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MoES to Launch Deep Ocean Mission in 3-4 months for Underwater Exploration in Indian Ocean

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India-to-launch-deep-sea-mission-in-3-4-monthsThe Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) is all set to launch an ambitious ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ in the next 3-4 months that envisages underwater exploration of minerals, energy and marine diversity and also enhance India’s presence in the Indian Ocean. Its expected outlay is over Rs 4,000 crore.  The information regarding the mission was provided by MoES secretary, Dr. Madhavan Nair Rajeevan.

  • The stakeholders in this multi-disciplinary work will be Defence Research and Development Organisation, Department of Biotechnology, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
  • Notably, India has been ear-marked nearly 1.5 lakh square kilometres of area in the central Indian Ocean for exploration.

Key features of mission:

–The main aspects of the mission will be design, development and demonstration of human submersibles,

–It also explore the possibility of deep sea mining and developing necessary technologies,

–It involves developing technologies for different deep ocean initiatives.

Purpose of the Mission:

–It will boost the efforts to explore India’s vast Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf.

–Will lead to the designing, development and demonstration of human submersibles.

–Will help explore the possibility of deep-sea mining and developing necessary technologies.

–Will enhance India’s presence in the Indian Ocean.

Background:

In September 2016, India signed a 15-year contract with the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for exploration of Poly-Metallic Sulphides (PMS) in the Indian Ocean. For this, it approved 10,000 sq. km for India along the Central Indian Ridge (CIR) and Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR) region of the Indian Ocean.

  • Poly-Metallic Sulphides (PMS), which contain iron, copper, zinc, silver, gold, platinum in variable constitutions, are precipitates of hot fluids from upwelling hot magma from deep interior of the oceanic crust, discharged through mineralized chimneys.

Recent Related News:

i.On October 23, 2020, India Meteorological Department (IMD) has dedicated first of its kind “Flash Flood Guidance services (FFGS)” for South Asian countries namely India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka to issue impact- based forecasting of floods. It was launched by Dr. Madhavan Nair Rajeevan.

ii.The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Technical Cooperation in Earth Observation and Earth Sciences.

About Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES):

Union Minister– Harsh Vardhan (Constituency- Chandni Chowk, New Delhi)