President Ram Nath Kovind today said authorities must be mindful of the human side of mining.
Addressing the gathering after presenting National Geo-sciences Awards for 2017 in New Delhi, Mr Kovind said, local communities must benefit from the exploration, extraction and development of mineral resources.
He said, many of the mineral resources in India are found in regions that have been home of tribal communities since generations.
Mr Kovind said it is important that these communities are part of prosperity that the mining economy creates.
The President said application of geoscience is extremely diverse which will lead to expansion of economic activities. He said, environment impact of mining must be minimized.
He said, India must mine more but mine better in a sustainable manner.
Mr Kovind said, India’s per capita consumption of many resources and commodities is still very low by global standards and there is room to grow. He said, high-quality research initiatives are required for sustainable and ecological friendly resource generation.
The President also stressed on meaningful investment in technological innovation in the mining sector. He said, the Government pushed for reforms in the sector in the last four years.
Mr Kovind said, the reforms, including amendments to existing laws and establishing a more equitable system of royalties, have started showing results.
He said, exploration of mineral blocks and auctioning will go a long way in enhancing financial health of states.
The President said, geoscientists have an important role to play in enhancing agricultural productivity and farmer incomes in providing a bedrock to the Smart Cities initiative and helping citizens fight the challenge of water scarcity, which has emerged as a pressing problem.
In his address, Union Minister for Mines Narendra Singh Tomar stressed on innovation and research in the mining sector. He said, 36 mineral blocks have been auctioned generating an additional revenue of 1 lakh 11 thousand crore rupees.
He informed that new blocks will be auctioned in the near future. He said, Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana is providing welfare to areas and people affected by mining-related operations.