Guwahati: The Assam Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill to protect, preserve, and restore tangible heritage, which is currently not covered under any national or state law.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal termed the passage of the Assam Heritage (Tangible) Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Maintenance Bill, 2020 as historic. The CM said that it is a step towards implementing Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.
The clause states that the constitutional, legislative, and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the culture, social, linguistic identity, and heritage of the Assamese people.
“The bill seeks to include museum objects like coins, sculptures, manuscripts, epigraphs or other work of art and craftsmanship and all cultural artifacts of indigenous people,” Cultural Affairs (Archeology) Minister Keshab Mahanta said in the statement of objects and reasons.
“It seeks to protect, preserve, conserve, maintain and restore the tangible heritage of Assam,” he added.
The act will cover all those heritage that have been in existence for at least 75 years and will be other than those declared as national importance by Parliament or those covered under the Assam Ancient Monuments and Records Act, 1959.
In addition to this, the assembly also passed a bill to set up a unitary, non-affiliating, residential, and state university — Sati Sadhani Rajyik Vishwavidyalaya in Golaghat district.
Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma informed that the Council of Ministers in 2019 had decided to set up the varsity in memory of Sati Sadhani, who was the last queen of the Chutia dynasty and played a prominent part in the fight against the Ahoms.
Further, the House passed the Assam College Employees (Provincialisation)(Amendment) Bill, 2020 for extending the period to refund the government’s share of contributory provident fund in case of retired or expired employees of the provincialized colleges.