Museums in metros will undergo a major overhaul with the Centre planning structural changes in its management to bring it at par with the best in the world and the total cost for the exercise is pegged at Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion).
The cultural ministry has proposed an outlay of Rs 100 crore during the 11th Plan for upgrading National Museum (Delhi), Indian Museum (Kolkata), Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (Mumbai) and Government Museum (Chennai), a senior ministry official told PTI on Tuesday.
"We plan to modernise the four museums with the view to bring them at par with the rest of the world. With this in mind, a high-level committee has been formed," he said.
The first meeting, held last week, was convened by Minister of Tourism and Culture Ambika Soni.
As the need for modernisation of museums was felt, the ministry formed the committee, a step which was undertaken for the first time, the official said.
"The members will be looking at different areas, including structural changes of the management, to address manpower shortage and how best to place artifacts in a more appealing manner to attract tourists," he said.
"We want to upgrade the museums so that they become an interesting place to visit," he said, adding that the committee will be presenting its views in two weeks time and which will be collated and then discussed.
"A final view will be taken later," the official said. "The ministry has proposed an outlay of Rs 100 crore for the XI Five year plan for modernisation of these museums. The money allocated to these museums could differ, depending on their needs," the official said.
In the Union Budget, modernisation of museums and archaeology has also got allocation of Rs 451.61 crore (Rs 4.51 billion) for this purpose as compared to Rs 393.05 crore (Rs 3.93 billion) last year.
Apart from culture secretary, who will be heading the high-level committee, the other experts are -- Rupika Chawla, Malivika Singh, Ranesh Ray, Jyotindra Jain and Karni Singh Jasol.
The members will formulate the requirements, eligibility criteria, terms of reference, draft advertisement for invitation of expression of interest from internationally reputed consultants to modernise museums in the country to bring them at part with the best in the world.
The members will also select consultants based on the above criteria, he said.
They will also interact with the selected consultants and give them broad guidelines to enable them to prepare detailed project reports for modernisation and upgradation of these museums.
"All the members expressed concern about the present status of the museums of the country and suggested the need for structural changes to make them autonomous, responsive and interesting place for the public to visit," he said.