Why the Mission?
India will launch 5 years ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ by October 2019 to enter hitherto untapped 75,000 sq km of area in international waters to tap vast marine resources. It will help India harness various living and non-living (water, mineral and energy) resources from the seabed and deep water. Focussing on blue economy in terms of sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth is crucial for country’s overall economic growth.
What are the components of the Mission?
Underwater robotics and ‘manned’ submersibles are key components of the Mission.
The Mission would be a long-term exploration exercise. The tasks that will be undertaken over this period include deep-sea mining, survey, energy exploration and the offshore-based desalination. ROSUB 6000 has already been tested successfully. India has exclusive rights over 75,000 sq km of international waters, allocated by UN’s International Seabed Authority, for exploration of polymetallic nodules.
It is said to be an integrated programme. What does it mean?
Mission would be an integrated programme where several scientific departments of the government such as ISRO, DBT, DST, DRDO and ICAR will work together for sustainable harnessing of ocean resources.
Expand on 0-SMART
These technological developments were funded under an umbrella scheme of the government - called Ocean Services, Technology, Observations, Resources Modelling and Science (O-SMART) - which was approved in 2018. The O-SMART has, however, other components including early warning systems for oceanic disasters, setting up marine coastal observatories for monitoring marine pollution and acquisition of coastal research vessels.