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Conserving Culture and Generations 

ISP Delhi Bureau 

He is an Indian academician, a Professor Emeritus in the department of Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. But he is better known today as the man who has successfully pioneered a movement to introduce the young generation to Indian culture, music and fine art. Professor Kiran Seth is the founder of SPIC MACAY, the legendary platform of performing art and learning. 

74-year-old Kiran Seth was born in a mathematician family. His father Bhojraj Seth was a professor at the IIT Kharagpur and his Bhagawathi Seth was a housewife. A topper in  Mechanical Engineering, Kiran Seth did his doctoral studies from Columbia University in New New York. He came back to India soon after to pursue his further dreams with love for mathematics and serve the motherland with his academic skills.

He is known for setting up the Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music, Art and Culture amongst Youth (SPIC MACAY) in 1977. The platform has done a phenomenal amount of work in the area of promoting classical music and culture amongst schools and colleges in India and more recently in different parts of the world. 

Sethi’s brainchild organisation is credited as the biggest, non profit, voluntary, cultural, youth movement in independent India. Its contribution to Indian classical music and 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.

In 2009, he was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India for his contribution to the Arts. He has also served as Vice Chairman of the Governing Council of the Film and Television Institute in Pune, 2012 -14. Other recognitions to him include Sahitya Kala Parishad Award, Sanskriti Award, Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan Award in 2009, Keshav Kothari Smriti Award, Ustad Chand Khan Award in 2009 and Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award 2011.

Currently,  Kiran Seth is on a cycle journey from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. The mathematician started from Srinagar on August 15 in 2022 and plans to chart the entire length of the country from Kashmir to Kanyakumari to lend impetus to the movement to support Indian art and craft, which he started back in 1977. His mission, Seth says, is threefold, one is health; not just cycling is good for physical health but also mental and spiritual. Secondly, he intends to create awareness and reach out to more people about SPIC MACAY.  His third aim is to propound Gandhi ‘s message of ‘simple living and high thinking’. 

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