[DRAFT] National Policy on Archaeological Exploration and Excavation
Archaeological Survey of India is a premier and prestigious organization of the country with the principal objective of archaeological researches through explorations/excavations and to protect, preserve and upkeep the glorious cultural and monumental heritage of this country.
Explorations and Excavations of ancient archaeological sites is one of the primary functions of the ASI. The ASI has carried out a large number of excavations in the country, which have added much about the knowledge of India’s past. These excavations have revealed a number of Prehistoric sites, Harappan, Pre-Harappan, Post-Harappan, regional chalcolithic, iron-age and early historic besides a large numberof historic sites. Butfor the discoveries made at these sites, the extent of theknowledge about India’s history and culture would not have been what it is today. But, much of the Indian history still lies much below the ground, and there are still numerous missing links in the Indian history.
Field work and research work by the Archaeological Survey of India involves archaeological, Epigraphical, exploration and survey of temples and civil architecture through the set-up of Excavation Branches at Nagpur (Established in 1958), New Delhi (1971), Patna (1971), Bhubaneswar (1984), Vadodara (1984), Mysore (2001); Prehistory Branch at Nagpur; Underwater Archaeology Wing at Delhi; 28 circles (village to village survey, scientific debris clearance and trial excavations etc.); Epigraphy Branch, Mysore (Indian classical languages such as Sanskrit Dravadian and related languages); Epigraphy Branch, Nagpur (Arabic and Persian language); Temple Survey Project Bhopal & Chennai and Building Survey Project, New Delhi.
The Prime Minister in the 34th CABA meeting held in December 2009 referred to the need for formulating a ‘National Policy on Archaeological Excavation and Explorations’.Five Sub Committees of the CABA were formed to examine specific issues relating to functioning of the ASI and developing policy in those areas.The Sub Committee on Archaeological Excavation and Exploration finalized the draft on National Policy on Archaeological Excavation and Explorations and submitted it to Director General, ASI on 23December 2009 for approval.
It was decided in the 34th CABA meeting to form five sub-committees of the CABA members to look into betterment of five significant areas under ASI and to submit their reports for consideration by the Government of India. As per the discussions in the Weekly Review Meeting of Director General, ASI, a three member committee was formed for suggestion in the field of Exploration and Excavation.
After that many modifications and additions as suggested by the committee members and the higher authorities at Ministry level were made and Draft Policy was put up to the Ministry for its final approval.
Comments / feedback, in this regard, are invited within 30 days of the publication of the notice on the ASI website. Comments may be posted or emailed on the following address:
Director (Exploration & Excavation)
Archaeological Survey of India
Janpath, New Delhi – 110011