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Facing Staff Crunch, ASI to Start PG Course in Archaeology

ASI’s Institute of Archaeology already offers a diploma course in archaeology. However, keeping in view nearly a hundred vacant seats, ASI and Conservation and Museology (Deemed to be University) Ministry of Culture have decided to sign an agreement to provide a two-year programme.

Eram Agha | News18.comEramAgha

Updated:February 24, 2018, 11:12 AM IST
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Facing Staff Crunch, ASI to Start PG Course in Archaeology
Archaeological workers clean up a megalithic burial site found in Siruthavur village, about 50 km from Chennai (File photo: Reuters)
New Delhi: Battling staff crunch in various departments, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) will soon start a government recognised post-graduation course to provide advanced training in the subject.

ASI’s Institute of Archaeology already offers a diploma course in archaeology. However, considering over a hundred seats lying vacant, ASI and National Museum Institute of History of Art, Conservation and Museology, a deemed university that falls under Ministry of Culture, have decided to sign an agreement to provide a two-year programme.

This will help the culture ministry churn out well trained archaeologists to fill various posts, starting from entry level to senior supervisory level.

“Despite providing a course in archaeology and training aspirants rigorously, the diploma provided by Institute of Archaeology is not recognized by any academic regulatory body. However, once the agreement is done between the government body and the university, the archaeology course will be recognized by the National Museum Institute of History of Art (NMI) and will be upgraded to a two-year post graduation programme,” NMI Vice Chancellor & DG Museum BR Mani told News18.

National Institute of Archaeology will soon be established in Greater Noida to provide higher education in the subject.

While the Haryana Archaeology department started fresh excavations at a 5,000-year-old pre-Harappan site in Haryana’s Fatehabad district earlier this month, the ASI is struggling to fill posts elsewhere. Often, they are forced to look for temporary solutions to keep the work going.

Since two years there has been a lack of supervisory staff (directors) at the Epigraphy Branch of the Survey. They have to depend on various consultancies for hiring.

Out of the 175 sanctioned posts for assistant archaeologists in ASI, 88 are lying vacant. Even at higher positions many posts are yet to be filled. At the position of superintendent archaeologists, 15 out of 45 seats are lying vacant.

Around 68 posts of assistant archaeologists are said to be filled through SSC recruitment. However, a government recognized professional course is not available to directly recruit professionals.

“In this scenario, an institute that can grant degrees in archaeology will help create an interest in the subject and also help ASI recruit trained people. Archaeology, which also includes expertise in epigraphy, numismatics, conservation and heritage management, is important for the society interested in its past and history,” said a source in ASI.

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| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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