Book review: Nilmadhab Mohanty, Political Economy of Mining in India

Published date01 June 2024
AuthorShivendra Shandilya
Date01 June 2024
Subject MatterBook Reviews
Book Reviews 427
Nilmadhab Mohanty, Political Economy of Mining in India. New Delhi:
Har-Anand Publications Pvt Ltd, 2017, 240 pp., `695 (Hardcover).
DOI: 10.1177/00195561241236101
Nilmadhab Mohanty provides an insightful and well-researched examination of
India’s mining business in the Political Economy of Mining in India, shedding
light on the complex interplay of politics, economics and environmental concerns.
If anyone wants to understand the complex processes behind India’s mineral
richness and how they affect the country’s growth, Mohanty’s study is a ‘must-
read’ work.
The book provides a comprehensive overview of the Indian mining industry,
illuminating its historical background and development. By including a broad
range of facts, original research and case studies, Mohanty gives readers a thor-
ough grasp of the topic. He explores the economic effects of mining, its contribu-
tion to the country’s GDP, the creation of jobs and its relevance in the worldwide
market via an academic perspective.
The book’s exploration of the intertwined relationships between politics and
mining is one of its key features. The complex web of vested interests, bureau-
cratic red tape and political machinations that often inuence policy choices in
this area is painstakingly dissected by the author. In doing so, Mohanty highlights
important issues about the accountability and transparency of the governance of
mining activities.
Political Economy of Mining in India also discusses environmental issues from
mining operations as mineral development tends to have a detrimental impact on the
environment. In addition to disturbing and eroding large areas of land, destroying
habitats for ora and wildlife, natural watersheds, and so on, mining also pollutes
the air and water. While providing contemporary development to underdeveloped
communities, mining operations have the potential to exacerbate social unrest and
economic issues thereby destroying traditional livelihoods and cultural practices,
distributing gains inequitably and posing health risks from chemical exposure. The
author evaluates how mining practices affect residents, animals and the ecosystem
in terms of their environmental effects. His integration of thoughts on environmen-
tal justice deepens the research and challenges readers to consider the pressing need
for sustainable mining methods.
The author has highlighted the efforts that have been made to mitigate the
negative effects of mining by incorporating ‘sustainable development’ into mining
operations. Due to the rise in public scrutiny of mining activities in many areas
because of continuous media coverage, the active role of non-governmental
organisations and judicial interventions, the mining industry is under pressure to
adopt sustainable agendas in their operations in a transparent manner.
The weakness and unfairness of the patterns of mineral outputs are further
highlighted by a review of India’s performance in terms of production for certain
commodities in the chapters of the book. The book remarks that India produces
more than eighty different minerals, it is not the world’s top producer of any of
these products; on the other hand, China, which in 1995 was the top producer of

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