Focus: GS-I Art and Culture
Why in news?
The Ministry of Culture has announced 7 new circles of Archaeological Survey of India.
- Ministry of Culture has taken this step, in accordance with the Prime Minister’s call to facilitate and strengthen the process of preservation and registration of archaeological monuments along with registration of artefacts with self-declaration.
- The Minister informed that new circles have been created in Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal and Gujarat.
- Trichy, Raiganj, Rajkot, Jabalpur, Jhansi & Meerut have been announced as new circles.
- In Archaeology, the Hampi city in Karnataka is a place of international repute hence Hampi Mini Circle has been converted into a full-fledged circle.
- Earlier there were 29 ASI circles across the country, and with the current addition, there are now 36 circles.
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)
- The Archaeological Survey of India is an Indian government agency attached to the Ministry of Culture.
- ASI is responsible for archaeological research and the conservation and preservation of cultural monuments in the country.
- Maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance is the prime concern of the ASI.
- Besides it regulates all archaeological activities in the country as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.
- It also regulates Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972.
- For the maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance the entire country is divided into 24 Circles.
- The organization has a large work force of trained archaeologists, conservators, epigraphist, architects and scientists for conducting archaeological research projects through its Circles, Museums, Excavation Branches, Prehistory Branch, Epigraphy Branches, Science Branch, Horticulture Branch, Building Survey Project, Temple Survey Projects and Underwater Archaeology Wing.
- The most important of the society’s achievements was the decipherment of the Brahmi script by James Prinsep in 1837. This successful decipherment inaugurated the study of Indian palaeography.