With vacancies for various posts at the State Museum and State Archives remaining unfilled, the existing officials are grappling with additional charges and work load.
The museum, established in 1957, is experiencing a severe dearth of specialised staff as well as workers. It houses some of the most stunning archaeological sculptures, armours and ancient manuscripts among other historical objects.
Having nine galleries, including Numismatics, Archaeology, Geology, Patta Painting, Palm Leaf and Natural History, it is facing paucity of curators, assistant curators, attendants, technical assistants and even Class IV staff.
In the absence of guides, visitors to the museum are finding it difficult to get more information about the displays.
Sources said as many as 50 per cent of the posts are vacant in the museum. Currently, while there are around 45 persons permanently on the rolls, 12 to 15 persons have been hired on contract basis.
“The museum has only 55 employees against a requirement of double that number, whether experts or Class IV employees. Even the size of security contingent that guards the invaluable collection is less than one-third of the actual need,” said a senior official on condition of anonymity. Similar is the case with Odisha State Archives that has hundreds of important documents of yesteryear. The State Archive is without a full-time Superintendent.
At present, Odisha Sahitya Akademi Secretary Bijay Kumar Nayak holds the additional charge of State Archives after the retirement of superintendent in-charge Sabita Mishra last year. The State Archives has just two curators and two archivists. The documentation assistant and technical assistant posts have been lying vacant as well.
“These are all promotional posts. The vacancies have been existing for a long time as there are no new appointments following retirements or promotions. Particularly, the number of curators in both State Archives and Museum is highly inadequate,” said an official of the Culture Department.
Meanwhile, Director of the Department, Sushil Kumar Das, said the State Government has decided to fill up many of the vacant posts in both the institutions this year. “Government has already approved some contractual appointments to fill up vacant curator posts in State Museum and Archives.
Besides, the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) for the post of State Archive Superintendent will be held soon,” he said.