support

Government of India and National Partnerships

India is one of the world's great civilisations. Therefore, it is significant that Auroville as an experiment in human unity and hastening the next phase of humanity's evolution is situated in the land of the Vedas and Upanishads, the homeland of great spiritual figures in the evolution of consciousness.

Over the past decades, there has been a close interaction between Auroville and its host country, India.

Already in 1966, two years before the inauguration of Auroville, and later in 1968, 1970 and 1983, the Government of India presented to the General Assembly of UNESCO recommendations of support for the Auroville project, which were each time unanimously passed.

In accordance with Auroville's aim of realising human unity by creating "a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony", the Government of India has been granting residential permits to foreign nationals, who wish to join Auroville. In addition, Indian Parliament passed the Auroville Foundation Act in 1988 thereby providing a unique institutional framework for the various activities and development programmes undertaken by Auroville.

On this solid base, Auroville has been developing several fruitful partnerships on the national level.

The Government of India has not only been giving financial support to construct Bharat Nivas, the first pavilion in the International Zone, but also to Auroville in general via the annual Auroville Development Scheme. In addition, various ministries - such as Ministry of Education, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources, Ministry of Rural Development, and Ministry of Science and Technology - and governmental organisations - such as Building Material & Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC), Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR) Indian Navy, National Wasteland Development Board (NWDB), and Council for the Advancement of Peoples' Action and Rural Technology (CAPART) - have provided grants to a number of Auroville projects in various fields.

A very productive partnership developed between Auroville and the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) in the 90s with the set-up of an Auroville Building Centre as part of a national network of, at present, more than 500 building centres all over India. In 1995 and again in 1996, the Auroville Building Centre received via HUDCO the "Outstanding Performance Award" from the Ministry of Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation in recognition for its work in the field of research into appropriate building materials and for transferring this technology via regular training programmes and workshops.

A close partnership between Auroville and the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), was honored by IREDA in 1997 with the award of "Best NGO in Renewable Energy Sector" in India given to the Auroville Centre for Scientific Research on the occasion of IREDA's Decade of Service Celebrations.

As a place for study, research and experimentation, Auroville will certainly continue to develop national partnerships, which will be beneficial not only for its own development but also for India at large. By doing this, Auroville will more and more embody the hope expressed by Shri P. Shiv Shanker, the then Minister of Human Resource Development, while presenting the Auroville Foundation Act in Parliament: "Auroville is to be looked upon as a vision which has a great potentiality and this can be of tremendous service to our country and the world at large."

In this context, the true mission and very purpose for which the Mother created Auroville should be repeated. Twenty-three days before the inauguration of Auroville she had the clear vision of Auroville's 'raison d' Ítre':

"India has become the symbolic representation of all the difficulties of present-day humanity. India will be the site of its resurrection, the resurrection of a higher and truer life. (...) India is the representation of all human difficulties on earth, and it is in India that there will be the cure. And it is for that -- it is FOR THAT that I had to create Auroville."

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