PM inaugurates new ASI headquarters in New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Dharohar Bhawan, the new headquarters building of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at Tilak Marg here today.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Modi said ASI has performed significant work over the course of the last 150 years or so.
He emphasized the importance of taking pride in the country's history and in its rich archaeological heritage. People should take a lead in knowing about local history and archaeology of their towns, cities and regions.
Lessons in local archaeology could form part of the school syllabus. In this context, he also mentioned the importance of well-trained local tourist guides, who are familiar with the history and heritage of their area.
Mr. Modi said each archaeological discovery, painstakingly made by archaeologists over long periods of time, has its own story to tell. In this context, he recalled how he and the then French President had travelled to Chandigarh a few years ago, for a first-hand view of archaeological discoveries made by a joint Indo-French team.
The Prime Minister said India should showcase its great heritage with pride and confidence to the world.
The new headquarters building of ASI has been equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including energy-efficient lighting and rainwater harvesting. It includes a Central Archaeological Library with a collection of about 1.5 lakh books and journals.
Addressing the gathering, Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma applauded the efforts of ASI which is now taking care of about 3686 monuments across the country and has also been delivering conservation services in other countries in the world like Afghanistan, Myanmar and Cambodia. Since 2014, the Ministry of Culture has been successful in getting UNESCO recognition for several heritage properties, both tangible and intangible. The Minister added that 40 antiquities have been retrieved from other countries and efforts to bring back 8 to 9 more antiquities are in place.
The new building includes a Central Archaeological Library with a collection of about 1.5 lakh books and journals. The library is a unique and valuable treasure trove in India and the world for those who are keen to undertake research work in the field of Archaeology, Religious and Cultural perspective of India, India’s ancient past and allied subjects.
The Library is special as it houses authentic records related to archaeology, such as ASI reports and the diaries of Alexander Cunningham (founder of ASI) and John Marshall, which are a great source for researchers throughout the world. It has an original collection of religious books and books on the cultural heritage of India, such as the sacred books on the Hindus, Manusmriti, Kautilya’s Artha Sastra, etc. which are in great demand by the researchers. Original, specific and holistic collection on places of India, such as Kalhan’s Rajtarangini, on Kashmir, History of Gujarat, etc. are also available as are original and rare books on inscriptions, such as Kharosti and Brahmi and a huge collection of rare Tibetan manuscripts.
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