What’s in the new museum to Prime Ministers: concept, content and technology

Contact Counsellor

What’s in the new museum to Prime Ministers: concept, content and technology

  • The idea of a museum dedicated to India’s Prime Ministers was mooted in 2016.
  • Teen Murti Estate was Nehru’s residence, which was later turned into a memorial to the first Prime Minister.

About the PM Museum

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  • The Rs 270-crore project was approved in 2018, and NMML was appointed the nodal agency for the project in May 2019.
  • The museum recalls the tenures of 14 Prime Ministers from Jawaharlal Nehru to Manmohan Singh, and the various challenges they navigated while leading the country.
  • What used to be the Nehru Museum has been integrated with the new building.
  • The Nehru Museum is now designated as Block I of the Prime Ministers’ Museum, and has been technologically upgraded.
  • Two new galleries have been added on the ground floor.
    • Constitution Gallery
    • India at Independence: British Legacy

A new building for the Museum

  • The top of the new museum is built in the shape of the Ashok Chakra, from where visitors walk down to the various galleries.
  • The ground floor has galleries dedicated to Gulzarilal Nanda, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, P V Narasimha Rao, H D Deve Gowda, I K Gujral, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and Manmohan Singh.
  • The first floor has galleries dedicated to Rajiv Gandhi, V P Singh, Chandra Shekhar, Morarji Desai, and Charan Singh.
  • The guiding principle has been to recognise the contribution of all Prime Ministers in a non-partisan manner.
  • The Shastri gallery highlights his role in the Green Revolution and the Indo-Pak war of 1965.
  • The Indira gallery highlights India’s role in the liberation of Bangladesh, and the nationalization of banks.
  • The Vajpayee gallery celebrates him as a great parliamentarian and orator, and highlights India’s victory in the Kargil War and the Pokhran nuclear tests.
  • The economic reforms of the early 1990s and the civil nuclear deal with the US are highlighted among Manmohan Singh’s contributions.

Memorabilia, displays

Families of all former Prime Ministers were requested to give some of their personal items for display.

  • Shastri’s family gave his charkha, badminton racquet and some letters.
  • Morarji’s family donated his copy of the Bhagavad Gita, his Gandhi topi, pen, and rudraksh mala.
  • Some handwritten diaries of Chandra Shekhar are on display,
  • Vajpayee’s Bharat Ratna medal, spectacles, wristwatch, and some letters.
  • No new personal items have been added in the Indira and Rajiv galleries.
  • The displays comprise photographs, speeches, video clips, newspaper interviews, and some original writings.

Use of Virtual Reality technology

The museum makes extensive use of virtual reality, augmented reality, holograms, and audio-visual elements.

  • A levitating emblem is the centerpiece of the reception zone, and ‘Glimpses of the Future’ on the ground floor allows visitors to be virtually part of future projects.
  • The 10,491-sq-m museum, built at a final cost of Rs 306 crore, has 43 galleries, and can accommodate 4,000 visitors at a time.
  • There is a ‘Time Machine’ to transport visitors into the past, and an engagement zone,
  • ‘Anubhuti’, offers a walk with the hologram of any Prime Minister, a picture with the PMs, or a letter ‘signed’ by them.

Exam Track

Prelims Takeaway

  • PM Museum
  • Virtual Reality technology
  • India’s PM chronology

Mains Takeaway

Q. With the establishment of the PM museum, the contribution of all former PMs will be realized, Analyse.