The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), as an attached office under the Department of Culture, Ministry of Tourism and Culture, is the premier organization for the archaeological researches and protection of the cultural heritage of the nation. Maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance is the prime concern of the ASI. Besides it regulate 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. For the maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance the entire country is divided into 24 Circles. The organization has a large work force of trained archaeologists, conservators, epigraphist, architects and scientists for conducting archaeological research projects through its Excavation Branches, Prehistory Branch, Epigraphy Branches, Science Branch, Horticulture Branch, Building Survey Project, Temple Survey Projects and Underwater Archaeology Wing. STRUCTURAL CONSERVATION
Although there have been references of conservation of structures way back in the early Historic Period as evidenced at Junagadh, Gujarat, it was done on structures that were beneficial to the contemporary society. Even the dawn of vision for the need to preserve monuments for its worth as a monument, mainly credited to the British was not less haphazard in the earlier times. The earlier attempts to give a legal framework for preventing vandalism were the two legislations namely the Bengal Regulation of 1810 and Madras Regulation of 1817.
The monuments and sties that received nominal funds and attention way back in 19th century was Taj Mahal, Tomb at Sikandara, Qutb Minar, Sanchi and Mathura. Based on the proposal submitted in 1898, 5 Circles were constituted to do the Archaeological work in India. These...