To tighten India’s grip in Indian Ocean region, cabinet approves Rs 4,077-crore Deep Ocean Mission

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Wednesday approved the Rs 4,077-crore Deep Ocean Mission that will be led by scientists at the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

The five-year inter-ministerial and inter-departmental mission will bring together researchers and experts from the Indian Space Research Organisation, Defence Development and Research Organisation, Department of Atomic Energy, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Department of Biotechnology and the Indian Navy.

This mission will make India one among the handful of powerful nations that already have dedicated ocean studies and missions, including the US, Japan, France, Russia and China.

The mission also provides impetus to India’s Blue Economy initiatives — planned from 2020 to 2030 — which envisages a number of researches that will be performed to study the oceans, of which very little is known. Five thrust areas under the Deep Ocean Mission are — development of technologies for deep sea mining; manned submersible; development of ocean climate change advisory services; development of technology for exploration and conservation of deep-sea biodiversity; deep ocean survey and setting up of a marine station for ocean Biology.

An estimated Rs 2,823.4 crore will be spent during the mission’s first phase scheduled between 2021 and 2024.

India, which has an over 7,500-km-long coastline, is flanked by the sea on three sides. It has nine coastal states and 1,382 islands. Given the…

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