Bhopal : Culture Minister Sushri Usha Thakur, today, awarded national and internationally acclaimed archaeologist Prof. Vidula Jaiswal with the Dr. Vishnu Shridhar Wakankar National Award 2015-16 through video conferencing in Varanasi. This honour established by the Directorate of Archaeology, Archives and Museums was presented by Archaeological Officer Dr. Ramesh Yadav, on behalf of the Minister of Culture. An amount of Rs 2 lakh cash and a citation was given to Prof. Jaiswal at her residence in Varanasi.
Sushri Thakur said that the Ramlala temple at Ayodhya is the latest example of the way the archaeologists have taken up the responsibility of awakening national pride in a country which has been under outside forces for centuries. While some people had brought the Ram Janmabhoomi under the purview of law, archaeologists re-established it through evidence. The country will always be indebted to them.
The Culture Minister said that it has been more than 100 years of the Archaeological Department of India, but even today, this land has many evidences which need to be brought to the fore. Archaeologists have yet to travel long and difficult distances.
Prof. Vidula Jaiswal said that she is grateful to Madhya Pradesh government for giving distinct identity to archaeology. She said that she had the privilege of working with Late Dr. Wakankar during the Bhimbetka excavation. Dr. Wakankar used to engage in work without waiting for any facility, which is an example for the officers of today.
Born in the year 1947 in Varanasi, Prof. Vidula Jaiswal’s grandfather, Dr. Kashi Prasad Jaiswal, was also a well-known archaeologist and historian. Prof. Vidula Jaiswal acquired her Ph.D. from Kashi Hindu University in the year 1973 for her research on “A Study of Prepared Core Technique in Paleolithic Culture of India”. She worked in the Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi from 1977 to 1979 and in the Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology of Banaras Hindu University from 1979 to 2001.
After retirement from Kashi Hindu University in the year 2012, she has been working with Dr. R.C. Sharma Peeth. Prof. Jaiswal has been a member of the Central Advisory Board of Archaeology, Anthropological Survey of India and Selection and Examination Committees of University Grants. Archaeological excavations have been carried out at several sites in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar under the direction of Prof. Jaiswal. As many as 25 research projects have been completed with financial support from national and international institutions under the direction of Prof. Jaiswal who has delivered lectures in countries like Portugal, England, Canada, Bulgaria, Bangladesh etc. Prof. Jaiswal who has written 21 books so far has a special reputation for using the genres of “Ethnoarchaeology and Ethno Art History”.
The programme was conducted by Smt. Gita Sabherwal.