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THE DEEP OCEAN MISSION



  May 02, 2024

THE DEEP OCEAN MISSION



What is the Deep Ocean Mission?

The Deep Ocean Mission, overseen by India's Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), is a comprehensive initiative aimed at exploring and conserving deep-sea biodiversity. The mission also focuses on the sustainable use of ocean resources, including the exploration of mineral deposits essential for various technologies.

How much funding has been allocated to the Deep Ocean Mission in the 2023-24 budget?

The Union Budget 2023-24 has allocated Rs 600 crore to the Deep Ocean Mission. This amount represents a doubling from the previous year's revised fund of Rs 300 crore.

What are the main goals of the Deep Ocean Mission?

The mission aims to develop technologies for deep-sea exploration and mineral extraction, conservation of deep-sea biodiversity, and studying ocean climate effects. Specific projects include building a manned submersible capable of reaching depths of 6,000 meters and constructing a dedicated research vessel for oceanographic studies.

What minerals are targeted by the Deep Ocean Mission's mining activities?

The mission focuses on extracting ores rich in cobalt, manganese, zinc, and other rare metals crucial for manufacturing batteries for electric vehicles, renewable energy systems, smartphones, and laptops.

What are the environmental concerns associated with deep-sea mining?

Experts have expressed concerns about the potential impacts of deep-sea mining on ocean biodiversity. The key worries include the disruption of deep-sea ecosystems, which are poorly understood. The lack of comprehensive scientific data on deep-sea species and their environments complicates the assessment of mining's long-term ecological impacts.

What technological advancements are being developed under the Deep Ocean Mission?

Indian researchers are close to completing a technology for deep-sea mining operations, aimed at being commercially viable. Additionally, the mission includes designing offshore Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) powered desalination plants and developing ocean climate change advisory services.

Why is the Deep Ocean Mission significant?

The mission is crucial for India's strategic interests and economic development. It not only aids in securing essential minerals for high-tech industries but also plays a vital role in enhancing knowledge of marine ecosystems, which is fundamental for environmental conservation and sustainable use of ocean resources.

These FAQs provide an overview of the Deep Ocean Mission's objectives, its significance, the technological developments it fosters, and the environmental considerations it entails.


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