100 Acropolis-type museums; ASI revamp; reconstruction of Hampi, Indus Valley sites; Gandhipedia part of ambitious plan.
The culture ministry plans to start the “authentic reconstruction” of 11 historic sites, including Hampi and the Indus Valley, as part of a Rs 27,000-crore, five-year plan, starting next year. About a quarter of this will go to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), marking a nearly seven fold increase in the budget of the agency tasked with conserving the country’s historical sites.
The ministry wants to set up 100 experiential museums on the lines of the Acropolis Museum in Greece, a national centre for performing arts, and an Indian Institute of Culture (IIC) to provide training in archaeology, museology, conservation and allied fields.1 It also plans a national-level Jashn-e-Kashmir festival to celebrate the folk art of Jammu and Kashmir.
This is part of the culture ministry’s five-year plan submitted to the Fifteenth Finance Commission, a copy of which has been reviewed by ET. The ministry estimated the expenditure at Rs 26,549 crore between 2020 and 2025. The five year plan was finalised at a meeting two weeks ago.
- 1. The ministry also plans to revive and expand the cultural mapping project that was launched by former culture minister Mahesh Sharma by creating an aggregator for bringing together buyers and sellers of indigenous products and services. The flagship programme that was aimed at creating a dossier of artists across India had been criticised by a parliamentary panel led by Trinamool Congress lawmaker Derek O’Brien last year, which called it “unplanned” and “directionless.” The project estimate has been increased to Rs 449.26 crore for the next five years. An official said an agency such as the Quality Council of India could also be roped in for grading of artists. The online Gandhipedia will include Gandhi’s important works and the philosophies of Guru Nanak and Rabindranath Tagore. The ministry has also examined which of these moves will need changes in laws and is working toward drafting the required amendments, an official said.