As a part of the 14-point museum reform agenda undertaken by the Ministry of Culture special focus has to be given to the area of digitized documentation of the antiquities in the museums in various parts of the country. With a view to modernizing the collections management system of museums it is imperative that they resort to digital collection management system. Taking recourse to digitization of the documentation of antiquities would also help in the availability of information about the status of various antiquities at one place. This could then be utilized for the development of website of the concerned museum where all this data could be made available online in order to provide accessibility to scholars, researchers as well as interested individuals.
Details of the Scheme:
Under the scheme funds will be provided by the Ministry of Culture in the form of grants to various museums for digitization of art objects in the museums across the country and for making their images / catalogues available over the website. The scheme will have two components, one relating to the establishment of infrastructure (central server linked to museum level server /computers through dedicated channels) and the other relating to digitization of all collections, cross-indexed with fuller details on a template basis. The ultimate aim of the museum would be to have an online database of its collections readily available over its website for online viewing by general public. A part of the funds from this scheme (subject to a maximum of Rs. 2 crores per year) may also be utilized by the Ministry of Culture for undertaking projects with technical institutions for creating a combined website showing the collections of Museums under the Ministry and other State Government and Private museums registered under the Indian Societies Act of 1860 or a similar legislation.
All museums under the State Governments, Registered Societies, voluntary institutions, trusts and NGO’s, which are registered under the Indian Societies Act of 1860 or a similar legislation, would be eligible for getting financial assistance under the scheme. The applicant institution should fulfill the following conditions:
- The applicant institution should have been in existence after registration for at least three years prior to the application. However, this condition can be relaxed in exceptional and deserving cases by the Secretary Culture upon the recommendation of the Expert Committee, the reasons for which should be recorded in writing.
- It should have a well-defined constitution and laid down rules / bye-laws for its functioning.
- It should be in ownership and possession of a substantial collection of objects (minimum 500 objects) of historical and / or cultural importance being displayed in the museum. The nature and number of objects possessed and displayed by the museum should be clearly indicated in the proposal while applying for financial assistance under the scheme.
- It should produce a certificate from the State Government (Department of Culture or equivalent) attesting to its satisfactory performance.
- It should not be run for any profit.
- The plan and estimates of the digitization work proposed to be undertaken should be submitted in detail duly authenticated by the District Information Officer of the National Informatics Centre (NIC).
- The applicant institutions must be willing to share their collections for online viewing over a website for public information.
Categories of Museums:
For the purpose of financial support under the scheme museums have been classified into two categories: Category-I would be Government-owned State level museums and renowned museums with exclusive collections. Category-II would be all other museums.
For Category-I museums the maximum amount of financial assistance which may be given under the scheme would be 80% of the project cost of digitalization subject to a maximum of Rs. 50 lakhs per museum. For Category-II museums the maximum amount would be 80% of the project cost of digitalization subject to a maximum of Rs. 25 lakhs per museum. The balance of 20% of the project cost would have to be arranged by the museum concerned by itself. In case of museums in North-Eastern region including Sikkim the Central Government would provide up to 90% of the total project cost for Category-I and Category-II museums subject to the maximum financial ceiling as given above.
Scope of works for which grants will be given:
- Digitization of collections management system of the museum by procuring and using an appropriate standard software being used by renowned Museums in the country.
- Photography of art works of museum for digitization purposes.
- Creation or upgradation of website of a museum.
- Creation of a digital catalogue of works available in the museum for public dissemination through the museum website.
- Procurement of hardware like servers, clients, LAN, scanners, cameras etc., for digitization works for the museum.
- Development of an online museum library.
- Development of interactive information kiosks for the museum.
Procedure for the release of financial grant:
- The financial grant under the scheme would be released by the Ministry of Culture in two equal installments. The first installment, being 50% of the Central Government’s share, will be sanctioned and released after obtaining approval of the competent authority on the recommendations of the project proposal by the Expert Committee of the Ministry of Culture constituted for the purpose.
- The second installment of the remaining 50% of the financial grant will be released after the grantee institution has utilized 100% of the grant given under the first installment by the Ministry of Culture along with 10% of its own contribution. The release of the second installment would also be incumbent upon the receipt of a utilization certificate and statement of accounts audited by a firm of chartered accountants in respect of the previous installment of grant given by the Central Government as well as the 10% matching share of the museum.
The digitization project undertaken by the applicant institution should be completed within 2 years from the date of release of first installment of grant by the Ministry of Culture.
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