National Museum to get new head

New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS) The government will appoint a new Director General of National Museum in 15 days, according to Culture and Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma.

Sharma, who holds independent charge of the culture ministry apart from being the minister of state for tourism and civil aviation, said late Tuesday that the appointment of the new chief had been finalized.

He spoke to reporters on the sideline of an exhibition on Indian maps at the National Museum.

The ministry has been in the eye of a storm over the abrupt transfer of Venu Vasudevan, the former head of the National Museum, in April.

Vasudevan, whose tenure was to expire in December 2016, was transferred without being given any reason.

The minister, however, maintained that the transfer was “a part of the government’s plan to bring in new talent”.

In an interview with IANS in May, Sharma defended the decision to transfer Vasudevan saying the “right person” had already been identified.

“We have advertised for the position and have identified the right person with more technical experience and expertise of museums,” he said.

Vasudevan’s overnight transfer had invited flak from many quarters, including the art fraternity which alleged that the government was trying to impose a ‘cadre’ of its choice in cultural institutions.

During his one and half year tenure, Vasudevan had revived the museum with many innovative plans, according to the fraternity.

Sharma maintained that the transfer was a routine administrative process.

“We have nothing against Vasudevan. He was appointed as an administrator and was doing good work. However, we were always on the lookout for better people who have more technical experience related to museums,” he said.

Presently, Sanjiv Mittal, a joint secretary in the culture ministry, holds the post of Director General of National Museum.

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