Archaeological Survey of India Current Affairs - 2020

ASI finds 2,000-year-old trade center in Andhra Pradesh

The ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) recently discovered that the present-day state of Andhra Pradesh had a maritime center near the banks of Swarnamukhi river around 2,000 years ago.

Highlights

  • The excavations were performed at the state’s Gottiprolu that began in December, 2018.
  • The ASI unearthed brick-built structures in varied shapes. The sizes of the bricks were common in the Satavahana/Ikshvaku period of the Krishna valley.
  • Also, the team unearthed four armed sculptures of Lord Vishnu. The sculpture belongs to Pallava period according to the analysis of headgear and drapery.
  • Also, a series of broken terracotta pipes were found. This suggests that the period had a good system of drainage.
  • So far, the ASI has excavated about 10% of the site in the first round. The second round is set to begin in November or December, 2019.

Swarnamukhi river

  • The river is located in southern India
  • The Kalyani Dam is constructed across the river at Tirupati city. The shrines Tirupati and Kalahasti are located in the banks of the river.

Single use plastics to be banned inside monuments: Govt

Single-use plastic will be banned inside and within a 100 metre periphery of all Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protected monuments across the country. The announcement in this regard was made by Union Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel on the sidelines of the launch of the tourism ministry’s annual ‘Paryatan Parv’ in New Delhi. The Paryatan Parv showcases traditional cuisines and handicrafts from across Indian states and is an attempt by tourism ministry to promote tourism in India.

Key Highlights

Efforts are being made to phase out single-use plastics in various organisations of ASI and Union Ministry of Tourism. While the efforts to this effect began on 17 September 2019 but complete clamp down is likely to be achieved soon.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had already urged people to shun single-used plastics and had asked the general public to make it a mass movement. PM Modis’ call to people to stop using single-use plastic is in line with Mahatma Gandhi’s Thoughts on sustainable and clean tourism.

However, the government has shelved the plan to outlaw single-use plastics on the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi on grounds that it would have be disruptive to a stressed industry as it copes with an economic downturn.