Even before a formal announcement on appointment of the new director general of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), questions have been raised about the very selection process.
Though the selection committee appointed by the ministry of culture has finalised five names for the post, the file is still pending with the Cabinet Committee of Appointments (CCA).
A former ASI official approached the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), pointing fingers at an “incompetent” member of the ministry-level selection committee.
Pointing out that the rank of AK Chatterjee — a member of this committee was lower than the ASI’s superintending archaeologist, DV Sharma — who retired from a former director-level post — asked, “How can a person lower in rank choose a DG-level person?”
He contented that the committee had zeroed in on three academicians among the five names sent to the CCA.
On one hand, the ministry is trying to bring about a change by appointing professionals to head cultural institutions, and on the other, it has chosen those with academic background.
“You may be a highly-rated academic but it cannot be equated with skills needed to run an archaeological organisation,” Sharma said.
The CAT asked Sharma to first give a representation to the ministry and asked him to approach again, only if he was not satisfied with the reply.
With the selection process mired in controversy, it means a further delay. Union minister for culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch told HT, “I have not yet received any representation.”