Solving India’s idol theft problem

By Bibek Debroy

Sometimes, CAG reports make us feel despondent. There is such a 2013 report on “Preservation and Conservation of Monuments and Antiquities”. Monuments and antiquities are part of our heritage and culture and we don’t market them adequately. In particular, this report flags the inefficiency of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Excavation and preservation require distinct skill-sets and expertise and since it seeks to combine them both, I have reservations about something like the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act of 1958. But let’s leave larger issues aside and focus on only one aspect.

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