January 16, 2019
The deal comes under the purview of Safety in Mines, Testing and Research Station (SIMTARS)
DGMS, SIMTARS will partner in safety management system, infrastructure and skill development
Australia has the world’s lowest lowest mining related accident rate and a vast mining sector
Mining contributes around 2.4 per cent of India’s GDP) and is growing at a rate of 2.9 per cent
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, on January 16 gave its approval to a preliminary agreement between India and Australia in mining safety and technology. The agreement was agreed between India’s Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) and Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Queensland, Australia. The deal comes under the purview of Safety in Mines, Testing and Research Station (SIMTARS). The agreement will establish a partnership between DGMS and SIMTARS for – (i) Implementation of risk based safety management system and related training; (ii) Setting up of occupations safety, health academy and national mine disaster centre; and (iii) Modernising research and development (R&D) laboratory of DGMS.
The bilateral agreement will remain in effect for three years. Australia has emerged as the country with the world’s lowest mining related accident rate. It has pioneered in conceptualising and implementing risk based safety management plans for the mining sector using the technique of hazard identification and risk assessment. SIMTARS is known to control exclusive expertise in mines Safety management systems. Appropriate safety requirement will help India maximise its mining and minerals potential. The nation currently produces more than 85 varieties of minerals, including four fuels, 10 metallic, 47 non-metallic, three atomic and 23 minor minerals. Apart from the public-sector mining giants, the entry of private players have further boosted capacity in the space.
The mining sector is critical to India’s economic and social development. Mining and quarrying currently contributes around 2.4 per cent of the national gross domestic product (GDP). Meanwhile, the latest figure on Index of Industrial Production (IIP) had shown a 2.9 per cent growth of mining sector. Mining sector cooperation between India and Australia is backed by a heavy bilateral metal and mineral trade. Economic reforms, legislative amendments and rapid growth in consumption have propelled the Indian mineral industry into a competitive environment that requires adequate safety arrangement. As investment in the space rises, that requirement has become even more critical.