The government has notified rules for selection of photographers, who are authorized to take pictures of visitors inside centrally protected monuments. The rules prescribe specific rates for photos.
Most people visiting monuments get their pictures clicked by a photographer. But people also end up paying whatever is demanded by the photographer. The government has now notified new rules and fixed rates to be charged by the photographers at these monuments.
What is the rule?
As per Rule 8(d) of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Rules, 1959, no person is allowed to hawk or sell goods or take a photograph for monetary consideration except after taking specific license or permission by an archaeological officer at all centrally protected monuments. Hence the government has now come up with a policy for selection of photographers and the rates to be charged by them.
Determination of the number of licensed photographers
As per these rules, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has to determine the number of licensed photographers for each monument or a group of monuments on the basis of foot-fall, popularity, growth potential, extent and size of the monuments. This exercise has to done once every 5 years.
To obtain a license, a person has to have a minimum educational qualification of 10th Pass and should hold a one-year diploma in photography from a recognized institute. In the absence of a diploma, five years’ experience in photography in tourist places is a must. The minimum age to apply is 18 years. There are other eligibility conditions such as the person being a citizen of India, no pending criminal case (with a clean police record), not having been convicted in the past etc. The rules specify that preference is to be given to local candidates. It has to be noted that there is no such rule if you wish to contest the MLA/MP elections. One can contest even if they have pending cases against them.
ASI shall issue an advertisement specifying the number of such photographers at each such monument. The selection process consists of a test, practical & viva voce. The written test and practical should test the knowledge and skill of candidates on general awareness, photography, computer handling, etc. The practical & viva voce shall be conducted through a committee comprising of not less than three members, out of them at least one should be from the field of photography.
The successful candidates will be given licenses which has to be renewed every year. There is no automatic renewal of the license. The renewal is also subject to any pending complaints against the photographer. A license fee of Rs 25000 for ‘World Heritage’ monuments and Rs 15000 for other monuments has to be paid both for fresh & renewal.
Here is what you should be paying
Those getting clicked inside monuments by licensed photographers have to pay the following rates. The rules also specify rates for softcopy transfer. The rates range from Rs 25 for a post card size hard copy print to Rs 80 for an 8 X12 inches copy. The print should be on a paper of not less than 165 GSM.
In the case of softcopy, the rates are prescribed at Rs 100 for up to 25 photos and Rs 4 for every photo after that. Charging above these rates will be treated as misconduct and any such misconduct will not only attract a monetary penalty, but also result in the cancellation of the license.
Featured Image: Photographers at monuments