The Nehru Museum Memorial and Library (NMML) Society raised the question of an open call to invite ‘design plans’ for a new museum dedicated to all the Prime Ministers of India at its Council meeting this month. At present, the NMML or the Teen Murti Bhawan, which was once Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s residence, is dedicated exclusively to him. Plans are afoot to build a new museum to showcase the life, times and legacies of all the Prime Ministers, and since ‘replicating’ the existing Teen Murti House design is ‘not appropriate for the new museum as a product of its times’, the council seems favorable to the idea of opening up the call to invite designs from all over the world.
Towards this end, the NMML has formulated an ‘Expression of Interest’ for the selection of a professional advisor who is to assist in conducting the global competition. The proposal to build such a museum was brought up last year. The museum, which will be an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Culture, might be erected at one of two sites that were recommended within the Teen Murti Bhawan complex. The first of these is a vacant plot behind the present museum, while the site of the office of Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund is the other one. The issue of the location remains open ended as the council later decided that the architect should be allowed the freedom to choose.
It is alleged that the Ministry of Culture initially delegated the job to the National Council of Science Museum (NCSM), even relegating to it the task of inviting proposals. However, due to objections from the NMML council, which raised questions about whether the NCSM is equipped to handle the task, the project was handed over. The executive council has specified its wishes to make the museum ‘prominent amongst Delhi’s cityscape ad technology based interfaces’.