भारत सरकार | Government of India

From the Desk of DG & CIM


Our country is one of the fastest growing major economies in the world today. India's assumption of the G-20 presidency on December 1, 2022, is a significant step toward taking on a leadership position in the international arena and a proud moment for all of us. Indian economy is on the aspirational path of becoming a $5 trillion GDP economy by 2024-25. India has been endowed with rich mineral resources by nature and the mining industry emerged as an important sector of the Indian economy, contributing to foreign exchange, employment, and socio-economic development. The country's Atma-Nirbhar Bharat initiative pushes for creative and economical initiatives to increase domestic mineral production. Scientific breakthroughs have opened up stalled technology paths in every walk of life with mining being no exception.

Extraction of minerals from the earth's crust is fraught with several unpredictable dangers, like sudden inrush of water, release of lethal and inflammable gases, explosion, fall of roof and sides due to changes in geo-mining conditions, etc. It is therefore, mining is considered one of the most hazardous industries of peace time. Mining operations are extending to greater depths, in complex geo-mining conditions and adopting modern bulk production technologies require consistent diversified efforts suited to site-specific conditions. At this crucial juncture, the fundamental needs to be addressed are the safety aspects of modern mining technological advancements and their proper indigenous adaption.

Directorate General of Mines Safety (DGMS) has an unprecedented legacy of more than 122 years of untiringly serving the nation and administering the Mines Act and legislations framed thereunder, thereby improving the safety, health and welfare of the persons employed in the mines.  Since its inception as "Bureau of Mines Inspection" on 07.01.1902 DGMS has been transformed from time to time and has continuously strived for excellence and adapted to the needs of the mining industry in general and the safety of the persons employed in mines in particular. During this period, the safety status of mines improved very significantly, as witnessed by the decline in mining accidents and the fatality rates per 1000 persons employed from 1.29 during the decade 1911-1920 to 0.19 during the decade 2011-2020 in coal mines and from 0.73 to 0.24 in non-coal mines for the corresponding period. Now, the challenge is to further bring down the fatality rate, which has become almost stagnant in the later years of the last decade and requires a multi-faceted holistic approach.

Adoption of proactive safety initiatives, in addition to compliance with conventional safety laws, is the most effective way of managing safety and health in the workplace. Harnessing the human resources to suitably fit for their specific job requires capacity building. Continuous education, training and retraining on the work-related Safe Operating Procedures developed based on risk assessment studies to control unsafe acts and conditions is a major key approach. Constant convergent deliberations with state and central government authorities conducting health check-up camps for unorganised sector workmen and organising workshops, seminars, training programmes etc. on the matters connected to the safety and health of the miners are ongoing activities of the DGMS.

Workers’ participation in occupational health and safety (OHS) management yields greater results than unilateral management approaches.   The Safety Committee and Workmen’s Inspectors at the mine level are the important forums to be strengthened for their effective functioning and marching the mines towards self-regulation. The Safety Management Plan (SMP) is another important aspect whose successful implementation depends on the active involvement of the persons employed in the mines. Application of digitally driven technologies ranging from automation, and robotics, to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) for the constant monitoring of mining operations and ensuring compliance with the safety laws is the need of the day.

DGMS, during the recent period taken up initiatives for ease in governance through measures like  Risk-based Inspection Systems Shram Suvidha Portal; Simplification of Approval Policy by standardization through general orders;  promotion of e-Governance in DGMS  by the software modules namely “Approval System”, “Permission, Exemption & Relaxation System”, “National Safety Awards (Mines) System”, “Online Annual Return” and “Accident Statistics” to bring in more transparency, accountability and speedy disposal of works; implementation of Computer-based Statutory Examinations to bring transparency in the conduct of online examinations.; updating the statutory law, relaxation of the restriction on the employment of women in mines   and  Capacity Building of DGMS officials through Specialized training and Training on soft skills and administrative cum functional areas.

Let us commit to working consistently with synergy toward ensuring good and safe working conditions, better standards of living and zero harm to our workforce, better society, and environment. Let us coordinate our efforts to pursue responsible mining with higher levels of safety and sustainability.

Prabhat Kumar

Chief Inspector of Mines & Director General of Mines Safety