India has embarked on a major mission aimed at improving understanding about oceans, its biodiversity and impact of climate change, along with development and demonstration of technology to undertake future ocean explorations.
On Monday, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced an allocation of over Rs 4,000 crore over the next five years for the Deep Ocean Mission. This is in addition to the Rs 1,897 crore allocated for the ministry in the current financial year.
“Our oceans are a storehouse of living and non-living resources. This Mission will cover deep ocean survey exploration and projects for the conservation of deep sea bio-diversity,” said Sitharaman.
This inter-ministerial and inter-departmental mission, planned over the next five years, will see collaboration of researchers and experts from institutions operating under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Defence Development and Research Organisation (DRDO), Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the Indian Navy.
Speaking to The Indian Express on Monday on the importance of the mission, M Rajeevan, secretary of MoES, said, “We do not know much about our oceans. We hardly have knowledge of about 5 per cent of the explored deep oceans. There are several unexplored areas, including biodiversity, and our work under this mission will concentrate on…