Commited to raise the department to new heights in the coming years, the Allahabad University's (AU) Department of Ancient History, Culture and Archaeology plans to modernise the existing laboratories and digitise the archaeological museum of the department during the 11th Five-Year Plan.
The department has also planned to start new MA/MSc courses in Environmental Archaeology and a post-graduate diploma in Archaeology to help students specialise in the field of archaeology.
Informing about the proposals submitted to the varsity officials for consideration and sanction by the University Grants Commission (UGC), Head of the AU's Ancient History, Culture and Archaeology department Prof RP Tripathi said that plan has been prepared with focus on modernising the department and strengthening its infrastructure to meet the emerging challenges of the time.
"We have proposed for setting up of environmental lab, renovation of existing labs, digitisation of museum, launching a website besides demanding teaching as well as technical staff for the new courses MA/MSc in Environmental Archaeology and post-graduate diploma in Archaeology," said Prof Tripathi.
Prof Tripathi said that under the plan the proposal for establishing an environmental laboratory parallel to the existing teaching block of the department has been put forward before the varsity authorities.
The environmental lab will be fully equipped with modern devices and gadgets besides experimental archaeology lab, archaeo-chemistry lab, archaeo-biology lab to facilitate the students who had to depend upon the laboratories of botany or chemistry department for practicals.
"We have also proposed for renovating the Kaushambi museum of the department. The proposal for extension of the existing museum has already been sanctioned by the UGC and more funds have been demanded for the infrastructure and furnishing of the building," he added.
Prof Tripathi said that taking inspiration from international universities and other central universities 'we have decided to digitise the existing Prof GR Sharma memorial museum of the department'.
'We have plans to install screens in the museum which will display the information about the article displayed with references', he added.
"Plasma screens would be installed which would give an updated information about the excavations and other archaeological projects accomplished and being carried out by the department in the form of short films. The digitised museum will also be opened for the public weekly to benefit the masses at large besides helping the students and research scholars," he said.
Further elucidating the plan Prof Tripathi said that the department has plans to prepare database of the antiques, articles, excavation sites, findings and other discoveries made by the department. The data-base will be available for viewing through the department's website.
However downloading of the database will be allowed only to the members and authorised persons. The website will also linked with digital museum.
"The department has also demanded for special machines for space archaeology.
This technology works with the help of satellites for excavation and survey works. An initiative in this field has already been taken in association with IIT- Kanpur," added Prof Tripathi.