Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has decided to form a special committee to locate and certify 24 “missing” protected monuments.

Why in news?

  • In a report issued last month, the PMO stated that there was an urgent need to “rationalise” the list of national monuments.

Sites in the news

  • Barakhamba Cemetery temple ruins, Mirzapur (UP) dating to 1000 AD
  • Kos Minars – one in Faridabad’s Mujesar and
  • Inchla Wali Gumti in the capital

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) 

  • Founded by Alexander Cunningham, known as the “Father of Indian Archaeology,”
  • He was James Prinsep’s protege.
  • Lord Canning was instrumental in getting the ASI statute passed in 1861.
  • It is now a statutory body that operates under the Ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains act (AMASR Act) of 1958.
  • It functions as an extension of the Ministry of Culture.
  • ASI has 3678 protected monuments and archaeology sites of national importance, as well as 29 cultural sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Initiatives by ASI

1) Museums

  • ASI’s museums are customarily located right next to the sites that their inventories are associated with “so that they may be studied amid their natural surroundings and not lose focus by being transported”.
  • A dedicated Museums Branch maintains a total of 44 museums spread across the country.

2) Publications by ASI

  • Epigraphia Indica
  • Ancient India
  • Indian Archaeology: A Review (Annually)

3) Library

  • Central Archaeological Library in the National Archives building in Janpath, New Delhi
And get notified everytime we publish a new blog post.