Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma on 8 August said over 5,000 posts are lying vacant in 45 organisations, including Archaeological Survey of India, under the Ministry of Culture, leading to difficulties in security, conservation and preservation of historical monuments.
Sharma said in the Lok Sabha today that there are 15,607 sanctioned posts in 45 organisations under his Ministry, of which 10,284 posts are filled.
"These vacancies have occurred over the years and we have taken a number of steps, including appointing people on contractual basis, to fill the vacant posts," he said during Question Hour.
The Minister said the posts which remained vacant were mostly those of archaeologists and conservationists as the old rules were very stringent, leading to difficulty in finding eligible candidates.
He added that the government has taken steps to relax the rules so that it becomes easier to hire more people in organisations like ASI.
Observing that there are around 80,000 historic monuments in the country of which 3,686 are ASI protected, he however, said "no monument of national importance has been neglected or defaced for want of adequate manpower".