57th Meeting of Central Geological Programming Board

New Delhi: The 57th Meeting of the Central Geological Programming Board (CGPB) was inaugurated here today by Shri Arun Kumar, Secretary, Mines, where apart from discussion on achievements of GSI(Geological Survey of India) during the current year, the proposed Annual Programme for ensuing 2018-19 was presented before all Board members. An exhibition was also opened displaying the entire gamut of ongoing activities of Geological Survey of India (GSI). During the occasion, four GSI publications were released. Representatives of State Departments, Central Ministries/ organizations, PSUs, academic institutes and private entrepreneurs attended the 57th CGPB meeting.

Shri Arun Kumar informed that GSI has already launched Multi-sensor Aero-geophysical Surveys to target deep seated and concealed mineral deposits using global expertise and knowledge that will generate aero-geophysical data of 27 lakh line square kilometres by 2019. This would help locating new target areas of ground exploration enabling the nation to harness hitherto unknown potential mineral wealth. He said, in view of the rapid depletion of surface/near-surface deposits, there is paradigm shift in thrust to probe deep-seated deposits under Project: Uncover in collaboration with Geoscience Australia. Furthermore, from 2018-19 onwards GSI is launching ‘Regional Mineral Targeting’ programme in five Regions through integration of all baseline data of ground survey and aerial survey in GIS platform for prognosticating novel areas in the ambit of regional scale mineral exploration. The offshore research and exploration capacities of GSI is going to be enhanced with acquisition of a new state of the art ocean-going Geotechnical Vessel by 2019-20 (R V SamudraVedhani) at an approximate cost of Rs.250 crore having the capabilities of drilling in shallow water towards offshore exploration of placer deposits, phosphorite and gas hydrates as well as catering to the development of ports.

Shri Kumar said, high quality regional exploration data of GSI including maps are being disseminated free of charges in public domain through its online web portal (https://www.gsi.gov.in). This would encourage more exploration agencies, both national and global, to come forward and participate in exploration activities in India. GSI launched the interactive map service platform– ‘Bhukosh’ in its web portal for use by all stakeholders and citizen of India. Besides fundamental research on intricate problems of geosciences, GSI is involved in several societal projects encompassing Landslide Hazard, 2 communication/ hydroelectric and earthquake domains.

GSI is the nodal agency for landslide studies in India. GSI is committed to complete about 2,32,720 sq. km of National Landslide Susceptibility Mapping (NLSM) by March 2019. It is the pivotal organizaton, under the aegis of Ministry of Mines and Ministry of Earth Science, in hosting the 36th International Geological Congress (36th IGC, 2020) in Delhi during 2-8 March, 2020. Geological Survey of India Training Institute (GSITI) has entered into MoU with IIT, Hyderabad for a period of five years that envisages capacity building towards collaborative research leading to Ph.D. degree. During ensuing operational year 2018-19, GSI has proposed 913 regular standard programmes, which includes 374 programmes of baseline geoscience data generation to pave the way for downstream exploration activities.

During 2018-19, GSI is taking up thirty-eight mineral exploration programmes that are direct spin-offs from the earlier baseline survey programmes. In the natural resource arena, 208 programmes comprising 168 mineral explorations, 12 coal exploration, 3 geothermal explorations, 17 marine mineral exploration and 8 R&D programmes have been planned. GSI will also take up 41 programmes of geoinformatics, 175 programmes of fundamental and multidisciplinary geoscience and 115 programmes of capacity building. During 2018-19, GSI is going to take up 16 programmes at the request of State Governments, 8 programmes in collaboration with national institutes like BARC, IIT (ISM), CGWB, NIO etc. and 4 programmes will be taken up with international collaborators like British Geological Survey (BGS), Geoscience Australia (GA).

Dr. K. Rajeswara Rao, Additional Secretary (Mines), Shri N. Kutumba Rao, Director General, Geological Survey of India (GSI), Dr. N. K.Singh, Joint Secretary(Mines) and Shri Bipul Pathak, Joint Secretary (Mines) graced the meeting of the Board.