British Museum blog

The India Leadership Training Programme

Matthew Cock, Head of Web, British Museum

I was lucky enough to be part the British Museum’s team running the first module of the Leadership Training Programme, which has just finished in Delhi. The programme was initiated by the National Culture Fund (NCF) under the Indian Ministry of Culture, with 20 delegates drawn from museums across India – from Delhi to Kolkotta, Mumbai to Chennai – including directors, curators, conservators and administrators.

Programme delegates with Neil MacGregor and Shobita Punja and staff from the British Museum and NCF

Programme delegates with Neil MacGregor and Shobita Punja and staff from the British Museum and NCF

The course is spread over three modules, the first focused on strategic, leadership and management skills, the second in March at the British Museum, on the more practical specialisms of a modern museum such as interpretation, documentation, marketing and education. The final module will be in Mumbai in May. I have no doubt that the two-way exchange of knowledge between delegates and British Museum staff will continue between modules and hopefully beyond the end of the course.

The training sessions were held at the National Culture Fund, in their offices next to the National Gallery of Modern Art. The sessions were long and energetic, with lots of discussion, workshops and case studies from both within and outside the Museum sector, and plenty of passionate debate about ways of leading institutions in times of change. On the day I joined the course, delegates made short presentations following visits to the National Museum of Delhi and the Sanskriti Museums, where they identified opportunities and prioritised changes that could be made to improve the visitor experience.

Our NCF hosts looked after us really well – particularly at lunchtime, where each day brought a new selection of delicious hot food, with local breads freshly cooked on site.

It was a fascinating experience, and though I didn’t have much time to see a lot of the city in the four days I was there, I learnt a lot about Indian museums, and the amazing quality of their collections. I’m looking forward to working with the delegates again in March, and continuing the discussions we began on the use of digital in many aspects of museum work.

Find out more about the India Leadership Training Programme

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5 Responses - Comments are closed.

  1. It is indeed a pleasure to see the beautiful group photograph of the first module of training at Delhi. I also learned many things from teachers and participants particularly the changing museum scenario. All training modules are extremely useful and valid at this stage.
    I hope, the second module will bring more practical exposure to every individual. I extend my heartfelt wishes to all the Leadership Trainers of British Museum. I will never forget this wonderful experience.


  2. Binoy Kumar Sahay says:

    It was an extremely nice interaction with all the participants , Lectures delivered by members from British Museum and of course the hosts from National Culture Fund,New Delhi.I am looking forward for some really exciting stuff at the B.M. London. Can we have some more pics please.



    Photograph reminds everything,the chill,the class room.the participants,the presenters and the managers of the programme.Each and every movement was encouraging.Hope more activities at BM.
    ram pravesh savita


  4. I hope all cultures will blossom in British Museum, Module No. 2 Training programme. Our efforts,preparations, and aspirations will come in a new Museum Fragrance with colourful ideas in the cross-cultural interactions all together will bring JOY.
    P.Sankara Rao


  5. I sincerely hope that one of the outcomes of this course will be closer collaboration between India and Britain, and also Pakistan, so that the British Museum can at last address one aspect of South Asian archaeology of which (because the surviving artefacts are virtually all held and rightly so in South Asia) there has never been a major exhibition in this country. That is the Indus Valley Civilisation, and it is a serious omission. I believe there was a major touring exhibition in Europe in the 1980’s but for reasons unknown it was not invited to Britain. There is in fact quite a nice collection of mostly terracotta figurines and objects which live in drawers in the Institute of Archaeology, and they have not seen the light of day, as far as the public goes, either. Here’s hoping! This subject is a Primary school topic which is taught by a significant minority of schools in the UK. It would certainly benefit from exhibitions and access to such collections. Perhaps a member of the BM management could comment, please!


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