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PIB Summaries 29 August 2023

CONTENTS

  1. Khanan Prahari
  2. EXERCISE BRIGHT STAR-23

Khanan Prahari


Context:

The Ministry of Coal has launched the Khanan Prahari mobile app, revolutionizing the fight against illicit coal mining activities.

Relevance:

GS II: Government policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Khanan Prahari: Empowering Citizens Against Illegal Mining
  2. Status of Coal Mining in India

Khanan Prahari: Empowering Citizens Against Illegal Mining

  • Innovative Reporting App: Khanan Prahari is a mobile app enabling citizens to actively report instances of illegal coal mining by submitting geo-tagged photos and textual information.
  • Comprehensive System: The app is complemented by the Coal Mine Surveillance & Management System (CMSMS) web portal, developed in collaboration with Bhaskaracharya Institute of Space Application & Geoinformatics and Central Mine Planning and Design Institute.
  • Public Participation: This initiative combines advanced technology with public involvement to address illegal mining effectively.
  • Active Engagement: The public’s active engagement is evident with 483 complaints lodged through the app, showcasing their commitment to curbing illegal mining.
Key Features:
  • Incident Reporting: Users can report illegal mining incidents by capturing photos and providing comments.
  • Confidentiality: The app ensures the confidentiality of users’ identities, prioritizing privacy.
  • Complaint Tracking: Complainants receive a unique complaint number to track the progress of their reports easily.

Status of Coal Mining in India

  • Coal Importance: India ranks as the world’s second-largest coal producer and possesses the fifth-largest coal deposits globally. Coal, often called ‘Black Gold,’ is a crucial fossil fuel.
  • Import Dependency: Despite significant coal reserves, India imports coal due to its high consumption. Coal imports surged by 30% in 2022-23.
  • Major Producing States: Key coal-producing states include Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and Telangana.
Historical Evolution:
  • Early Beginnings: India’s coal mining history spans 220 years, starting in 1774 with the East India Company in Raniganj Coalfield.
  • Growth Catalyst: The introduction of steam locomotives in 1853 propelled coal production.
  • Post-Independence: National Coal Development Corporation (NCDC) formed in 1956 for organized industry growth.
  • Nationalization: Nationalization of coking coal mines (1971-72) and non-coking mines (1973) aimed at addressing mining concerns and labor conditions.
  • Post-Nationalization: Demand-supply gaps minimal till 1991; liberalization reforms in 1993 led to captive consumption allocation.
  • Modernization: Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 enabled auction-based coal allocation; 2018 allowed private firms into commercial mining.

EXERCISE BRIGHT STAR-23


Context:

Recently, an Indian Air Force (IAF) contingent departed to participate in Exercise BRIGHT STAR-23, scheduled to be held at Cairo (West) Air Base, Egypt, from 27 August to 16 September 2023.

Relevance:

Facts for Prelims

EXERCISE BRIGHT STAR-23

  • Nature: Biennial multilateral tri-service exercise.
  • Origins: Initiated in 1980, arising from the Egypt-Israel peace treaty, with US involvement.
  • IAF’s Debut: Marks the first participation of the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Ex BRIGHT STAR-23.
  • Participating Countries: United States of America, Saudi Arabia, Greece, and Qatar.
  • IAF Contingent: Comprises five MiG-29, two IL-78, two C-130, and two C-17 aircraft.
  • Personnel Inclusion: Involves IAF’s Garud Special Forces, and members from Squadrons 28, 77, 78, and 81.
  • Objective: Focuses on joint operation planning and execution. Facilitates cross-border bonding and enhances strategic relations among participants.
  • India-Egypt Relations: Historic partnership with collaborative efforts in aero-engine and aircraft development during the 1960s, along with pilot training exchanges.

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