Historical and Archaeological Findings in News

ASI Act to be made more flexible


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), AMSAR Act

Mains level: Not Much

Union Culture Minister said the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) was working on an amendment to make the law that provides for the preservation of monuments and archaeological sites “more flexible and people-friendly”.

What is the news?

  • The ASI is working to amend Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act 1958.
  • It particularly seeks to change the current 100-metre prohibited area around protected monuments to site-specific limits.

What is the AMASR Act?

  • The AMASR Act provides for the preservation of ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance.
  • It also provides for the regulation of archaeological excavations and for the protection of sculptures, carvings and other like objects.
  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) functions under the provisions of this act.
  • The rules stipulate that area in the vicinity of the monument, within 100 metres is prohibited area.
  • The area within 200 meters of the monument is regulated category. Any repair or modifications of buildings in this area requires prior permission.

About Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

  • The ASI is an attached office of the Ministry of Culture.
  • It was founded in 1861 by Alexander Cunningham who also became its first Director-General.
  • Under the provisions of the AMASR Act of 1958, the ASI administers more than 3650 ancient monuments, archaeological sites and remains of national importance.
  • These can include everything from temples, mosques, churches, tombs, and cemeteries to palaces, forts, step-wells, and rock-cut caves.
  • The Survey also maintains ancient mounds and other similar sites which represent the remains of ancient habitation.
  • The ASI is headed by a Director-General who is assisted by an Additional Director General, two Joint Directors General, and 17 Directors.


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