The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) should oppose search engine giant Google and foreigners being given access to potentially sensitive and important heritage monuments of India, especially in the wake of reports of Google using its controversial Street View program to collect undisclosed information in several countries.
Several countries, including Korea, Brazil and many European countries, have reported on violations committed under this program.
Recently, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had removed its partnership with Google Maps under adviset from cyber intelligence agencies.
Following a complaint by BJP Member of Parliament Tarun Vijay, the Survey of India had last year filed an FIR against Google Maps accusing it of malpractice under its Mapathon program.
Post the revelations on U.S. snooping, even the Department of Electronics is working on a program to use government email ids' under the NIC, as opposed to using Gmail or the Yahoo email.
Given the above developments, Archaelogical Survey of India (ASI) should be questioned over its decision to engage a foreign company like Google to conduct virtual tours of at least 30 Indian monuments.
According to the ASI-Google agreement inked on Thursday, web users will be allowed to explore monuments like the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort in Agra, the Humayun's Tomb and the Red Fort in Delhi on Google Maps and on Google Cultural Institute in 360 degree view.
The 30 monuments are part of the 100-odd monuments that Google plans to photograph and map in India. This project was begun last year. Google has revealed that it will be using its trekker technology.
The other monuments which will be accessible to Google web users are the Rock Cut Jain Temple, the Nagarjuna Konda Buddhist Stupas and Fatehpur Sikri.
The objective is to provide a dynamic and immersive experience on the web for people in India and around the world, said Union Culture Minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch in the national capital on Thursday.