THE ASIATIC SOCIETY ACT, 1984

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The Asiatic Society Act, 1984 was enacted on March 23, 1984 and came into effect on June 25, 1984. The main purpose of enacting the legislation was to pronounce the Asiatic Society to be of national importance. At present the Society is situated and having its office registered at Calcutta. The founder of the Asiatic Society was William Jones who initiated the project on January 15, 1784. The society is registered as per the provisions of West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961. In order to accomplish the goals of the institution added with study, technical activities, library, creating museum, compilation of records, books and manuscripts, journals, magazines, publications and writings, the Central Government is authorized under the Act to grant funds or loans which are essential for the smooth functioning of the society after making required laws in this regard.

The society is obliged to keep proper books of accounts or documents and records and arrange statement of the accounts. The mode of preparing the accounts is prescribed by the Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) of India. The statement of accounts so prepared by the society shall consist of balance sheet as well. The Comptroller and Auditor General is authorized under the Act to inspect the accounts of the society. For the service rendered by him, the society is liable to pay appropriate expenses to the Comptroller and Auditor General. The person entrusted by the CAG shall have similar rights and duties with respect to the assessment of accounts as that of Government audits. He shall also have the power to require the books of accounts, receipts, records and documents in order to scrutinize the affairs of the institution. The report so prepared by the CAG or any other authorized official shall be send to the Central Government every year and such statements or records shall be laid before the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha by the Government.

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Moreover, the institution is under responsibility to send to the Central Government all the accounts and activities carried out, the policies initiated and other program ensued in the institution in the preceding year and such reports shall also be placed before the Parliament as mentioned above. The society cannot modify, extend or violate the principle for which it was constituted and cannot merge with other institutions apart from the prior sanction of the Government of India. The policies or memorandum can be changed only as per the orders of the Central Government. The property of the institution can be sold or assigned with the earlier authorization of the Government. But where the Central Government issue an order with respect to some category of property, then the prior permission is not essential. The society shall be dissolved except as directed by the Government of India in this connection.

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The Act provides for the constitution of Planning Board to enforce the developmental programs and policies of the society. The Board embraces of Chairman along with members who are chosen by the Central Government. The activities of the Board are controlled by itself excluding the terms specified by the Central Government. The Central Government has also constituted committees entrusted with the duties related with the Asiatic society. The committee shall have the power to review and scrutinize the works and programs launched by the institution. It shall be the accountability of the institution to provide all essential conveniences for the functioning of the Board. The Central Government can issue directions to the institution in the interest of public and for specific reasons. The memorandum of the society can also be altered by the Central Government if such alteration is called for. The activities of the institutions shall be given main concern in a specified format. Where any default has happened with regard to the activities of the society, the Act empowers the Central Government to assume charge. The Central Government is authorized under the Act to frame rules for the proper implementation of the Act.