After the phenomenal success of the Festival of India in USSR/ Russia in 1988 and the 100th birth anniversary of the first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre (JNCC) was opened as part of the Embassy of India, Moscow, in March 1989 to further strengthen the traditionally rich cultural cooperation and affinity between the people of India and Russia.
JNCC’s India-based teachers conduct regular classes of Hindi, Kathak, Tabla and Yoga for Russian students. They also conduct workshops and master classes at various Russian universities, institutes and schools. The students of JNCC regularly perform in various events organized by JNCC and the local cultural organizations. JNCC’s local teachers conduct classes in Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Mohiniattam, Odissi, folk dances and martial art form Kalaripayattu. About 500 students attend the 144 classes conducted every week at JNCC including on the weekends. As part of its out-reach mandate, JNCC cooperates with the Indian community associations in Moscow and more than 50 private local Indian culture centres and dance schools spread across Russia. JNCC organizes regular performances by visiting ICCR- sponsored groups as well as by local Russian artistes trained in India.
JNCC has academic collaboration with leading Russian universities including the Institute of Philosophy, Moscow which has a Mahatma Gandhi Chair on Indian Philosophy and the Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow that has a Chair of Contemporary Indian Studies. JNCC provides guidance to Russian students for studying arts and languages in India on ICCR scholarships or on a self-financing basis.