Recently, the Ministry of Culture reported to Parliament that 50 of India’s 3,693 centrally protected monuments were missing.

 

Details

The Ministry of Culture mentioned this in its report titled ‘Issues relating to Untraceable Monuments and Protection of Monuments in India’ which was submitted to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture.

 

What are Centrally Protected Monuments?

  • The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (AMASR Act) 1958 regulates the preservation of monuments and archaeological sites of national importance.
  • The Act protects monuments and sites that are more than 100 years old, including temples, cemeteries, inscriptions, tombs, forts, palaces, step-wells, rock-cut caves, and even objects like cannons and mile pillars that may be of historical significance.
  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which is under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Culture, functions under this Act.

 

About the ‘Archaeological Survey of India’ –

  • It was founded in 1861 by a British Army engineer Alexander Cunnigham who is also known as the ‘Father of Indian Archaeology’.
  • It engages in archaeological research and conservation, and protection and preservation of ancient monuments and archaeological sites in the country.
  • ASI regulates all archaeological activities conducted in the country through the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (AMASR Act), 1958.
  • It also regulates the Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, of 1972.
  • ASI has more than 3,693 protected monuments and archaeological sites of National Importance that it protects and preserves.