- The Archaeological Survey of India is the premier organization for the archaeological research and protection of the cultural heritage of the nation.
- It is an attached office under the Ministry of Culture.
- Maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance is the prime concern of the ASI.
- Besides it regulates all archaeological activities in the country as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958. It also regulates Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972.
- Archaeological and historical pursuits in India started with the efforts of Sir William Jones, who put together a group of antiquarians to form the Asiatic Society in 1784 in Calcutta.
- The Archaeological Survey of India was eventually formed in 1861 by a statute passed into law by Viceroy Lord Canning with Alexander Cunningham as the first Archaeological Surveyor.
Why in News?
- The Archaeological Survey of India of Ministry of Culture has illuminated 100 Monuments in Tri-color across the country as India achieved the landmark milestone of administering 100 crore COVID vaccinations in one of the World’s largest and fastest vaccination drive.
- The illumination is taking place as a mark of respect and gratitude to corona warriors who have contributed relentlessly in the fight against covid pandemic.