Archaeological Survey of India Current Affairs - 2019
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated ‘Dharohar Bhawan’ – the new headquarters building of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at 24, Tilak Marg in New Delhi.
Dharohar Bhawan is four-storeyed building built over 2.58 acres at a cost of Rs 300 crore. It houses Central Archaeological Library, with a collection of 1.5 lakh books and journals. The library is treasure trove for researchers and has collections not available elsewhere.
ASI’s new headquarters building is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including energy efficient lighting and rainwater harvesting. It hosts rare portfolios related to Ajanta, Ellora and many sites of archaeological importance.
It includes Central Archaeological Library with collection of about 1.5 lakh books and journals. It hosts valuable archaeological treasure trove in India and World. It has large collection of books on Archaeology, Indology, Epigraphy, Indian culture and its past, etc.
It houses authentic records related to archaeology, such as ASI reports, etc., diary of Alexander Cunningham (founder of ASI), John Marshall, etc. It also has original collection of religious books and books on cultural heritage of India, such as sacred books on Hindus, Manusmiti, Kautilya’s Athasastra.
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)
ASI is the premier organization for the archaeological researches and protection of the cultural heritage of the country. Its prime objective is to maintain archaeological sites, ancient monuments and remains of national importance. It was established in 1861 by Alexander Cunningham.
ASI regulates all archaeological activities as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958. It functions under Ministry of Culture. It also regulates Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972.
Ministry of Tourism in close collaboration with Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had launched Adopt a Heritage Project. Under it, selected public sector companies, private sector companies and individuals will develop tourist amenities at heritage sites. They will be called as ‘Monument Mitra’ and adopt the sites essentially under their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity.
Adopt a Heritage Project
- Provide world class tourist facilities at various natural and cultural heritage sites, monuments and other tourist sites.
- Make these selected sites tourist friendly, enhance their tourist potential and cultural importance in planned and phased manner across the country.
The project primarily focuses on providing basic amenities that include cleanliness, public convenience, drinking water, ease of access for tourists, signage etc. and advanced amenities like Souvenir shop, Cafeteria, TFC etc. It seeks active participation of industry to ensure sustainable model formulation for tourism sector.
The public and private companies adopting these monuments will also look after their operations and maintenance initially for 5 years subject to review at any time. Resources for capital and recurring cost for this project is proposed through industry participation, through CSR or any other funding option subject to review and approval of Oversight & Vision Committee.
The heritage sites and monuments enlisted under this project are categorized as green, blue and orange on basis of tourist footfall and visibility. It is mandatory for monument mitra, opting for monument from green category to choose at least one site from either blue or orange category.