New Delhi, August 26 : A conference on Geosciences and Geological surveys was organized by Ministry of Mines with the secretaries of the State Departments of Geology and Mining here today.
The conference aimed at eliciting the views of States on geoscientific activities including mineral explorations and other geosciences issues like disaster management, landslide studies, environmental studies - many of which are State specific.
Inaugurating the conference, Ministry of Mines Secretary Shantanu Consul said that the future directions and pace of geoscientific activities in the country will be determined by the growth of both National and State level geoscientific organizations and particularly by the synergy that they are able to generate through their close and systemic interaction.
He stressed upon the necessity of an impetus for the development of policies and programmes in this sphere. He said the Government of Gujarat has offered to collaborate with the Geological Survey of India (GSI) in the National Geochemical Mapping project, since it has the potential for accelerating the pace of economic development.
This collaboration will result in GSI being able to fully map of Gujarat in just a few years instead of the proposed 55 years. Similarly, the Ministry of Mines plans to develop a Mining Tenement System, which will help in creating a transparent regulatory regime for prospecting and mining licenses in collaboration with State Governments.
Several States have already been experimenting with similar systems and a sharing of experience as well as data will be in the overall interest of the mineral sector.
The Secretary said that the Government proposes to review the coordination mechanism for the regional exploration work being done by Government agencies. The main mechanism for this process is the Central Geological Programming Board (CGPB) of the GSI. Inputs presently come from the State Geological Programming Boards (SGPB) and Sub-committees of the Central Boards.
The National Mineral Policy, 2008 has called for a revamped of the existing arrangements to ensure that the programmes are prioritized in line with the Policy goals and that they take into account the exploration work being undertaken by the Private Sector.
This revamping, he said, is of the highest priority in order to induct modern methodologies and latest techniques so as to establish and equitable and transparent regulatory and developmental framework and to create a sustainable base through appropriate educational and training facilities.
The Secretary said that the mining sector is set to go a long distance within the next decade or so. It has been lagging behind for far too long. The States are now recognizing the role of this sector in their development and economic progress. The Government will put through the required regulatory framework in place at the earliest to speed up progress in the mining sector.
Heads or senior officers of Geology and Mining departments of 20 States which included all mineral rich north eastern states like Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Meghalaya participated in the interactive conference where the senior officers of Ministry of Mines and Planning Commission, Heads of GSI, Indian Bureau of Mines and Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited attended the Conference.
GSI is also planning to host its 43rd meeting of the Central Geological Programming Board on 29th September, to discuss in detail State Governments proposals for Geological survey, exploration and special studies.