Mining is a war against unpredictable forces of nature and since conditions of workings keep changing with time, the person at the spot has to take instantaneous decisions in respect of the work being performed, consistent with safety. Thus practical and on the spot decision of the front-line supervisor and managerial executive is of paramount importance to prevent loss of life and property. To examine the competency of persons eligible for manning such posts and to grant certificate of competency, two Boards of Mining Examination, one for Coal mines and the other for Metalliferous mines, function under the Chairmanship of the Director-General of Mines Safety.
Competency examinations are different from university examinations. In these examinations stress is laid on practical aspects of managing/supervising a mine/district apart from theoretical knowledge. In the case of Manager’s, Assistant Manager’s, Surveyor’s and Overman’s/Foreman’s Certificates, the competency examination consists of a written part and an oral part. In the year 2015, Computer based Manager’s (First and Second Class) examination under Coal Mines Regulations 1957 was introduced. The candidates have to secure not less than 50% marks in written (computer based) and then not less than 30% marks in oral with overall percentage of 50 or above (computer based and oral combined together) to be successful. For Manager’s examination under Metalliferous Mines Regulations 1961, henceforth similar is the requirement for qualifying in the examinations. For Field candidates ie persons not holding Degree in Mining Engineering or Diploma in Mining the candidates have to appear in five subjects viz. Mine Management, Legislation & General Safety, Winning and Working, Ventilation, Mining machinery and Mine Surveying. Depending on the qualification and experience of the candidates, exemptions from appearing in some papers/subjects are granted. For Surveyor’s and Overman’s/Foreman’s certificates, candidates obtaining at least 40% mark in written examination in a subject is then called for the oral examination. Candidates obtaining at least 40% in orals and at least 50% in aggregate i.e. written and oral examinations are declared successful. Before a candidate is allowed to appear in an examination his application is scrutinized for valid first aid certificate, gas-testing certificate (wherever required) , other statutory certificate, practical experience, character certificate, medical certificate and basic qualification certificate.
In case of junior examinations i.e. sirdar’s, shotfirer’s, mate’s, blaster’s etc. only oral examinations are held. A candidate has to secure at least 50% marks with different examiners to be declared successful.