Union Ministry of Mines Current Affairs - 2020

Mines Ministry organises Workshop on Effective utilization of Red Mud

Union Ministry of Mines organized an interactive workshop called ‘Waste to Wealth’ in New Delhi for discussing productive utilisation of bauxite residue, commonly known as Red Mud. The workshop was presided over by Dr K. Rajeswara Rao, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Mines and was organised in association with Jawaharlal Nehru Aluminium Research Development and Design Centre (JNARDDC) Nagpur.

Key Highlights

In workshop discussions were held regarding present status of generation, safe disposal and utilization of Red Mud. Mines Ministry urged all stake holders to work in synergy to find a lasting solution for productive utilisation of red mud.

Prepare a Roadmap: Deliberations were held to focus all efforts for effective bulk utilization of red mud with necessary government support, which will be a win-win situation for all stakeholders involved and based on these deliberations, a roadmap will be prepared for productive utilization of red mud.

Participants: Workshop was widely attended by representatives from organisations including Union Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Odisha State Pollution Control Board, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM), Union Ministry of Road Transport, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Engineer-in-Chief of Army. Top executives from all 3 primary Aluminium producing companies in  India namely- NALCO, VEDANTA & HINDALCO and user industries like cement and ceramic industry also participated.

What is Red Mud?

It is a solid waste generated during Aluminium (Al) production process.

It is of high environmental concern due to presence of impurities like caustic soda and others minerals.

Globally of red mud is over 150 million tons and there exists a global inventory of over 3 billion tons. Red mud generation in India is around 9 million tons per year.

Cabinet approves merger of NIMH with ICMR-NIOH

Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved to dissolve National Institute of Miners’ Health (NIMH), an autonomous Institute under Union Ministry of Mines (MoM) and merge it with ICMR-NIOH (Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Occupational Health), Ahmedabad, under Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW) with all assets and liabilities.

Key Highlights

Actions required for effecting dissolution and merger of NIMH with NIOH will be taken by NIMH, ICMR, NIOH, MoM and Department of Health Research (DHR), MoH&FW.

This NIHM amalgamation with ICMR-NIOH also includes absorbing of all employees of NIMH in NIOH in similar post/pay scale as case may be and their pay be protected.

Impact: NIMH-NIOH merger will prove beneficial to both Institutes in term of enhanced expertise in field of occupational health as well as efficient management of public money.

Expenditure Management Commission which was reviewing working and performance of autonomous institutes recommended merger of NIMH with NIOH. It suggested that organisations with similar objectives can be considered for merger to encourage synergy in operations and reduction in cost.

About National Institute of Miners’ Health (NIMH)

It was set up in 1990 by Government of India.

It is registered as a Society under Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960.

NIMH’s registered office is located at Kolar Gold Fields in Karnataka and Central Laboratory in Nagpur.

It conducts applied research in occupational health and hygiene. It specializes in providing technical support services to mining as well as mineral based industry with special reference to metalliferous sector. It also endeavors for safe mines and healthy miners through research & development (R&D).

Focus Areas: NIOH focuses on a vast array of areas related to occupational health including occupational medicine and occupational hygiene.