How are Minerals regulated in India? – UPSC Prelims

How are Minerals regulated in India?
  • Ownership of Mineral:
    • The State Governments are the owners of minerals located within the boundary of the State concerned.
    • District Mineral Foundations are statutory bodies in India established by the State Governments by notification. They derive their legal status from Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957
    • The objective of District Mineral Foundation is to work for the interest of the benefit of the persons and areas affected mining related operations in such manner as may be prescribed by the State Government.
    • The Central Government is the owner of the minerals underlying the ocean within the territorial waters or the Exclusive Economic Zone of India.
    • International Seabed Authority (ISA) is the organization through which States Parties to UNCLOS organize and control all mineral-resources-related activities in the Area for the benefit of mankind as a whole.
  • Granting Mineral Concessions:
    • The State Governments grant mineral concessions for all the minerals located within the boundary of the State, under the provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 and Mineral Concession Rules, 1960.
    • However, for minerals specified in the First Schedule to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 approval of the Central Government is necessary. Schedule I contains minerals such as coal and lignite, minerals of the “rare earths” group containing Uranium and Thorium.
    • Also, the Central Government notifies certain minerals as ‘minor’ minerals from time to time for which the absolute powers for deciding on procedures of seeking applications for and granting mineral concessions, fixing rates of royalty, dead rent, and power to revise orders rest only with the State Government.
    • Example of minor minerals include building stones, gravel, ordinary clay, ordinary sand.
Previous Year Questions:
Q 1.) What is/are the purpose/purposes of ‘District Mineral Foundations’ in India? (2016)
  1. Promoting mineral exploration activities in mineral-rich districts
  2. Protecting the interests of the persons affected by mining operations
  3. Authorizing State Governments to issue licences for mineral exploration
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Ans: (b)
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