Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday questioned the Archaeological Survey of India’s rules prohibiting people from clicking photographs at certain monuments, while inaugurating the central agency’s new headquarters at Tilak Marg area. “Today, using space technology, a photograph can be taken of a scooter parked in a small lane of Delhi from thousands of miles away, but our monuments still display hoardings: ‘photography prohibited’,” the Prime Minister said, adding, “The times have changed, so has the technology.”
By Thursday evening, the ASI issued an order allowing “photography within the premises of all centrally protected monuments and sites”.
Responding to Modi’s remarks, Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said, “As per the Prime Minister’s instruction, such restrictions on the campuses of various monuments will be removed within a day. However, wherever such a ban is mandatory owing to security concerns or overcrowding issues, the restrictions will stay for the time-being.”
Considering this, the ASI, which functions under the Culture Ministry, has excluded the Ajanta Caves, Leh Palace (both housing paintings that can be damaged by camera flash) and the mausoleum of Taj Mahal from the order.
Talking about the use of satellites and space technology in the field of archaeology, Modi said, “There was a time when people negated the existence of Saraswati river. Now sp...