The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), under the Ministry of Culture, is the premier organization for archaeological research and for the protection of the cultural heritage of the nation. Maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and of remains of national importance is the prime concern of the ASI. Besides this, it regulates all archaeological activities in the country as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 and the Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972.
For the maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites the entire country is divided into 24 Circles. The organization has a large work force of trained archaeologists, conservators, epigraphist, architects and scientists for conducting archaeological research projects through its Circles, Museums, Excavation Branches, Prehistory Branch, Epigraphy Branches, Science Branch, Horticulture Branch, Building Survey Project, Temple Survey Projects and Underwater Archaeology Wing. This means that ASI is active in preserving and conserving India's cultural in all its material manifestations. In this respect, ASI does not just work for preservation and restoration, it also runs museums, brings out publications, and runs the national mission on monuments and antiques.