3685 Monuments/Sites in the Country Declared as of National Importance till Date

3685 Monuments/Sites in the Country Declared as of National Importance till Date

3685 monuments/sites in the country have been declared as of national importance till date. During the year 2013-14, an amount of Rs. 16963.86 lakhs was allocated for the protection and maintenance of monuments declared as of national importance.

As per the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, ancient monuments or archaeological sites and remains, as the case may be, which are of historical, archaeological or artistic interest, and have been in existence for not less than 100 years, may be declared by the Central Government as of national importance.

The protection and maintenance of monuments, declared as of national importance is taken up by Archaeological Survey of India by way of structural repairs, chemical preservation and environmental development around the monument which is a regular and ongoing process and the required works are taken-up on need basis as per the established principles of conservation, subject to availability of resources. In addition, creating of tourist related amenities (e.g. drinking water, toilet blocks, facilities for physically challenged, pathways, cultural notice boards/signage, vehicle parking, cloak rooms, etc.) at the centrally protected monuments/sites are also the regular activities which the ASI undertakes as per needs and availability of resources.

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha today.


Proposal to Include ‘Delhi’s Imperial capital cities’ in World Heritage List of UNESCO

The State Government of Delhi has proposed UNESCO to include ‘Delhi’s Imperial Capital Cities’ among the World Heritage Cities. The nomination dossier of ‘Delhi’s Imperial Capital Cities’ had been forwarded to UNESCO in 2014 for the purpose of its inscription in the World Heritage List.

As per the UNESCO Guidelines, after the submission of the nomination dossier, UNESCO sent their own evaluation mission. In October, 2014 an ICOMOS evaluation mission came to evaluate the site. They had asked for some additional information in respect to the property which was forwarded to UNESCO by November 2014. ICOMOS team had called for a meeting on 19th of January 2015 in France and Prof. A.G.K.Menon, Convenor, INTACH Delhi chapter attended the meeting.

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha today.


Award of Fellowships to outstanding persons in the field of Culture

Senior and Junior Fellowships are awarded annually under the ‘Scheme for the Award of Fellowships to Outstanding Persons in the Field of Culture’ by the Government.

Under the scheme upto 400 fellowships (200 junior in the age group of 25-40 years and 200 Senior in the age group of above 40 years) are given every year to outstanding persons in the fields of art and culture. Online applications are invited every year and fellows are selected on the basis of assessment of project proposals/interview by an Expert Committee constituted by Ministry of Culture. Junior fellows are given fellowship at Rs. 10,000/- pm and Senior fellows at Rs. 20,000/- pm for a period of 2 years.

Fellows are selected by the Expert Committee on the basis of merit of their project proposals/interviews irrespective of their categories.

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha today.


726 Monuments surveyed for preparation of site plansm

726 Monuments have been surveyed till date for preparing site plans as prescribed by the Ancient Monuments and Archeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2010.

The expert heritage bodies notified by the Government to assist in the preparation of heritage bye-laws other than INTACH are as under:-

1.      Reach foundation, Chennai

2.      School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal

3.      IIT, Kharagpur, West Bengal and

4.      Aga Khan Trust for Culture, New Delhi

The Central Regional Documentation Centres will be set up once the site plans are prepared and heritage bye-laws are notified. So far, no heritage bye-laws has been notified.

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha today.


Excavations taken up by ASI during the field season 2014-15

Archeological Survey of India has started excavations in 8 districts during the field season 2014-15.  These include the following:-

1.      Kayar, District Yavatmal (Maharashtra)

2.      Binjore, District Ganganagar, (Rajasthan)

3.      Papaur, District Siwan, (Bihar)

4.      Rukministhan, District Nalanda, (Bihar)

5.      Suabarei, District Puri, (Odisha)

6.      (i) Vadnagar, District Mehsana, (Gujarat)

(ii) Bhaurch, District Bharuch (Gujarat)

(1)   Soneri Mahal (2) Batuknath Vyamshala (3) Old Jail

7.      Keeladi, District Sivaganga, (Tamil Nadu)

ASI carried out excavations at 11 sites during the year 2011-12, at 8 sites in 2012-13 and 8 sites in 2013-14.

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha today.


Standard Presented to 44 Armoured Regiment by the Chief of the Army Staff on 25 February 2015

General Dalbir Singh, Chief of the Army Staff, on behalf of the Hon’ble President of India, Shri Paranb Mukherjee, presented the President’s ‘Standards’ to 44 Armoured Regiment at Suratgarh Military Station on        25 Feb 2015.

Lieutenant General Arun Kumar Sahni, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Sapta Shakti Command, Lieutenant General PM Hariz, General Officer Commanding, Chetak Corps and a number of senior officers and civil dignitaries were present.  The chief host of event was Major General Gurjeet Singh Chima, Additional Director General, HQ NCC (Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh & Chandigarh) and Colonel of 44 Armoured Regiment.

          This honour has been bestowed upon 44 Armoured Regiment in due recognition of the dedicated and meritorious service rendered by the regiment since raising on 15 December 1981. 44 Armoured Regiment has participated in a large number of operations undertaken by the Army since its raising.  The regiment has been duly recognised with the award of two Vishisht Seva Medals, one Uttam Jeevan Rakshak Padak, 21 Chief of the Army Staff Commendation Cards, six Vice Chief of Army Staff Commendation Cards, 19 General Officer Commanding in Chief Commendation Cards and one United Nations Force Commander Commendation.

          The Parade was commanded by Colonel Arjun Uppal, Commandant 44 Armoured Regiment.  To commemorate this historic event, the Chief of the Army Staff also released a “Special Day Cover”.
 Click here to see Photos


Earthquake Prone Zone

Bureau of Indian Standards, based on the past seismic history, grouped the country into four seismic zones, viz. Zone-II, -III, -IV and –V. Of these, Zone V is the most seismically active region, while zone II is the least. The Modified Mercalli (MM) intensity, which measures the impact of the earthquakes on the surface of the earth, broadly associated with various zones, is as follows:

Seismic Zone Intensity on MM scale

II (Low intensity zone)                                   VI (or less)

III (Moderate intensity zone)                         VII

IV (Severe intensity zone)                              VIII

V (Very severe intensity zone)                       IX (and above)

Broadly, Zone-V comprises of entire northeastern India, parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, parts of North Bihar and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Zone-IV covers remaining parts of Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, Union Territory of Delhi, Sikkim, northern parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, parts of Gujarat and small portions of Maharashtra near the west coast and Rajasthan. Zone-III comprises of Kerala, Goa, Lakshadweep islands, and remaining parts of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and West Bengal, parts of Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu and Karnataka. Zone-II covers remaining parts of the country.

Further, as part of pre-disaster preparedness measure, Government of India has also completed seismic microzonation studies of some of the major cities in the country such as, Jabalpur, Guwahati, Bangalore, greater Bharuch in Gujarat, Jammu in J & K, Shillong in Meghalaya, Chennai in Tamilnadu and sikkim state. These studies involving preparation of geological, geomorphological and land use maps followed by drilling, geological logging, standard penetration test and geophysical studies to demarcate the zones of least to most damage prone areas within the urban areas helps the respective town and country planning agencies to formulate perspective planning within the overall earthquake impact minimization efforts.

            This information was given by Minister of Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan in Lok Sabha today.


Central Excise Day Celebrated; MoS(Finance) Shri Jayant Sinha Emphasizes that There is Urgent Need to Enhance the Tax to GDP Ratio in India as Well as Expanding the Tax Base and Improving the Tax Compliance;

Exhorted the Officers to Work on Innovative Ideas to Facilitate Starting and Doing a Business

The Minister of State for Finance Shri Jayant Sinha emphasized that there was urgent need to enhance the tax to GDP ratio in India, which was lower than those in some of the developing economies such as Kenya, Uganda, and Nepal. Expanding the tax base and improving the tax compliance were therefore of utmost importance. Shri Sinha was speaking at a function organized here yesterday by the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), Ministry of Finance to celebrate the Central Excise Day. The Central Excise Day is celebrated every year to commemorate the Central Excise and Salt Act which was enacted on 24th February 1944.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Sinha who was the Chief Guest exhorted the officers to work on innovative ideas to facilitate starting and doing a business such as development of mobile applications to facilitate starting of business even by a small vendor or a group of students. Officers also needed to make it attractive for a businessman to be part of the tax-net than to avoid it.

The Minister of State for Finance, Shri Sinha informed that the day was also historic for the reason that the 14th Finance Commission had recommended unprecedented hike in the States` share of Central taxes by 10 percentage points from 32% to 42%, which is a move in the direction of “cooperative federalism” strongly advocated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself. Finally, he lauded the stellar role being played by the Central Excise Department in contributing to nation building and congratulated all the awardees and their families.

Shri Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Finance also gave away the Certificates of Appreciation to the selected 40 officers of the Department of different grades from all over the country, who by continued devotion and commitment to duty, had contributed to promoting excellence in the fields of Central Excise and Service Tax administration.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Shaktikanta Das, Revenue Secretary, the Guest Of Honour, underlined that the Department had to constantly strike a balance between trade facilitation and enforcement measure, which was not an easy task. He emphasised that the officers should focus on three F’s i.e. firmness, fairness and friendliness.

Dr. Jyotsna Suri, President, FICCI and special invitee to the occasion thanked the Department for associating the representatives from the trade and industry to be part of an internal celebration of the Department which was indicative of better understanding and cooperation between the Department and the trade, who were both partners in the economic development of the country.

Earlier, in his welcome speech, Shri Kaushal Srivastava, Chairman, CBEC informed that with a view to greater customer focus and service orientation, CBEC was celebrating the Year 2015 as the "Year of Taxpayers Services". He averred that the department was fully geared and committed to undertake the challenges for implementation of the Goods and Service Tax slated to come into effect from 1st April, 2016.


Creation of two additional benches of the Authority for Advance Rulings (Income Tax)

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today gave its approval to the following:-

i. Creation of two additional benches of the Authority for Advance Rulings (Income Tax), one in New Delhi and one new bench in Mumbai;

ii. creation of two posts of Vice-Chairmen in the Apex scale and four posts of Members (two posts of Revenue Members and two posts of Law Members) in the Higher Administrative Grade (HAG+) and two posts of Secretary at the level of Commissioner of Income Tax/Joint Secretary; and

iii. one time expenditure of Rs.7.48 crores for establishment of the two additional benches and additional annual recurring expenditure of Rs. 6.61 crores for running these two additional benches.

The creation of two additional benches of the Authority would dispose of increased number of cases and pendency of cases would be reduced benefitting the tax payer and the Government. Besides, this will operationalise the facility of advance ruling for resident tax payers. The proposed additional Benches of Authority for Advance Rulings (Income Tax) will facilitate the cause of the resident tax payers in obtaining tax clarity in certain situations.


In order to provide the facility of ascertaining the Income-tax liability of a non¬resident/ to plan their Income-tax affairs well in advance and to avoid long drawn and expensive litigation, a scheme of Advance Rulings was introduced under the Income-Tax Act, 1961 and the Authority for Advance Rulings was constituted. A non-resident or certain categories of resident can obtain binding rulings from the Authority on question of law or fact arising out of any transaction/proposed transactions which are relevant for the determination of his tax liability.

In order to enable resident taxpayers to obtain an advance ruling in respect of their income tax liability above a defined threshold, it has been decided to strengthen the Authority for Advance Rulings by constituting additional benches.


Agreement on the New Development Bank and the BRICS Contingent Reserve Agreement

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today gave its approval for establishing the New Development Bank (NDB) and the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA).

The New Development Bank will mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries, to supplement existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development.

The establishment of the Bank will help India and other signatory countries to raise and avail resources for their infrastructure and sustainable development projects. It would also reflect the close relations among BRICS countries, while providing a powerful instrument for increasing their economic cooperation.

The BRICS CRA proposes to provide short-term liquidity support to the members through currency swaps to help mitigating BOP crisis situation, in case such a situation arises. The BRICS CRA will help India and other signatory countries to forestall short-term liquidity pressures, provide mutual support and further strengthen financial stability. It would also contribute to strengthening the global financial safety net and complement existing international arrangements (from IMF) as an additional line of defence.

The Agreement will enter into force and the Bank will begin operations only after all member countries deposit their instruments of ratification with Brazil. It will also provide the force of law to the commitments made by India in the inter-governmental agreement of the NDB including privileges and immunities that are to be extended to the Bank and its employees as specified in the Articles of Agreement.

Central Banks of the member countries will also have to finalize an Inter-Central Bank Agreement containing the operational details of swap transactions and the Standing Committee`s Operational Procedures (SCOP) before the arrangement can be operational.

Signing of the Agreement for the establishment of the New Development Bank is expected to allow India to raise and obtain more resources for the much needed infrastructure development, the lack of which is coming in the way of inclusiveness and growth as of now. Besides, the governance structure and decision making in the Bank will be equitable unlike the existing multilateral development banks.

So far infrastructure financing in India has been done from two public sources: Government and existing multilateral development banks. These have been supplemented by private sector contributions through Public-Private Partnership projects. However, in the context of fiscal consolidation, declining resources of existing MDBs and risk-averse private sector, the New Development Bank to be established by BRICS countries will make available additional resources thereby recycling the savings accumulated in emerging countries which are presently being locked up in Treasury bonds having much lower returns.

Signing of the Agreement is the first step towards economic cooperation of BRICS countries for pursuance of common goals. BRICS CRA will ensure equity and inclusiveness by providing a backup safety net arrangement in place that will allow the Government of India to go ahead with its necessary and bold policy decisions without being concerned about the international economic development that may lead to domestic imbalances and worsen BOP position.

The BRICS CRA is expected to serve the needs of our emerging economy in boosting access to additional foreign exchange reserves, should such situation arise. So far IMF support is the primary safety net that is available to India in case any BOP crisis situation arises. Pending the IMF governance reforms, India does not have much say in the IMF decisions. The proposed CRA will provide an alternative approach. This will also provide yet another window for our economy to engage with the BRICS in a more fruitful manner.


Shri R.K. Jain to function as Member Secretary NDMA

The Chairperson of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has nominated Shri R.K. Jain, Secretary NDMA, as Member, NDMA.

Shri R.K. Jain will function as Member Secretary NDMA for a period co-terminus with his tenure as Secretary NDMA.


Ceasefire Organisations in the North-East

The three factions of National Socialist Council of Nagaland i.e. NSCN (Isac-Muivah), NSCN (Khole-Kitovi) & NSCN (Khaplang) are currently under ceasefire agreement with the Government in India. However, other insurgent groups of the North-Eastern States are also under Suspension of Operation (SoO) agreement with the Government. The State-wise and organisation-wise details of insurgent groups of the North Eastern States alongwith numbers of designated camps who are presently under ceasefire/SoO agreement with the Government is as below:

Name of Insurgent Groups
Date of agreement
Number of designated camps
United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA/Pro-Talk)
Under SoO w.e.f. 03.09.2011
National Democratic Front of Bodoland/Progressive (NDFB/P)
Under SoO w.e.f. 01.06.2005
National Democratic Front of Bodoland/Ranjan Daimary (NDFB/RD)
Under SoO w.e.f. 29.11.2013
Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF)
Surrendered on 11.02.2010 following a ceasefire agreement
Five Adivasi outfits, namely AANLA, BCF, ACMA, STF & APA
Surrendered on 24.01.2012 following a ceasefire agreement
Kuki National Organisation (KNO)
August, 2008
United Progressive Front (UPF)
August, 2008
National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isac-Muivah)
National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang)
National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khole-Kitovi)

The Central Government is implementing a scheme for surrender-cum-rehabilitation of militants/ insurgents of North Eastern Region since 1998. Under the scheme, one time grant/money Rs. 1.5 lakh, monthly stipend/remuneration Rs. 3500/- per cadre, incentives for weapons etc. are given to the surrenderees as a rehabilitation package. In case of Manipur, one time grant/money Rs. 2.5 lakh and monthly stipend/remuneration Rs. 4000/- per cadre are given to the surrenderees under a special surrender-cum-rehabilitation scheme formulated in 2012. During the financial year 2013-14, a sum of Rs. 15.55 crore has been released to the North Eastern States towards payment of stipend/remuneration to the SoO/surrendered cadres.

This was stated by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Kiren Rijiju in a written reply to Shri Santiuse Kujur in the Rajya Sabha today.


3685 Monuments/Sites in the Country Declared as of National Importance till Date 3685 Monuments/Sites in the Country Declared as of National Importance till Date Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 3:18 PM Rating: 5

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