Full Name
V. L. Kantha Rao
Job Title
Secretary, Ministry of Mines,
Government of India
Speaker Bio
Mr. V. L. Kantha Rao (IAS) assumed charge as the Secretary, Ministry of Mines in September 2023. As the secretary of the Ministry of Mines, he is a pivotal figure within the Indian government which is heavily focused on making India self-reliant in ‘Critical and Strategic Minerals’. Mr. Rao belongs to the 1992 Batch of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Madhya Pradesh Cadre. In his previous roles, he served as the Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Telecommunications and played a vital role in looking after the regulatory recommendations, execution of digital communication policy and maintaining international relations. Several key initiatives received impetus under Secretary Rao’s current tenure at the Mines Ministry including India’s first Tranche of auction for 20 Critical and Strategic mineral blocks by Govt. of India launched in November 2023 and a total of 38 critical & strategic minerals have been announced auction to date. Mines Ministry is undertaking a process under Rao’s leadership to soon finalize a framework for a state mining index which would serve as a tool for stakeholders and ensure ease of doing mining business.
It is worth noting that under the India Australia Critical Minerals Investment Partnership, five target projects (two lithium and three cobalt) were identified in Australia on which detailed due diligence is under process and KABIL under the Mines Ministry is responsible for the whole partnership from the Indian side (Critical Minerals Facilitation Office being the Australian Counterpart). Mr. Rao is also responsible for the oversight of India Australia Critical Minerals Investment Partnership.
Mr. Rao is a Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering and has a master's in business administration from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.
V. L. Kantha Rao