National Archives Top Boss Rues Ministries For Not Sharing Records

| Updated: December 26, 2022 5:11 pm

The National Archives of India (NAI) does not have records of the 1962, 1965, and 1971 Wars. Neither does it have any documented data related to the Green Revolution. This lack of recorded details was made public by NAI director-general Chandan Sinha on Friday. He was speaking at a workshop on good governance organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances in Delhi.

The functionary also stated that several Union ministries and departments have not shared records with the chronicling agency. “The government works out of 151 ministries and departments in all. NAI has records from only 64 agencies, including 36 ministries and departments,” he elaborated. 

As per the Public Records Act, 1993, various Central ministries and departments are supposed to transfer records more than 25 years old to the NAI. “Unless they pertain to classified information. It is up to the respective ministries and departments to ascertain what is classified information, and the NAI (which functions under the Ministry of Culture) is merely the record-keeper,” he added. 

The NAI keeps and conserves records of the government of India and its organisations. Underlining that record management in government is a key aspect of good governance, Sinha said at the workshop that there are several ministries that have not shared their records with the NAI since independence.

“We do not have any records in the NAI of the Green Revolution, which we hail all the time, or the 1962 war, the 1965 war, and the 1971 war, the great victory,” he said.

“There are several such issues in certain such areas which I am very sad to share with you that we do not have any records. We are not holding History in trust. Indeed, the question that we must face is that are we losing a large part of our history since Independence.”

“NAI received about 20,000 Defence files till 1960 only this year. Rather than waiting for a special campaign for recording and weeding out of files for records, it is supposed to be done every quarter,” he said.

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