NPC – AMASR
India has an extraordinarily rich, vast and diverse cultural heritage in the form of Monuments, Archaeological Sites and Remains are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).These are symbols of diverse cultural expression, artistic and architectural creativity, and represent historic continuity. One of the prime mandates of the ASI is to ensure conservation and maintenance of all protected monuments, including iconic world heritage sites, throughout the country by using all resources available for the purpose.
ASI has undertaken, in past 150 years, innumerable conservation initiatives ensuring the continuing existence of all monuments. ASI’s contribution in conservation and safeguarding is noteworthy not only within the country but internationally as well, wherein benchmark conservation works were, and are being, carried out by ASI. Conservation works being carried out by ASI have been well documented and are well preserved in form of a repository of images, drawings, inspection notes, and a large number of publications.
It is well known a fact that the nature of duties of ASI has changed manifold since the inception of the organisation and, therefore, responsibilities of ASI’s archaeological officers, in-charge of conservation and management of protected monuments, has gone beyond their earlier mandate.
Monuments, finite and non-renewable resources of our country, are subject to an ever-increasing pressure of development and visitation, unlike ever before, and this puts an unprecedented strain on them. Also, in the last hundred years, interpretation of a monument and conservation principles have undergone evolution worldwide wherein a monument is appreciated along with its context and conservation has become a multi-disciplinary enterprise.
In January, 2011,an 18-member National Committee on Conservation Policy (NCCP) was constituted by the Ministry of Culture to help ASI draft the National Policy on Conservation of Protected monuments, Archaeological Sites and Remains. The Committee, comprising experts from different organisations and professional backgrounds, was mandated to help ASI with the formulation of conservation policy, and guidelines for conservation, preservation and maintenance of protected monuments, devising conservation principles for protected monuments and incorporating best international practices in conservation. Draft of the Policy was put up on ASI website and shared with several ministries, organisations, institutions and NGOs. Comments received after wide public consultation were incorporated in the Policy. The Policy was subsequently submitted to the Ministry of Culture for approval. Hon’ble Minister of Culture approved the Policy in January, 2014.
“National Policy for the Conservation of Ancient Monuments, Archaeological Sites and Remains” aims to not only draw from ASI’s rich legacy for conservation and various international guidelines available in this regard but attempts a contemporary approach to conservation and various principles to be adopted for interventions within and around a monument. The Policy attempts to put a monument in perspective (as a ubiquitous part of its setting), underpins the role of local communities and traditional craftsmanship as an integral part of conservation process. The Policy also deals with very important and topical aspects like tourism, development (within and around), capacity building and building partnerships.
The Conservation Policy focuses only on the ancient monuments, archaeological sites and remain, protected by the Archaeological Survey of India under its Ancient Monuments, Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act, 1958 (Amendment and Validation, 2010).
The Policy is uploaded for perusal and reference. Hindi version is under preparation and will follow soon.
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