Ram Setu exploration given nod by ASI, govt tells Parliament
Minister of Culture Prahlad Patel also said ASI had set up six new circles, the Rajkot Circle, Jabalpur Circle, Tiruchirappalli (Trichy) Circle, Meerut Circle, Jhansi Circle, and the Raiganj Circle in August 2020
The Archaeological Survey of India has set up six new circles to oversee and undertake excavations, Minister for Culture Prahlad Singh Patel told the Parliament on Tuesday.
The six new circles were set up in August 2020, Patel said in response to an unstarred question.
They include the Rajkot Circle in Gujarat, Jabalpur Circle in Madhya Pradesh, Tiruchirappalli (Trichy) Circle in Tamil Nadu, Meerut Circle and Jhansi Circle in Uttar Pradesh and the Raiganj Circle in West Bengal.
In a separate unstarred question, he said that the “heritage encompass several strands including monuments and archaeology; folk and tribal art; literature; archives; library; performing arts including music, dance and drama and visual arts in the form of paintings, sculpture and graphics”.
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“All activities of the ministry related to promotion, preservation and conservation of the cultural heritage of the country are implemented through a network of two attached offices, six subordinate offices and 34 autonomous organisations under its control and number of schemes directly operated by the ministry for promotion and dissemination of art and culture,” his reply added.
In a third reply, Patel added that ASI has also given its nod to a “scientific exploration of the existence of the mythological Ram Setu that purportedly connected India to Sri Lanka”. The response added that the investigation is being conducted from October 2020 to September 2021. “The Standing Committee of Central Advisory Board of Archaeology (SC of CABA) for the field season 2020-21 has recommended a proposal for exploration off Dhanushkoti, Rameshwaram, district Ramanathpuram (Tamil Nadu) to CSIR- National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa. The role of ASI is limited to grant the permission for exploration on the recommendation of the SC of CABA,” the reply states.
In a fourth reply, other major excavations in Halebidu, Karnataka to expose a medical temple and in Tibba Tilliana, Jammu and Kashmir to “evaluate inter- and intra-settlement pattern of the site and those in its neighbourhoods, to build ceramic index for the region and to conduct scientific investigation to build a related database for Jammu & Kashmir”, were mentioned.