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Budget: Govt proposes to set up Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation

Budget: Govt proposes to set up Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation

New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday proposed the setting up of an Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation with the status of a deemed university under the Ministry of Culture.

Presenting the Budget for 2020-21 in the Parliament, Sitharaman also proposed the setting of eight museums across the country.

According to Budget documents, Rs 109 crore has been earmarked for setting up the museums and an additional Rs 180 crore for the development of the existing ones.

Sitharaman said Rs 3,150 crore has been allocated for the Ministry of Culture and Rs 2,500 crore for the Ministry of Tourism. "Acquisition of knowledge in disciplines such as museology and archeology are essential for collecting and analysing scientific evidence of such findings and for dissemination through high quality museums," she said.

She also proposed the setting up of a tribal museum in Ranchi, Jharkhand.

"Five archaeological sites in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu would be developed with on-site museums," the Finance Minister said. Those, to be developed as iconic sites, will be in Rakhigarhi (Haryana), Hastinapur (Uttar Pradesh), Shivsagar (Assam), Dholavira (Gujarat) and Adichanallur (Tamil Nadu).

Union Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel said, "The much awaited Indian Institute of Archaeological and Conservation was announced in the Budget. This will enable trained, qualified persons to conserve manuscripts, including monuments, museums. All partner institutions will benefit.

"The Budget has paved the way for creation of new museums and the preservation of existing ones."

For the tourism sector, the government has also allocated Rs 1,200 crore for Swadesh Darshan scheme and a corpus of Rs 208 crore for the Prashad scheme which seeks to build infrastructure for pilgrimage sites around the country.

Highlighting improved tourism revenues due to better rank, the Finance Minister said, "India had moved up from rank 65 in 2014 to 34 in 2019 in the Travel and Tourism Competitive Index (World Economic Forum)."

Due to this, she said, "Foreign exchange earnings grew 7.4 per cent to Rs 1.88 lakh crores for the period January 2019 from Rs 1.75 lakh crores."

The FM also proposed the re-curation of the oldest museum in India as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2020.

A Numismatics and Trade Museum will also be located in the historic Old Mint Building in Kolkata.

The FM also announced renovation and re-curation of four more museums across India.

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