Message from Honourable Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (IC), Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Government of India

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Dr. Mahesh Sharma

Museums are a repository of a nation’s culture as they contain explicit examples of the development of a country’s culture and heritage over a period of time. The strengthening of the country’s museums is an important activity covered under the ambit of the Ministry of Culture.

In this modern era of technological advances, Museums worldwide have undergone major changes in terms of their management and presentation of the interpretation of their historical artifacts. Consequently, more and more emphasis is being laid on leveraging the advantages of advanced technology for improving their activities. One such important area where computers and technology are widely and gainfully being utilized is the area of management of the Museum collections. Computerized collection management ensures the availability of readymade database in the hands of the Museum management which could be accessed any time and from anywhere and is an excellent MIS tool. Further, it could also be utilized for preparation and analysis of condition reports of various objects and more importantly to access all the information about a particular object at a single location.

With a view to strengthen the Museum movement in the Country through increased use of technology, my Ministry has taken proactive steps to extend both technical and financial help for the digitization of the Collections of the Government as well as private museums owned by Societies, Trust and NGO’s. The Ministry has got developed a standardized version of a Digital Collections Management software entitled ‘Jatan’ from the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Pune which has been implemented in the ten large Museums under the Ministry of Culture / ASI in the first phase. It is also proposed to implement this software in the remaining 42 Site Museums of the ASI in a phased manner over the next 3-4 years. As a result of this endeavour, a part of the digitized collections of these 10 museums have been made available on this web portal for the information of public worldwide. This is a significant effort of the Ministry to bring to the forefront the important cultural heritage of our country and it will particularly be useful for research scholar’s academicians and tourists, apart from the general public.

Also, the Ministry has formulated a new Plan Scheme under the XII Plan for extending financial aid to eligible museums for the purpose of digitization of their collections, creation of IT infrastructure and for creation of their web portals. All these accomplishments will help in presenting our amazing museum collections before the world in a hitherto unprecedented manner.

I congratulate all those associated with this project for their endeavors.

- Dr. Mahesh Sharma