The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)under the Ministry of Culture was established in 1861 is the premier organization for the archaeological researches and protection of the cultural heritage of the nation. Maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance is the prime concern of the ASI. Besides it regulate all archaeological activities in the country as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958. It also regulates Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972.
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.
The ASI has its own head designated as Director General. Two Additional Director General, two Joint Director General and 17 Directors assist the Director General.
For the administrative convenience the entire country is divided into 5 Regional Directorates- North, west, Central, East and South and further in 24 Circles. Each Circle is headed by a Superintending Archaeologist (S.A.), who is further assisted by Deputy Superintending Archaeologist (Dy.S.A.), Deputy Superintending Archaeological Engineer (Dy.S.A.E.), Assistant Superintending Archaeologist (A.S.A.), Assistant Superintending Archaeological Engineer (A.S.A.E.), Assistant Archaeologists (A.A.) and Conservation Assistants (C.A.).
For conducting specialised archaeological researches there are also 6 Excavation Branches, 1 Prehistory Branch, 1 Building Survey Project, 2 Temple Survey Projects, 2 Epigraphy Branches, 1 Science Branch and Underwater Archaeology Wing in the Archaeological Survey of India.