The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented the National Geoscience Awards - 2014 today (April 5, 2016) at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that availability and use of minerals in any country has been one of the factors determining self-sufficiency of its economy. These natural resources have to be explored, extracted, refined and processed to use them for national building. At the same time, we must understand that sustenance of mankind depends only on environmentally sustainable mining practices. Our effort to use our natural resources should be informed by the dangers of natural and manmade disasters. He stated that he was happy to note that the Geoscientists of the country are working hard to meet these challenges. The diverse fields work of the awardees are testimony to this inherent spread of the geoscientific developments in the country.
The President said that the exploration of mineral resources in the country requires a greater thrust with an even greater caution. As the search for the near surface deposits have reached a point of saturation, the geoscientists of the country now face the crucial challenge of finding deep seated and concealed mineral resources. There is a need to focus on exploration of the offshore mineral resources which hold enormous potential of supplementing the increasing needs of the society. Similarly, it is also important to find strategic and rare earth elements to support Space and Information Technology Missions of the Nation to ensure self-reliance of the Nation in these fields. However, all of this needs to be accomplished with the environmental sustainability concern in mind.
The National Geoscience Awards, previously known as the National Mineral Awards, was instituted by the Ministry of Mines in 1966, to honour individuals and teams of scientists for their extraordinary achievements and outstanding contributions in fundamental and applied geosciences and mining and allied fields.
Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Steel & Mines and Shri Vishnu Deo Sai, Minister of State for Steel & Mines.