Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday inaugurated the new building of the Archaeological Survey of India in the national capital and called upon the nation to showcase its heritage with pride.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the newly-fitted Central Archaeological Library at the ASI headquarters, PM Modi said that the citizens should be proud of the rich history of India, adding that "Every paper connected with archaeology has its own story".
"Sadly, India is engrossed in a thought that doesn't appreciate its heritage. Until we feel proud of our heritage we will not be able to preserve it. Our heritage will continue to be a piece of stone till we try to appreciate it," the news agency ANI quoted Modi as saying.
According to him, training young people as tourist guides will help generate employment and also enhance the interest of people in archaeological sites, thereby boosting tourism.
"We need to devise new ways to promote civil and social involvement in preserving and promoting our historical heritage, the prime minister said.
"Even the corporate sector employees could be encouraged to donate 10-15 hours for historical monuments in an institutional manner," he added.
Modi suggested an addition of chapters on local archaeological places in school syllabus so that students grow up learning about India's enriched history. He also mentioned an online course that could be offered on the local history to create an army of guides, which is crucial to the tourism experience.
He also wondered why the ASI was prohibiting people from clicking photographs at certain monuments. He said when technology allows satellites to take pictures from far away, restricting people from clicking photographs is not correct.
The ASI's new buildings, situated at New Delhi's Tilak Marg area is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including energy-efficient lighting and rainwater harvesting.
Besides that, the Central Archaeological Library will have some amazing collections of Kautilya's Arthasharta and original and rare books on inscriptions like Kharosti and Brahmi.
As per the government source, the collections at the Central library will include about 1.5 lakh books and about 5,000 preserved and 10,000 unpreserved original manuscripts.