With 40% of its posts vacant, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is optimizing its human resources with a new policy of comprehensive staff growth and preventing the formation of vested interests.
The draft policy on “optimization of human resources within ASI”, which was published on March 7 and left open for comments until March 20, according to an ASI official, covers all employees permanent members of the organization.
The draft policy lists “avoiding the development of vested interests” and “prescribing a fixed minimum and maximum term” for employees as some of its objectives. The draft stipulates that the minimum general seniority of an employee in a particular location would be three years and a maximum of five years or seven years “in the event of extreme public demand”.
Regarding transfers, the policy states that all transfer requests would be made through a specified online mode and “no requests, including VIP referrals, will be accepted”. According to the official, the policy has been posted on ASI’s website for the sake of transparency and for ASI employees to provide feedback.
The ASI, which maintains 3,693 centrally protected monuments and oversees excavations, has about 40% vacancies. Out of a total of 8,860 sanctioned posts, 3,574 were vacant, according to Culture Ministry data cited in the report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture presented to the Rajya Sabha on March 14.
In fact, the committee noted in its report that the vacancies reflected a “very pathetic situation in all the organizations of the ministry. Under ASI Archeology, from the total sanctioned strength of 420, vacancies are 166, similarly under Conservation, from the total staff of 918, there are 166 vacancies. there is a gigantic vacancy of 452 positions”.