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Diamond Production In India UPSC NOTE

 


Diamond production in India

  • From ancient times, India was the source of nearly all the world's known diamonds, and until the discovery of diamonds in South Africa in 1896, India was the only place where diamonds were mined.

  • India has not been a major diamond-producing country since the 1900s, but diamond mining continues.

  • Diamond mining as an industry appears to have originated between 700 and 500 BCE in India.



Medieval period:

  • Diamonds were reported from numerous places across India, but most of the diamond mining took place by placer mining in the drainages of the Pannar River and Krishna River in modern Andhra Pradesh state.

  • The town of Karwan, near the fortress city of Golkonda, now a suburb of Hyderabad, became the world's largest diamond-cutting and diamond-trading centre.

Forts and Palaces of India, Indian Forts and Palaces Map



  • Golconda was not close to diamond mines, but owed its status as a diamond centre to its location on a major trade route from the mines to the south and east. 

  • The diamonds became known as Golconda Diamonds, and in Europe, the word Golconda came to mean a place of great wealth.

  • Indian diamond mining declined rapidly in the 1700s, due to a combination of exhaustion of known deposits and competition from Brazil.

Diamond Production In India

Diamond production in India

  • Diamond mining in the Panna region began around 1675 CE, during the rule of Chhatrasal, the Bundela ruler. Diamond mining continues in the region.

  • As of 2017, there was one industrial-scale diamond mine in India, the Majhgawan mine, near the town of Panna, Madhya Pradesh.

  • The mine is owned by the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC).


How diamond factory in Surat impacted by Russia-Ukraine war?

  • Surat, an industrial and trading centre, where the East Indian Company set up its first factory in the early 17th century, is today the hub of the diamond processing industry.

  • It is in Surat that nine in 10 of the world’s raw diamonds are cut and polished.

  • Since November 2022, factories have implemented staggered and reduced working hours, even days, to deal with the crisis in both the supply and demand of diamonds, triggered by the Russia-Ukraine war.



  • Surat’s diamond processing units source one-third of their raw material (rough diamonds) from Russia, a major diamond producer.

  • Impact of Russia-Ukraine war has severely disrupted the industry and its ecosystem.

  • After cutting and polishing in the processing units, more than 50% of the finished product is exported to the U.S., the world’s largest diamond consumer.



  • Besides war, the crisis has been aggravated by the recession in the U.S., where luxury shopping has declined.

  • In the last few months, U.S. and European countries have become so particular that they ask about the origin of the finished (cut and polished) diamonds and decline diamonds that have originated in Russia.


In May this year, at the G-7 Summit in Japan, leaders of the member countries vowed to restrict trade in “diamonds mined, processed, or produced in Russia” to cut off a crucial financi

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