Centrally Protected Monuments
#GS-01 Indian Culture and Heritage
Centrally protected monuments in India:
- India has a total of 3,695 Centrally Protected Monuments or Sites at present with UP having the highest number at 743.
- Centrally Protected Monuments are protected by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) under Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment) Act, 2010.
Encroachment of Centrally protected monuments:
- Uttar Pradesh has the largest number (75) of Centrally Protected Monuments which have been encroached upon, followed by Tamil Nadu (74).
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI):
- ASI was founded in 1861 by a British Army engineer, Alexander Cunningham who was appointed as its first Director–General.
- It is currently existing as an attached office under the Department of Culture (Ministry of Culture).
- ASI is India’s premier organization for the archaeological research, scientific analysis, excavation of archaeological sites, conservation and preservation of protected monuments.
- It helps in regulation of all archaeological activities in the country under the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.
Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958:
- The AMASR Act has been enacted for the preservation of ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance.
- Government proposed amendments to remove the ban on construction within 100 metres of a monument and only regulate construction within 100-200 metres.
Section 20 of the ‘Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains’ Act:
- The Act prohibits construction in ‘prohibited area’, an area of 100 meters around protected monument over 100 years old.
- It does not permit construction in such prohibited areas even if it is for public purposes, except under certain conditions.