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Corporate Sustainability

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The fossil fuel based energy sector, where coal is the primary ingredient, is slowly being replaced  by environment friendly ‘Green  Energy’. In this transitory stage it is becoming more important for Coal  Industry to reorient itself to remain relevant in the energy sector in a  sustainable manner. In the CPSE Conclave held on 9th April, 2018, the Hon’ble Prime Minister said that the Union Government has given operational freedom to the public sector undertakings, so that they can improve their performance. He also appreciated the significant contribution of CPSEs in nation-building, and in the nation’s economy, since independence. In this conclave Hon’ble PM set 5 challenges before CPSEs, for New India and one of these challenges was to integrate innovation and research in the country for sustainable development.

As Coal India Limited (CIL), is the Maharatna PSU of the nation and is the largest coal producing company in the world, therefore it has realized the importance of integration of research and innovation for developing a robust business strategy for identifying trajectory for future growth and remaining relevant in the highly competitive environment, particularly in the energy sector. Northern Coalfields Limited (NCL), Singrauli is the subsidiary company of CIL. In order to offer a unique integrated model for sustainable development for the New India, NCL and IIT (BHU) both came together to make vision of Hon’ble PM true in all aspects. For this purpose, a roadmap was developed by the representatives of both of these two esteemed organizations immediately after CPSE Conclave and accordingly a MoU was signed in Nov’2018. This MoU was based on the 5 challenges set by the Hon’ble PM, for New India and thus cover 5 broad areas of collaboration viz. Research and Development, Industry-Institute Interaction & partnership (For knowledge and experience sharing-Learning and Development), Skill development and employment, collaborative initiatives in strategically important grey areas and CSR. The model was unique for the country in several ways and has resulted in several crucial developments for the nation like formation of Joint Programme Committee of both organizations to continuously guide the development in the areas of interest, establishment of dedicated R&D Centre (SARAS), strengthening of NCL-IIT (BHU) Incubation Centre and further extending its support in form of dedicated Satellite Centre at Singrauli, integration of the collaborative institutes for learning and development through online classroom facilities (Under this initiative, the work is under progress for interlinking all establishments of NCL, IIT (BHU), CSIR-NEERI and MSME Tool Room), commencement of Scientific studies, Developments of Labs and new R&D Projects etc. Presently, the collaboration has 5 key pillars in form of India’s leading organization in their fields to support SARAS i.e. NCL (Industrial support), IIT (BHU) (Academic support/knowledge partner), Directorate of Skill Development, M.P. (Skill Development), CSIR-NEERI (Scientific support) and MSME Tool Room (Indigenous manufacturing support). So far, various challenges have been faced to streamline this initiative, however the continuous efforts and commitment towards the Nation has resulted in several accomplishments and some of these are as follows:

  1. International Conference (ICOMS) is being held from last 2 years i.e. ICOMS-2018 on 14-15 Dec’18 (1st ICOMS) and ICOMS-2019 on 13-14 Dec’19 at Singrauli in association with IIT (BHU) for ensuring the association of industrial experts, academicians and researchers with NCL on a single platform. NCL is preparing itself for organizing 3rd ICOMS i.e. ICOMS-2020 during 14-15 Dec’20 (3rd ICOMS) on digital platform in view of Covid-19 situation.
  2. List of R&D Projects/Scientific Studies to be undertaken has been prepared (50 nos. of such Projects have been identified in the field of Advanced Mining Technologies, Renewable Energy, Environment, Strategically implementation of new Projects and Alternative uses of bi-products/waste management).
  3. Out of 50 nos. of identified Projects, Baseline survey and provisional Project Proposals have been prepared for 18 nos. of Projects on priority basis as per the need of the NCL. Presently 12 nos. of proposals are already under progress (7 nos. of scientific studies (6 with IIT (BHU) and 1 with CSIR-NEERI) have been commenced and 5 nos. of R&D Projects are also under consideration).
  4. Along with dedicated support of Project Screening Committee (PSC), a Joint Programme Committee (JPC) of NCL and IIT (BHU) Officials has been formed for periodic review of these R&D Projects.
  5. Regular field/system study along with review meetings between NCL and institutes in colaborations through VC or on site are being held on regular basis.
  6. Periodic brain storming sessions, workshops, seminars/webinars, competitions and technical events/sessions are being organized by NCL both in house and at other institutes to get best solutions for the identifies areas having scope of improvement. A dedicated online training module has also been prepared for certified training programmes (93 nos. of programmes have been incorporated in interest of NCL) in association with IIT (BHU), CSIR-NEERI and IGTR, Indore.
  7. A NCL-IIT (BHU) Incubation Centre has already been set up which has total 7 functional wings i.e. R-ABI, Research Park, CISCO ThingQbator, Design Innovation Centre (DIC), Institute Innovation Council (IIC), E-Cell and Training Programs-FDP, EAC and EDP. Presently 62 nos. of startups are working under this Incubation Centre. The process of setting up satellite Centre of the same at NCL is going on.
  8. Modalities of execution of work have been defined for different R&D Projects as well as for scientific studies/investigations in form of R&D Policy and Manual.
  9. After signing MoU with Directorate of Skill Development, M.P. and MoMSME to develop Govt. ITI, Singrauli as Centre of Excellence, the two major activities viz. up-gradation of facilities of existing Govt. ITI and submission of DPR for technology Centre to MoMSME have already been commenced.
  10. Efforts are also being made to connect IIT (BHU), CSIR-NEERI, Technology Centre and IGTR Indore through virtual classroom facilities with help of NAASCOM under NCL-IIT (BHU) Incubation Centre. Once the facility is developed, then the web based training through Meity, NPTEL along with other certified online training programmes may also be encouraged through these organizations.
  11. The process of preparation of complete solid waste management plan for NCL is also under process through SARAS.
  12. The process to establish Online cum Community Radio at NCL for the benefits of different stakeholders at the grass roots level for resolving issues of poverty, health & nutrition, agriculture, gender inequality, education, skill development, employment, social problems among others is under process. It has been planned to ensure this facility at NCL before July’2021.
  13. For the benefit of approx. 10,000 farmers and tribes of the Singrauli region, an initiative in the form of KisanGanga has already been taken under SARAS. The objective of this initiative is to provide a platform for connecting the local population/PAPs to NCL through the various startups and scale up the activities for development and sustainability.
  14. In order to ensure improvement in operational efficiency and safety in the mines, an initiative for proper planning, designing and implementation of haul roads systems has been commenced. In similar pattern, a system of monitoring of safety and operational efficiency parameters of Draglines has been established.
  15. Other than the above, the Centre has identified Big Ticket ideas & Focus Area for immediate Action in the field of R&D/Scientific studies/Business Development which are as follows:
  16. Use of OB as Sand, Road foundation material, Bricks, Ceramics : has a huge potential up and can be taken up even after exhaustion of coal reserves. Will also add to our Environmental Protection & Green initiatives. Will be very useful for us to address space constraint for OB accommodation. A model is required to be developed for proper management.
  17. Solid Waste Management : Initiative in pipe line, it will be a step important for Swachh Bharat and green initiative. Huge potential of savings.
  • Solar initiatives: 50 MW at Nigahi is in pipeline and there is huge potential for long term contribution towards energy security and sustainability. The company has target of contribution of 280 MW in Solar power generation in the country by 2023-24.
  1. Establishing satellite incubation center at NCL for systematic support, platform, scaling and networking of startups with our PAPs and their co-operatives, Farmers in surrounding area, our co-operatives : Huge potential to address the stakeholder especially the land oustees
  2. System Efficiency improvement of grey areas through continuous improvement initiatives, scientific studies, R&D : like - Dragline planning, operations & system management
  3. Long term integrated plan, implementation road map and action plan for basin as a whole with advanced techniques and tools (Recasting Master Plan): Huge possibilities for conservation of resources and focused management, alternate optimum/efficient ways and OC Mining layouts for greater depths >300 m through advance simulation systems.
  • Alternative avenues for long term & for sustainable growth of Company : New blocks, diversification, identifying the potential areas and suitable models for proper diversification as a succession plan for continuous growth of the company.
  • OB Removal without blasting, Digital Mine