What is the News? The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the Deep Ocean Mission.
About Deep Ocean Mission:
- Deep Ocean Mission aims to explore the deep ocean for resources. Also, for sustainable use of ocean resources, it aims to develop deep-sea technologies.
- Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Earth Sciences(MoES) will be the nodal Ministry for implementing this mission.
- Duration of the mission: The mission will be implemented over a period of 5 years in a phased manner. Its 1st phase will be of 3 years.
Components of the Mission: The Deep Ocean Mission consists of the following six major components:
- Development of Technologies for Deep Sea Mining and Manned Submersible:
- A manned submersible will be developed to carry three people to a depth of 6000 metres in the ocean with a suite of scientific sensors and tools.
- For mining Polymetallic Nodules from 6000 m depth in the central Indian Ocean, an Integrated Mining System will also be developed.
- Development of Ocean Climate Change Advisory Services: Models will be developed to understand and provide future projections of important climate variables on seasonal to decadal time scales.
- Technological innovations for exploration and conservation of deep-sea biodiversity: Bio-prospecting of deep-sea flora and fauna including microbes and studies on sustainable utilization of deep-sea bio-resources will be the main focus under this component.
- Bio-prospecting is defined as a systematic and organized search for useful products derived from bio-resources. It includes plants, microorganisms, animals that can be developed further for commercialization and overall benefits of the society.
- Deep Ocean Survey and Exploration: This component will explore and identify potential sites of multi-metal Hydrothermal Sulphides mineralization along the Indian Ocean mid-oceanic ridges.
- Energy and freshwater from the Ocean: Studies and detailed engineering design for offshore Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) powered desalination plants are being planned under this component.
- OTEC is a processor technology for producing energy by harnessing the temperature differences (thermal gradients) between ocean surface waters and deep ocean waters.
- Advanced Marine Station for Ocean Biology: This component is aimed at the development of human capacity and enterprise in ocean biology and engineering. It will translate research into the industrial application and product development through on-site business incubator facilities.
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Significance of the mission:
- Deep Ocean Mission will be a mission mode project to support the Blue Economy Initiatives of the Government of India.
- The technology and expertise needed in such missions are now available in only five countries – US, Russia, France, Japan, and China. India will be the sixth country to have it.
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- The United Nations(UN) has declared the decade 2021-2030 as the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
- The Government of India’s Vision of New India by 2030 announced in 2019 highlighted the Blue Economy as one of the ten core dimensions of growth.
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