Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Saturday that the Centre would appoint professionals to head historical and cultural institutions in the country.
"We're going to make appointments of outstanding professionals to head the Archaeological Survey of India and other institutions very soon," Singh said during the inauguration of the new campus of the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies in Kolkata.
The Prime Minister inaugurated the second phase of Kolkata Science City and laid the foundation stone of its Science Exploration Hall.
"We recognise that bureaucratisation tends to negate cultural expression and preservation," he said.
"The modernisation of the National Library is among our priority tasks. I'm glad to learn that almost the entire catalogue of 24 lakh (2.4 million) books would be available in digital format within the next six months or so," he said.
Singh, however, cited lapses on the part of the National Library and other institutions like Victoria Memorial, Indian Museum and Asiatic Society.)
An allocation of Rs 90 crore was made in 2009-10 to modernise these four cultural institutions in Kolkata.
"Unfortunately these institutions have not been able to fully utilise the grant in the first year. I do hope that these four institutions will work harder to use the allocated funds," he added.
He also attended the 150th anniversary celebrations of St Xavier's Collegiate School.
Speaking at St Xavier's school, the Prime Minister called for 100 per cent literacy in India by 2020. He also placed emphasis on the education of girl children. “I wish to see every child in our country become literate over the next decade...I would also like to see every child have access to school education within reasonable distance from his or her home. When I was a young boy I had to walk miles to go to school. That should not be the lot of our children in future.”
(With inputs from Mou Chakraborty)