"To what extent, opening up of mining sector has been responsible for the unrest in tribals' areas in India."Critically examine with examples.

Model Answer:
Almost all tribal areas of the country are rich in forests, rivers as well as minerals. These areas have the finest coal, dolomite, bauxite, Iron ore, tin and conundrum to name a few. The forests in these areas are rich in finest quality of timber trees, bamboo. All these resources have attracted not only Britishers during the early period, but also have attracted the state and central government along with their capitalist nexus towards the tribal areas. Before 1991, the extraction and refining of minerals was largely undertaken by the government. However, the National Mineral Policy 1993 opened the doors to foreign direct investment (FDI) in the mining sector. In 1997, the FDI ceiling in mineral sector was relaxed and in 2006, the ceiling was removed. Currently, 100%FDI is permitted in mining. The opening of mining sector led the companies to make beeline in the mineral-rich areas of Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Jharkhand. This led to lots of investments in these areas but thousands of acres of forest land was converted into non-forest land. The rules that forbid sale of tribal land to non-tribals were violated. But, the problem does not lies in exploitation of natural resources for development purpose, it actually lies in governments inability to share the proper compensation and a part of profit to the Indigenous people. Furthermore, the government has also always lacked in providing proper rehabilitation to the displaced tribals.

Question for UPSC Mains:
“To what extent, opening up of mining sector has been responsible for the unrest in tribals’ areas in India.” Critically examine with examples.

Published: February 7, 2016 | Modified:June 27, 2019