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Natural resources, including minerals, are a shared inheritance where the state is the trustee on behalf of the people to ensure that future generations receive the benefit of inheritance. Examine the issues of mining in India and suggest steps to address them.

Topic:  Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

5. Natural resources, including minerals, are a shared inheritance where the state is the trustee on behalf of the people to ensure that future generations receive the benefit of inheritance. Examine the issues of mining in India and suggest steps to address them. (250 words)

Reference: The Hindu

Why the question:

Governments everywhere treat the mineral sale proceeds as revenue or income, a crucial error which hides the real transaction — a sale of inherited wealth. This article analyses the same and mention steps to avoid it.

Key Demand of the question:

To examine the issues related with unsustainable mining and suggest steps to prevent it.

Directive:

Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start by mentioning about sustainable development vis-à-vis mining sector in India.

Body:

In the first part, in detail bring out the issues affecting the mining sector and inhibiting its sustainable growth. Issues associated with mining – issues of unscientific mining, poor track records of environmental and social performance, and high instances of illegal activities.

The Losses in mineral value and the regulatory environment, and capacity and accountability of our authorities. Impact on social aspect – displacement of tribal pockets, Community concerns, Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement etc. Environmental aspect – Environmental pollution, critically fragile ecological areas, Exclusive Mining Zones, clearance systems etc.

Suggest steps to address the above. Mention how National Mineral Policy can play part in addressing the issues of equity and sustainable mining.

Conclusion:

Conclude with a way forward.