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Abysmal state of heritage conservation

GS Paper 1

Source: Indian Express


Context CAG’s performance audit on Preservation and Conservation of Monuments and Antiquities that was tabled in Parliament singled out the poor state of heritage conservation across India.


Issues Highlighted in the report:

      • Lack of proper National Policy: There is no national policy on archaeological exploration and excavation. The same is possibly true for antiquities.
      • Less allocation of Funds: The ASI budget for exploration and excavations is less than 1 per cent even though it intended to raise the allocation to 5 per cent of the total budget.
      • Lack of Coordination: There is no synergy between the different agencies involved in heritage conservation.
        • The National Culture Fund, established in November 1996, to rope in individuals and corporate groups to fund conservation, has utilised only 14 per cent of its funds because of the lack of coordination with the ASI. 
      • Violations of Various Provisions: The report reveals that the ASI, has been working in violation of the provisions of the Monuments (AMASR) Act.
        • At Humayun’s tomb, a CAG inspection revealed commercial construction being undertaken in the prohibited area by an “agency other than the ASI”.
      • Dumping of garbage and sewage: The auditing team’s visit revealed that sewage from nearby areas “was being discharged into many lakes”.


AMASR Act, 1958 is an act of parliament of the government of India that provides for the preservation of ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance, for the regulation of archaeological excavations and for the protection of sculptures, carvings and other like objects.


Insta Links:



Mains Link:

Q. Safeguarding the Indian art heritage is the need of the moment. Discuss. (10M) (UPSC CSE 2018)

Prelims Link :

      • National Heritage
      • AMASR Act – recent changes