‘3rd National Conclave on Mines and Minerals’
20th March, 2018 at Hotel Ashoka, New Delhi
- The Ministry of Mines organized the 1stNational Conclave on Mines & Minerals on 4-5 July, 2016 at Raipur and 2ndNational Conclave on Mines & Minerals on 15th Feb 2017 at New Delhi. In these conclaves, the representatives of State Governments, mining industries, industry associations, financial & academic institutions, and others participated and raised various issues, challenges and opportunities in the mining sector to realize its optimum potential for the sustainable development. Both the National Mining Conclaves were great success and had overwhelming participation. All the participants expressed great satisfaction on the organization and outcome of the conclaves.
- Several new initiatives have been taken in the ministry since the last conclave. The Mineral Auction Rules have been amended, Sand Mining Policy is likely to be finalized, key modules of MTS are likely to be rolled out, launch of Star Rating Scheme for Minor Minerals, Mining Surveillance System implementation for Minor Minerals and many other schemes in the recent past. The implementation of these and other initiatives being taken, requires harmonization of ends and objectives together with the capacity building of the stakeholders. For this, intensive and wide interaction is required, between all stakeholders, such as the government bodies responsible for mineral conservation, development, policy & regulation and the mining industry. The Conclave will provide an effective platform to showcase the recent policy initiatives by the Government of India and enable intensive discussion on the issues, challenges and opportunities in the mining sector to realize its optimum potential for the sustainable development of the country. It will help the Central Government to further improve the policy environment to promote best practices and addressing various issues in the mining sector. It will strengthen the efforts of the Ministry in enabling the mining sector to contribute its fullest to foster the rapid growth of national economy and employment generation.
- Owing to the immense benefits of the conclave as mentioned above, the participation of the industry and other stakeholders in the earlier conclaves was kept free of charge for encouraging their participation and the same will be continued in this conclave. Both the public and the private mining companies will actively take part in the conclave. Besides this, the metal and the allied sector, which is involved in the mining activity would also participate in the conclave. This would provide an effective platform to the various Government organizations of the mining sector, viz. Union Mines Ministry, State Mining Departments, regulators such as IBM &DGMs, explorations entities GSI&NMET, etc. to interact with the mining and allied industry stakeholders.
- The astounding success and immense utility of earlier National Conclaves on Mines & Minerals to gather solidarity in approach for addressing the issues in the mining sector, the Ministry of Mines is organizing 3rdNational Conclave on Mines & Minerals on 20th March 2018 in Convention Hall, Hotel Ashoka New Delhi.
- Federation of Indian Mineral Industries(FIMI) has agreed to partner in the event. The PSUs which are closely associated with the mining activity directly or as an integral part of their production process, would be one of the major stakeholders assisting the Ministry in organising the conclave. These PSUs are NALCO, HCL&MECL under the Ministry of Mines and the companies in which the government stake is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Mines, viz. HZL&BALCO.
- Hon’ble Minister of Mines, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar has consented to give the awards for ‘5 Star’ rating in the conclave to the 20 best performing mines which are star rated. The Star rating system evaluates performance of mines on technical, socio-economic, environmental parameters; final and progressive mine closure and adoption of international standards with the objective to bring standardisation in mining operations and for minimising impacts of mining. The extension of implementation of the Star Rating System for minor mineral mines for will be discussed in the conclave.
- The launch of Portal for PMKKKY monitoring along with Registration and Returns module of MTS will also be done by the Hon’ble Minister of Mines, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar during the award function in the conclave. MTS primarily involves automating the entire concession life-cycle, starting from identification of area and ending with closure of the mine; and connecting the various stakeholders for real-time transfer of electronic files and exchange of data. Wipro Ltd. is the Implementation Agency for Mining Tenement System, which has been engaged by Indian Bureau of Mines for its development and implementation.
- The existing 14500 users of the registration and the returns module will be migrated into the new system. The daily returns may be filed from the Mobile App or directly on the online portal. The filing of monthly returns will have to be done on the new system starting this months return onwards. The MTS software has to be integrated not only with the existing IT systems of the States, but several other existing IT applications viz. Aadhar, RTO data, GST, etc., for its effective implementation.
- MTS will facilitate end to end national scale accounting of all the minerals produced in the country from the pithead to its end use, reducing the scope for illegal mining, royalty evasion, etc. and enhancing the data processing with regard to the mineral sector.
- Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojna (PMKKKY) scheme is to be implemented by the funds collected under District Mineral Foundations (DMF) to be utilized for the welfare and development of the mining affected areas. The portal for the monitoring the implementation of PMKKKY is being implemented through providing for change control in the MTS project owing to its backward integration with OAS for fund collection.
- The module for monitoring portal of PMKKKY implementation captures from the collection and accrual of funds, to its utilization and monitoring for implementation of projects.
- The portal will be utilized not only from the perspective of monitoring from the Centre and State level but will also help online monitoring of fund collection and projects implementation at each of the district level where DMF has been established.
- The portal will disseminate key information about the progress of works being implemented to the local population and other stakeholders working in the direction of ensuring maximum transparency. This will facilitate the participatory approach of the affected people and stakeholders in the implementation of projects under PMKKKY and help ameliorate their grievances.
- The user interface for input and monitoring will be created in the system at district level. The basic data input has to be done by the respective DMFs, about the implementation of projects under PMKKKY such as project details, start date, targeted date, sanctioned and spent amount, progress, GIS enabled monitoring, beneficiaries, affected people and areas, etc.
- Pursuant to the decision taken in the Ministers’ Conference with the State Mining Ministers on 4th May, 2017, a Committee under the chairmanship of Union Mines Secretary with senior officials from the States of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh, was constituted on 18th May, 2017, to study the existing system of sand mining in various States and suggest a comprehensive sand mining policy/ guidelines as a model for replication by the States to address concerns in this sector, such as availability of sand in terms of demand and supply, illegal mining issues, use of MSS, pricing of sand, feasibility of M-Sand (Manufactured sand) and of the import of sand, testing facility & quality of sand, size of mineral concessions, etc.
- The committee has studied existing models of sand mining and usage, Minor Mineral Rules / sand mining rules of 14 State, demand supply assessment, Identification of sand reaches, assessment of the quality of District Survey Reports being prepared by States, method of allotment of boulder quarries, quality checking norms for imported sand, sourcing of sand by major consumers and Government agencies and legal aspects of semi mechanical and mechanical mining.
- The report of the committee is likely to be finalized till then. Hon’ble Minister of Mines, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar has consented to release the report in the conclave function.
- The conclave will have three technical sessions for interaction on the following key topics-
|Technical Sessions||Key Topics|
|I||Auction of Mineral Blocks & Implementation of PMKKKY|
Impetus on Exploration
|III||Sustainable Development Framework – Sharing of Best Practices|
- The Mineral Auction Rules have been amended by the Ministry of Mines vide notification dated 30.11.2017 to make the auction process less cumbersome and thus, expedite the mineral auctions. The implementation of Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) under the District Mineral Foundation (DMFs) will be discussed in the conclave.
- The effective utilization of the Mining Surveillance System (MSS) for curbing the incidences of illegal mining for major minerals and its extension for minor minerals will also be deliberated upon in the conclave.
- A webpage on the Ministry of Mines website, “NCMM 2018” has been created about the Conclave, giving the brochure, program schedule and a link for registration.
- The registration and handing over of folder and badges would be done at the venue itself from 9.00 onwards on 20th March 2018.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said, the government has received tremendous support in its efforts to curb black money and fight corruption. He was speaking at the Rising India Summit organised by a private TV channel in New Delhi last evening. Mr Modi said, due to the support and inspiration of the people, the government has succeeded in taking and executing bold steps. He said, there is a transformational shift in the country because of the people and their will to dream.
The Prime Minister said, in his opinion, Rising India means rising the confidence of 125 crore people of the country. He said, Rising India evokes the thought of light through the darkness. Mr Modi also envisagedthe role of northeast towards Rising India.
The Prime Minister also said, Swachh Bharat Mission has now become people’s movement. He also highlighted the Ujjwala scheme which has changed the lives of crores of people.
Mr Modi reiterated the government’s commitment to make health care affordable and accessible to all. He said, in this year’s budget, the government announced the Ayushman Bharat Scheme under which wellness centres will be set-up and a medical insurance coverage of 5 lakh rupees will be provided to 10 crore families.
The Prime Minister asserted that the government has planned to invest one lakh crore rupees to improve the education system in the country.
Mr Modi said, India is performing well on all macroeconomic factors. He said, the power sector is undergoing several transformational changes to fight power shortage, adding that 16,000 crore rupees are being spent on electrification projects. The Prime Minister also said, the government has given nearly 5 lakh crore rupees loans to the poor without guarantee.
Mr Modi said, India is spearheading a solar revolution in the world, adding that in the last 4 years, India has contributed massively to the world economy. He said, the motto of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas is not just restricted to India but covers the world. The Prime Minister also said, India helped 48 countries during the crisis in Yemen.
Mr Modi said, Rising India means the rising of pride of over 1.25 billion Indians. He said, isolation to integration is the only way to Rising India. The Prime Minister said, the government is working at a fast pace on its resolve to ‘Act Fast for the North East’. He said, the government is ensuring that the projects pending for long are completed so that people and the states facing the imbalance with regard to development are benefited.
Punjab, a Patiala court has awarded a two-year prison sentence to singer Daler Mehndi for human trafficking. The court found him and his brother guilty of taking ten people to the United States 20 years ago as part of their singing troupe, in return for money. The case began in 2003.
Mehndi’s lawyer said, the singer was granted bail immediately after the sentencing by the court.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former party president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh attended the 84th Congress plenary session in New Delhi, March 17, 2018. Congress on Saturday, March 18, resolved to adopt a ‘pragmatic approach’ for cooperation with all like-minded parties and evolve a common workable programme to defeat the BJP-RSS in the 2019 general election.
Congress launched an attack on the BJP-RSS, saying the country’s core Constitutional values are under attack and freedom of all is in jeopardy, with institutions under stress and their independence compromised.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, in his inaugural address at the 84th Congress plenary session. He accused the Narendra D Modi government of spreading hatred and anger, and said the Congress was the only party that would take the country forward by fostering an environment of amity and love.
Gandhi said the Congress’s hand (its election symbol) is the only one that would unite India and take it forward, and reminded partymen that it followed the ideology of love.
Further added, difference between two was that while they spread anger and hatred, “we spread love and brotherhood”, we would take seniors and the youth together as the tradition of the Congress party was to embrace change without forgetting its past and legacy. “If the youth have to take the Congress forward, it cannot be done without the experience of the party veterans. My task is to be take them together,” he said.
President Gandhi said that crores of youth in the country, looking up to Modi, are not finding any anything as there were no jobs. “The country is tired of what is happening under the current government. Only the Congress party can show the way and heal divisions in the nation,” he said. “Come what may, this country belongs to everyone, every religion, every caste and every person and the Congress party is for everyone and we will not leave anyone behind,” he added.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge says, ‘A resurgent Congress alone shall win back the idea of India as envisioned by the founding fathers of our nation.’
The party said it was prepared for making sacrifices required to defend the ethos of the Constitution and ‘We will purge the polity of the aberrations witnessed during the BJP regime, which has failed to honour its commitments to the people of India.’
The party also gave a clarion call to its rank and file to rise to the occasion and defend the foundational values of the Republic and Constitutional democracy.
The resolution said at a time when the country stood at the crossroads, facing the threat posed by ‘authoritarian, divisive and disruptive forces’, the Congress is committed to serve the people of India with its illustrious history and legacy that represent multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-religious India.
Under the BJP regime, the Congress said, the people of the country, be it farmers, labourers, unorganised sector workers, self-employed, Dalits, traders, minorities and the poor have been ‘betrayed’.
The political resolution called for reverting to the old practice of paper ballot as adopted by other major democracies to help restore the credibility of the electoral process.
This, it said, was necessary as there were misgivings on the ‘misuse’ of EVMs to ‘manipulate the outcome contrary to the popular verdict.’
It also said that the BJP’s move of simultaneous elections is ‘misplaced’ and is ‘incompatible with the Constitution as also impractical.’
‘It will have serious implications, which must be thoroughly enquired into, and a national consensus built,’ it said.
Facing the challenge of defections in the party, with the BJP poaching many of its leaders, the party sought debarring defectors from contesting elections for six years to check the ‘brazen misuse of money power to create political instability.’
The party hit out at the BJP-RSS ideology, alleging that it was creating an environment of ‘distrust, fear and intimidation’ in pursuit of their ‘insidious and divisive agenda.’
‘The Congress condemns the BJP government for brazen abuse of power and misuse of central agencies for targeted political vendetta to harass, humiliate and persecute its political opponents,’ the resolution stated.
‘The Congress party warns the BJP and its government that its undemocratic methods and acts to curtail liberty, freedom of expression and violation of fundamental rights of its citizens as enshrined in the Constitution will be strongly resisted,’ the resolution added.
On corruption, the party said the BJP government ‘lacks sincerity in fighting corruption, to ensure transparency and accountability. This is underscored by its non-appointment of the Lokpal.’
The party also said the judicial system needed urgent reforms for effective and timely dispensation of justice and said the huge pendency of cases and providing affordable justice remains a big challenge that needs to be addressed.
The resolution also called upon the media to restore the balance in national narrative to safeguard democracy.
|Ricken Patel – Avaaz|
Onward Together – Default
Cheer and excitement across Narmada valley.
14 March 2018, Badwani: Before 2003, the farmers whose lands were forcibly acquired for Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) rehabilitation sites were also eligible to get rehabilitation and compensation benefits equal to the submergence affected people. This was the order by Grievance Redressal Authority (GRA). Village Chhoti Kasravad’s Moolchand s/o Jhapdia was also held eligible for compensation by GRA. Against this order, Narmada Valley Development Authority had filed a petition in High Court. NVDA argued that changes in the fundamental rehabilitation policy makes it not liable to provide these benefits. After hearing Advocate Pratyush Mishra (on behalf of the displaced) and Advocate Vivek Patwa (for NVDA), through order W.P. No. 5594/2016 in 08/03/2018, the high court dismissed NVDA petition and ordered reinstatement of Moolchand Bhai’s eligibility to 2 hectares of land as a ‘rehabilitation site displaced’ and held GRAs order acceptable and justifiable. Due to this order many landless or devastated farmers-dalits-adivasis will finally find justice. Thousands of hectares of land were acquired for rehabilitation sites for the SSP affected people from the submergence affected as well as other farmers. For SSP Inter-state plan, the orders of the Narmada Tribunal as well as rehabilitation policies of different states for Narmada projects is considered as the basis of law for rehabilitation of the displaced. This is clear from the Supreme Court orders of 2000 in response to petition by Narmada Bachao Andolan.
The definition of displaced from 1989 to 2003 has been that apart from submergence affected any other people affected by Sardar Sarovar or Narmada Projects will also be considered SSP affected. In 2001 by amending this definition, only those families affected by canals or for SSP colony sites were included apart from submergence affected as eligible for benefits. In 2003 another amendment was introduced making the definition even narrower and including only submergence affected as eligible.
But according to rehabilitation policy (clause 4.3) after 2003 also this provision remained that lands of any dalit-adivasi or small and marginal farmers will not be acquired. It was also mentioned that any land acquired from any other farmer will limit itself at least after leaving 2 hectares land for their use.
NVDA had sidelined all these legal foundations and has acquired lands forcibly and illegally from dalit-adivasi and other farmers due to which many were rendered landless and many were left at the margins. The struggle of the dispossessed continues.
GRA passed many orders in favour of the displaced but NVDA did not follow most orders and refused land to many families, one of which was Moolchand. After NVDA filed a petition against GRA order in MP High Court Indore, the case was argued for a whole month by Advocate Pratyush Mishra assisted by Advocate Kailashchandra Yadav.
Narmada Bachao Andolan hails the decision of the bench comprising of Justice P.K. Jaiswal and Justice Virendra Singh whose intervention makes it possible for farmers to get back fertile lands. It is NVDA’s duty to not waste public money on appeals and petitions and rather focus on justifiable rehabilitation of all displaced.