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Kerala opposes changes to MMDR Act

  • IASbaba
  • August 4, 2022
  • 0
Economics, Geography, Security Issues
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In News: The Kerala government has opposed the new set of proposed amendments to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act.

  • The State Industries Minister stated that the amendments are a breach of States’ rights as minerals come under the purview of States.
  • The Centre had invited suggestions from the public to the draft amendments to the MMDR Act.

Proposed amendments

  • The main objection is against the sixth item in the note for consultation sent to the State governments that will empower the Centre to auction some minerals from the list of atomic minerals.
  • Kerala strongly opposes the proposed amendment as State governments are the owners of the mines and minerals located within the territory of the State concerned, and under Entry 23 of List II of the Constitution and the Constitutional right of the State under Article 246(3), State Assemblies can make laws on such minerals.

Must Read: MMDR (Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation) Act, 1957

Ownership of Mineral:

  • The State Governments are the owners of minerals located within the boundary of the State concerned, 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.
  • The Central Government is the owner of the minerals underlying the ocean within the territorial waters or the Exclusive Economic Zone of India.
  • Schedule I contains minerals such as coal and lignite, minerals of the “rare earths” group containing Uranium and Thorium.

Atomic Minerals

  • Uranium and Thorium are the main atomic minerals.
  • Other atomic minerals are beryllium, lithium and zirconium.

Thorium

  • Thorium is a chemical element with symbol Th and atomic number 90.
  • It is one of only two significantly radioactive elements that still occur naturally in large quantities.
  • Thorium is estimated to be about three to four times more abundant than uranium in the Earth’s crust, and is chiefly refined from monazite sands.
  • Monazite is a widely scattered on the Kerala Coast
  • Thorium is predicted to be able to replace uranium as nuclear fuel in nuclear reactors.

Source: The Hindu

Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q.1) With reference to the mineral resources of India, consider the following pairs: (2010)

Mineral         90% Natural sources in

  1. Copper: Jharkhand
  2. Nickel:     Orissa
  3. Tungsten: Kerala

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Q.2) Consider the following minerals: (2020)

  1. Bentonite
  2. Chromite
  3. Kyanite
  4. Sillimanite

In India, which of the above is/are officially designated as major minerals?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 4 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 2, 3 and 4 only

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