Ministry of Culture seeks alliance with Google to map heritage sites

There are a total of 3,693 heritage sites in India protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.

New Delhi:

Leveraging state-of-the-art technology, the Ministry of Culture has considered a plan to digitally map the boundaries of more than 3,600 centrally protected monuments for greater security and encroachment control through increased monitoring of these sites.

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Union Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy said tech giant Google could help the government get the job done, and talks between the ministry and the search engine giant are being planned.

There are a total of 3,693 heritage sites in India protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) under the jurisdiction of the ministry.

Continuing the decade-long partnership between the Ministry of Culture and Google, a project titled ‘India ki Udaan’ was unveiled at a glittering event at Sunder Nursery on Friday night to commemorate ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, capturing several milestones that India has achieved. on its 75-year journey since independence, as well as the legacy of iconic personalities.

The project executed by Google Arts & Culture celebrates the achievements of the country and has as its theme the unwavering and enduring spirit of India over the past 75 years. It draws on rich archives and features artistic illustrations to tell the story of the country. In his speech at the event, G Kishan Reddy also said that Google could help the Ministry of Culture digitally map the boundaries of its more than 3,600 centrally protected monuments, which will help better monitor the sites and control any encroachment.

Google can also help digitize rare footage, he said.

“Therefore, we urge the Google team to be a partner in the government’s transformation journey, while promoting India’s tourism destinations,” said G Kishan Reddy.

Speaking to PTI later on the sidelines of the event, the union’s culture minister said: “It takes a lot of manpower to monitor venues. So with technology, we can easily map sites for security purposes and to check for intrusions. ”.

G Kishan Reddy said that what the ministry has envisioned is that through advanced technology these sites can be monitored from the headquarters in New Delhi.

“So we can see each monument and what happens there, sitting in Delhi. That is what we want to do,” he said, adding that “they are going to meet with us and we will discuss it in detail.”

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is headquartered in Delhi, located at Dharohar Bhawan headed by its Director General, and has circles at the regional level, headed by a superintendent archaeologist in each circle.

The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958 (AMASR) was amended in 2010 to declare the 100 meter radius of protected monuments as prohibited areas and the following 300 meter radius as restricted areas. The protection of ASI sites is governed by this law. In a written response to a question to the Lok Sabha on August 1, the Union Culture Minister said that ASI maintained protected monuments through its circles and that “there was no provision to release funds to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) .

“ASI regularly commits to the conservation and preservation of centrally protected monuments and sites. For security, surveillance and service it is provided by Multitasking Personnel (MTS), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and private security”, he said.

(Except for the title, this article has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated source.)

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