Cabinet approves Restructuring of the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM)

The Union Cabinet chaired by chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Restructuring of the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) by upgradation, creation, and the abolition of certain posts of Joint Secretary-level and above. The total cadre strength of Indian Bureau of Mines has been maintained at the existing strength of 1477.

The restructuring would help in enabling the IBM to effectively discharge its function to help reform and transform the regulation of the mineral sector. It will enable the adoption of IT and space technology by the IBM to improve its effectiveness in mineral regulation and development. Further, the posts entail a great deal of decision-making and accountability in the functioning of the organization.

Impact:

The proposal will create direct employment opportunities for technical personnel with higher responsibility for contribution in the faster development of the mineral sector, thereby generating more employment avenues in the sector as a whole. The improved and enhanced performance of IBM would benefit the mining sector.

Background:

IBM was set up by the Government of India on 1st March 1948 under the Ministry of Works, Mines and Power, primarily as an advisory body to help in the formulation of policy and legal framework for the mining sector and advising Central and State Governments on development and utilization of mineral resources. The role and responsibility of IBM have changed with emerging needs of the sector as facilitator and regulator of mining sector (other than coal, petroleum and atomic minerals).

Ministry of Mines had constituted a Committee for comprehensive ‘Review and Restructuring of the Functions and Role of IBM’ in the light of the ‘National Mineral Policy’ (NMP) 2008 The Committee submitted its report on 04.5.2012 which was accepted in the Ministry.

The Ministry of Mines has taken a number of initiatives through IBM for effective facilitation and regulation of the mineral sector:

Implementation of the Sustainable Development Framework (SDF) and Star Rating of Mines for their efforts and initiatives encompassing the scientific, environmental and social aspects of the mining activity;

development of Mining Surveillance System (MSS) in association with Bhaskaracharya Institute of Space Application & Geo-informatics (BISAG) to detect illegal mining within 500 metres zone of lease boundary of major minerals using satellite imageries; and

thrust on R&D activities on mineral processing including process development for upgradation of low grade ore; (iv) development of IT enable Mining^ Tenement System (MTS) for computerizing the mineral sectors activities.

The restructuring of IBM was essential to enable it organisationally to take up the responsibilities entrusted in the role with the recent changes in the policy and legislation, a revised charter of the function of IBM and the new activities and initiatives undertaken by IBM. IBM is also engaged in handholding the States for the auction of mineral blocks for greater transparency in allocation of mineral concessions. IBM is helping the States in preparation of auction blocks, publishing of average sale price, assisting in post-auction monitoring and approval process.

The relocation of offices of IBM has already been effected for carrying out the responsibilities given to IBM. New Regional Offices at Raipur and Gandhinagar have been opened and the sub-regional office at Guwahati has been upgraded to Regional office. The existing Regional Offices at Kolkata and Udaipur have been upgraded to the Zonal office (East) and Zonal Office (North). For the purpose of Skill Development, an Institute of Sustainable Development FrameWork’ at Udaipur and ‘Remote Sensing Centre’ at Hyderabad and National Level Training Centres ‘Institute of Sustainable Mining’ at Kolkata have been opened and Skill Development Centre at Varanasi is also shortly be opened.

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