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Collaboration with Australia in mining


New Delhi: Union Minister of State (IC) for Coal, Power and New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal had held an industry and academia round table on skill development and initiated a collaboration with Queensland government’s centre for virtual mining SIMTARS (Safety in Mines Testing and Research Station).

Piyush Goyal with Tony Abbott and other parliamentarians at the Australian Parliament

Goyal was co-chairing the third India-Australia energy security dialogue in Brisbane, Australia. He highlighted the significant opportunities for skill development in India. He also talked about Prime Minister ’s vision of affordable energy access for all and consequent doubling of the output of Coal India by 2020 on the occasion.

The minister said that the current skill development engagement with Australia was at a scale of 20 people per year, which will be scaled up to thousands by setting up of Indian centres, through e-learning and by on-site training. This will include leadership training as well as training on mine operations and safety.

Virtual mining training was showcased at SIMTARS, which included labour safety, mine planning and refinery operations. Such training centres can significantly improve while minimizing mine and plant accidents. While the original plan was to setup one Indian centre in collaboration with SIMTARS and ISM Dhanbad, Goyal suggested a larger collaboration with more than six centres in each of the large mining states especially in eastern India.

This will help the workers in these States ramp up their skills and fully benefit from the fruits of development. SIMTARS, Coal India Limited and ISM Dhanbad will jointly prepare a roadmap for setup of these centres with a target to set up the first centre within the next year.

Sports was identified as another key enabler for the health of workers as well as bring significant even at the workplace. Central Coalfields Limited (CCL), a subsidiary of Coal India Limited, has committed to setting up a sports university in Ranchi and is also upgrading 14 stadiums in the city. CCL will collaborate with sports institutes in Australia with an aim to produce 100 Olympians from India in 10 years. This will help bring the best sports training practices from Australia to India as well as promote traditional Indian sports like kabaddi and kho kho back in Australia.

Rio Tinto, Ernst & Young, Queensland Resources Council, TAFE Queensland SkillsTech, Runge Pincock Minarco, University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, University of Newcastle as well as Indian representatives from Coal India Limited, ISM Dhanbad, NTPC, Mining Skill Council of National Skill Development Corporation etc as well as representatives from the Indian industry were present at the roundtable.

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