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President Pranab Mukherjee Confers National Geoscience Awards

President Pranab Mukherjee Confers National Geoscience Awards for 2016 on 26 Geoscientists
Geoscientists Play an Important Role as Future of Humankind Depends on Findings from Geology: Shri Piyush Goyal
Dr. Abhishek Saha Recipient of Young Scientist Award Gets All-Round Praise

The President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented the National Geoscience Awards 2016, at a function, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on April 12, 2017.
The Minister of State for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines (Independent Charge), Shri Piyush Goyal, the Secretary, Ministry of Mines, Shri Arun Kumar and the Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Prof. Ashutosh Sharma are also seen.

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee conferred the National Geoscience Awards 2016 (#NGA2016) on twenty-six geoscientists in New Delhi today, in the presence of the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines Shri Piyush Goyal.

The 26 geoscientists were presented the National Geoscience Awards for the year 2016 for their meritorious contributions in eleven fields of geosciences. Dr. Abhishek Saha from National Institute of Oceanography Goa who got the Young Scientist Award was especially lauded by the President and the Mines Minister.

Welcoming the awardees and the guests the Secretary Mines, Shri Arun Kumar said, the National Geoscience Awards, previously known as the National Mineral Awards, were instituted by the Ministry of Mines in 1966 and were rechristened NGA from 2009 to expand the ambit of the awards to the whole geosciences fields. The Mines Ministry instituted these awards to honour individuals and teams of scientists for their extraordinary achievements and outstanding contributions in fundamental and applied geosciences and mining and allied fields. The awardees this year were an eclectic group of geoscientists from GSI, CSIR, IITs, and various other private and public sector enterprises.

In his address, the President Shri Pranab Mukherjee said, “Exploitation of the available natural resources for centuries has left an irreversible imprint on our environment. Mahatma Gandhi once observed and I quote: “There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed” (unquote). We have to ensure that our approaches are sustainable. We have to nurture with care our Mother Earth as she has been supporting life on earth through the geologic ages. Geo-scientists can help provide solutions for maintaining growth without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own requirements, he said.

Shri Mukherjee further added, “it is incumbent on nations the world over to move in the path of sustainable growth. In this model, growth and development depends not only on the availability of mineral resources but also on their judicious exploitation. The near surface mineral deposits are depleting very fast. Hence, the geo-scientific community has to step up to meet the demand for future resources by finding deeper sources for the minerals we require. Special emphasis also has to be given for discovery of strategic and critical minerals to make the nation self-reliant and reduce dependence on imports from external sources for our strategic needs. While addressing the resource needs of the country, we have to also keep in mind the offshore regions, which hold enormous potential for phosphorites, gas hydrates and seafloor massive sulphides”.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines Shri Piyush Goyal said that Geoscientists play an important role as future of humankind depends on the findings from geology. The natural resources explored by them are for the use of next generations in newer ways and that makes human life more exciting. Geoscientists are the stewards of the national resources and they plan the better land use and better utilisation of minerals and materials, he said. Mining industry is currently reform oriented and going through a transformative change, with more transparency and sustainability. Mine Ministry has brought new legislation through the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, MMDR Amendment Act 2015, NMET, DMF, Mining Surveillance System through space technology and Mobile App like TAMRA (Transparency, Auction Monitoring and Resource Augmentation) for e-auctioning, transparency and speed processing of mining leases. He said that the new findings of the scientists must lead to the better planet for the next generations and for providing the basic needs of the poorest of the poor.

The National Geoscience Awards includes the Award for Excellence, Young Scientist Award and nineteen individual and / or team awards in 16 fields of geosciences. The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 3 lakh each and a certificate of citation whereas the Award for Excellence carries a cash award of Rs. 5 lakh. So far, 775 awards have been conferred upon geoscientists from various fields.

The Secretary Mines, Shri Arun Kumar, the Secretary Department of Science & Technology, Prof. Ashutosh Sharma and Director General Geological Survey of India, Shri M. Raju and families of the awardees, senior officers of the Ministries and heads of geoscientific and research organizations were present on the occasion.

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