World Hydrographic Day (WHD) is annually celebrated on 21st June across the world to raise awareness of the importance of hydrography and its major role in improving the knowledge of the seas and oceans.
- This day also aims to publicise the work of Hydrographers all around the world.
The 2023 theme of World Hydrographic Day is “Hydrography – Underpinning the Digital Twin of the Ocean”
- The 2023 theme for WHD is designed to highlight the relationship between hydrography and oceanography.
i. World Hydrography Day was approved and implemented as an annual celebration by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) in 2005.
ii. On 29th November 2005, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the Resolution A/RES/60/30 “Oceans and the law of the sea”, recognizing the establishment or adoption of World Hydrography Day to be celebrated on 21st June every year, by the IHO.
iii. The first ever World Hydrography Day was observed on 21st June 2006.
Why June 21?
i. On 21st June 1921, the International Hydrographic Bureau was established as an intergovernmental organisation that works to ensure all the world’s seas, oceans and navigable waters are surveyed and charted.
ii. In 1970, the International Hydrographic Bureau was renamed as the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).
iii. In order to mark the anniversary of the establishment of IHO, June 21 is chosen as the World Hydrology Day.
i. Hydrography is the branch of applied sciences which deals with the measurement and description of the physical features of oceans, seas, coastal areas, lakes and rivers, as well as with the prediction of their change over time.
ii. The important factor of Hydrography is to provide safety of navigation and in support of all other marine activities, including economic development, security and defence, scientific research, and environmental protection.
Few important benefits of Hydrology are: Resource exploitation – fishing, minerals; Environmental protection and management; National marine spatial data infrastructures; Maritime defence and security; Tsunami flood and inundation modelling; Marine science.
Observace in India:
i. On 21st June 2023, Rajnath Singh, Union Defence Minister attended an event organised by the Indian Navy at the hydrography ship South Jetty, Indian Naval station Kochi, Kerala on the occasion of World Hydrography day.
ii. The event hosted senior officers of the Navy, sailors, and hydrographers. The minister toured a Hydro exhibition held on the occasion and also released nautical charts.
The Indian Naval Hydrographic Department (INHD):
i. It operates under the Indian Navy as the nodal agency that conducts hydrographic surveys and produces nautical charts in India.
ii. Till now, INHD has published 650 electronic and paper navigation charts covering national and international waters for merchant mariners and Navies worldwide.
iii. In 2022, INHD distributed over six lakh Electronic Navigation Charts to seafarers operating in these waters and has generated more than 7000 lakh rupees revenue, which is estimated to grow significantly in the future.
Assistance of INHD:
i. In line with the Government of India’s (GoI) Security and Growth For All in the Region (SAGAR) initiative, the survey ships of the Indian Navy have conducted various joint survey operations with friendly foreign nations covering an area of 89000 sq
ii. INHD has also assisted them with capacity building and knowledge-sharing, which are undertaken by the seven AatmaNirBhar indigenously built survey ships mapping the vast Indian Ocean Region.
iii. INHD also serves as the NAVAREA 8 coordinator, covering an area of 26 million sq km of the Indian Ocean, sharing information regarding sea navigation safety through Indian web module Warnings Information and Navigation Services (WINS).
Note: The National Institute of Hydrography (NIH) at Goa is the centre for imparting training in Hydrography accredited by the International Hydrographic Organization for National and International Trainees.
About International Hydrographic Organization (IHO):
Established in– 1921
Secretary-General– Dr Mathias Jonas (Germany)