Bhopal: Culture Minister Usha Thakur awarded archaeologist Prof Vidula Jaiswal with the Dr Vishnu Shridhar Wakankar National Award 2015-16 through video conferencing in Varanasi. An amount of Rs 2 lakh cash and a citation was also given to Prof Jaiswal at her residence in Varanasi.
This honour established by the directorate of archaeology, archives and museums was presented by archaeological officer Ramesh Yadav, on behalf of the minister of culture.
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, she said.
Prof Vidula said that she is grateful to the Madhya Pradesh government for giving a distinct identity to archaeology. "I had the privilege of working with late Wakankar during the Bhimbetka excavation. Wakankar used to engage in work without waiting for any facility, which is an example for the officers of today," she said.
Born in 1947 in Varanasi, Prof Vidula Jaiswal’s grandfather, Dr Kashi Prasad Jaiswal, was also a well-known archaeologist and historian. She did her PhD from Kashi Hindu University in 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 RC 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 an exceptional name for using the genres of “Ethnoarchaeology and Ethno Art History”.
The programme was conducted by Gita Sabherwal.