17 monuments may lose tag of 'national importance'

News Excerpt:

Recently, the Ministry of Culture has identified 17 monuments that it has proposed to remove from the list of monuments of national importance.

About the Monuments that are proposed to be removed:

  • These monuments are spread across several states, including the following:
    • Barakhamba Cemetery, Delhi
    • Copper Temple, Lakhimpur, Arunachal Pradesh
    • Inchla Wali Gumti, Delhi
    • Kos Minar, in Mujessar Village in Gurugram and another one in Shahbad, Karnal, Haryana
    • Inscription in the fort of Bachhaun, Satna, MP
    • 12th-century temple in Baran of Kota District, Rajasthan
    • Inscription in the fort in Nagar locality of Jaipur, Rajasthan
    • Dwarahat Kutumbari, Almora, Uttarakhand
    • Banyan Grove, Ghazipur, UP
    • Gunner Burkill’s Tomb, Rangoon, Jhansi, UP
    • Cemeteries and tombs in Lucknow, UP and 
    • Telia Nala Buddhist ruins that form part of a deserted village, Varanasi, UP

Background of delisting the monuments:

  • In January 2023, an Economic Advisory Council to the PM (EAC-PM) in a working paper highlighted the urgent need to rationalise the list of Monuments of National Importance (MNI).
  • EAC-PM also suggested that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) should evolve substantive criteria and a detailed procedure for declaring monuments to be of national importance.
  • EAC-PM also recommended that minor monuments and antiquities protected as monuments should be denotified as MNI with local importance and should be transferred to respective states for its protection.

About the Monuments of National Importance:

  • There are 3697 ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains declared as of national importance in the country.
  • The declaration of monuments and sites is done under section 4 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remain Act, 1958. 
  • Central Government issues a notification of its intention to declare any ancient monument that archaeologically, historically or architecturally qualifies to be of national importance by giving two months’ notice, inviting views/objections from the public. 
  • After considering the views/objections received within the stipulated period, the Central Government may declare the ancient monument to be of national importance by publishing a notification in the official gazette.
  • ASI undertakes the conservation, preservation and maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance throughout the country as per need, priority and resources, following norms and policy of conservation. 
    • In addition, basic amenities and visitor facilities like pathways, signages, visitor benches, facilities for divyangs, sound and light shows, illumination, souvenir shops, etc. are provided at monuments.

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