The Archaeological Survey of India is an Indian government agency attached to the Ministry of Culture that is responsible for archaeological research and the conservation and preservation of cultural monuments in the country. It was founded in 1861 by Alexander Cunningham who also became its first Director-General.
ASI is the premier organization for the archaeological research, scientific analysis, excavation of archaeological sites, conservation and preservation of protected monuments.
It is an attached office under the Department of Culture (Ministry of Culture).
The ASI is divided into a total of 30 circles each headed by a Superintending Archaeologist. Each of the circles is further divided into sub-circles.
It regulates all archaeological activities as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.
It functions under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Culture.
It also regulates Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972.
Archaeological Survey of India is an attached office of department of Culture with headquarters in New Delhi. It has 24 regional Circles and 5 Regional Directorates.
Its main functions of Archaeological Survey of India.
- preservation, conservation and environmental development of centrally protected monuments and sites, including World Heritage Monuments and antiquities
- maintenance of gardens & development of new gardens surrounding centrally protected monuments and sites
- exploration and excavation of ancient sites
- specialized study of inscription and various phases of Indian architecture
- maintenance of Archaeological site Museums
- Operation of the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act
- Research and Training in different areas of Archaeology