Ministry Of Culture Current Affairs

Dharohar Bhawan: PM Narendra Modi inaugurates new HQ building of Archaeological Survey of India

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.

Dharohar Bhawan

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.

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Explained: Seva Bhoj Yojna

The Union Ministry of Culture has launched Seva Bhoj Yojna, a new scheme to provide financial assistance on purchase of specific food items by Charitable Religious Institutions (CRIs) for free distribution among people. Under this scheme, Centre’s share of Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) charged on the raw food materials purchased by the religious institutions will be refunded.

Seva Bhoj Yojna

The scheme aims reimburse Central Government share of CGST and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST) of Charitable Religious Institutions (CRIs) who provide food, prasad, langar (Community Kitchen), Bhandara free of cost without any discrimination to public and devotees. This will help to lessen the financial burden of such Charitable Religious Institutions.

Beneficiaries: CRIs such as Temples, Gurudwara, Mosque, Church, Dharmik Ashram, Dargah, Matth, Monasteries etc. having existence for at least five years and serve free food to at least 5000 people  in month. Such institutions will be given grant under the scheme if they are covered under Section 10 (23BBA) of Income Tax (IT) Act or are institutions registered as Society under Societies Registration Act (XXI of 1860) or as Public Trust under any law for time being in force of statuary religious bodies or institutions registered under Section 12AA of IT Act

Selection: All eligible institutions must registered with Darpan portal of Ministry of Culture. The applications will be examined by committee constituted for purpose. On basis of the recommendation of committee, competent authority in Ministry of Culture will register CRIs for reimbursing claim of CGST and Central Government share of IGST paid on mentioned specific items.

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