NEW DELHI: Over 600 posts are lying vacant in seven prominent museums, functioning under the Ministry of Culture, for years. Worse, 252 positions were abolished, mainly in the National Museum in Delhi and Indian Museum in Kolkata, since authorities couldn’t fill vacancies within the stipulated period.
Replying to the queries raised by Trinamool Congress MP Jawhar Sircar, culture minister G Kishan Reddy on Thursday informed the Rajya Sabha that most of these posts had fallen vacant due to superannuation, death, loss of utility of some of these posts in digital era, and proposed revision in the recruitment rules.
“It is also pertinent to mention that the process to fill vacant posts is also underway,” said the minister’s reply. Sircar, a retired IAS officer, had served as secretary in the ministry of culture from 2008 to 2012. It was reportedly the longest tenure for an official as secretary in the ministry.
Out of 614 unfilled positions, Victoria Hall Museum and National Council of Science Museums (NCSM)—both in Kolkata—have 104 and 87 vacancies. There are 198 unfilled posts in Indian Kolkata’s Museum.
While the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad has 27 openings, the number of vacancies in Prayagraj’s Allahabad Museum is 33.
As per the reply of the minister, there are 93 positions vacant in the National Museum in Delhi and National Gallery of Modern Arts (NGMA) has 72 unoccupied posts.
The minister said the government had initiated a 14-point museum reforms agenda for implementation on a continuing basis to bring about best practices in museums keeping pace with the international developments in the field.
It added that about 2.90 lakh artefacts or collections had been digitised in 10 Museums under the ministry.
“To make effective utilization of technology in museum management and bringing the collections of these museums closer to the public by making them available for online viewing over the internet, a Museums of India portal has been established,” said the reply.