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Deep Ocean Mission Critical to Boost India's Blue Economy, Sarbananda Sonowal says in Parliament

The initiative focuses on developing deep-sea technologies, and is a multi-ministerial, multi-disciplinary undertaking.

Ayushi Sikarwar
Deep Ocean Mission
Ministry of Earth Sciences' Deep Ocean Mission (File Image)

Ministry of Earth Sciences recently launched the Deep Ocean Mission (DOM), told the union minister for ports, shipping and waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal in Rajya Sabha in a written reply on Tuesday.

The mission is a multi-ministerial, multi-disciplinary initiative with a focus on deep-sea technology development. It includes technologies for deep sea mining, the exploration of deep-sea mineral resources, the study of marine biodiversity, the purchase of a research vessel for ocean exploration, the creation of ocean climate change advisory services, deep sea observations, and capacity building.

The initiative will contribute to the growth of the India’s blue economy, added Sonowal in his statement.

According the minister, Indian Maritime University (IMU) received a contract from the Inland Waterways Authority for the construction of an Energy Efficient River Survey Drifter Drone (Autonomous Survey Craft) for a total of Rs. 21.94 Lakh. The sum released to Indian Maritime University till date is Rs. 14.47 Lakh.

Under the initiative, India previously launched a massive ocean expedition ‘Samudrayaan’ in an effort to unravel the mysteries hidden within the deep sea. The nation plans to use the manned submersible 'MATSYA 6000' to deploy a team of professionals into the deep sea to conduct various deep underwater studies.

Samudrayaan aims to create a self-propelled manned submersible that can carry at least three people and a variety of research instruments to a depth of 6,000 metres in the ocean, with its operational endurance being 12 hours, and its emergency endurance being 96 hours.

The Deep Ocean Mission, which places a focus on the development of deep-sea technology, includes the construction of manned submersibles with a maximum operating depth of 6,000 metres as well as technologies for deep-sea mining, resource exploitation, and marine biodiversity.

Why DOM is crucial for India?

Oceans, which make up 70 per cent of the world's surface, continue to be essential to human life, and still has a 95 percent of undiscovered area. With the oceans on three of its sides and around 30 per cent of the people living along the shore, the coastal regions are crucial to India's economy. It promotes aquaculture, tourism, subsistence, and blue trade.

With a 7517 km long coastline that is home to nine coastal states and 1,382 islands, India is in a unique marine situation. The Blue Economy is one of the ten main dimensions of growth, according to the government of India's vision for the 'New India'.

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