Nearly 30% of the sanctioned strength of Archaeological Survey of India is lying idle. The ASI is the government agency attached to the Ministry of Culture that is responsible for archaeological research and the conservation and preservation of cultural monuments in the country.
While ASI has been sanctioned a staff strength of 8426 employees, only 5976 posts have been filled up so far leaving 2450 posts have been left vacant. The largest vacancy is in Group C-MTS which accounts for nearly 70% of the vacancy. More than 40% of the Group A posts are vacant at ASI.
Details of vacancy in ASI
|Group B (Gaz.)||141||122||19|
|Group B (Non-Gaz.)||703||444||259|
ASI has the responsibility to take care of 3,686 monuments in the country. Due to understaffing, quality of work is affected and Comptroller and Auditor General of India in the past had pointed out various deficiencies in the functioning of the department. Poor conservation efforts, encroachment of heritage sites and theft of monuments are the direct result of understaffing.
According to ASI officials, for years together, the recruitment rules were not revised and the manpower required, especially for the specialised work of archaeology, epigraphy and the conservation work, were not available.
It may be noted that in the latest budget the government has announced setting up of Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation under Ministry of Culture which will have the status of a deemed University to start with. This will help Acquisition of knowledge in disciplines such as museology and archaeology as the country is currently facing lack of trained man-power in both these fields. However, this is in conceptual stage and may take some time for materialising.