India’s Rs 4,077 crore deep ocean mission for ‘Oceanic resource exploration’ to begin soon

The Indian deep ocean mission will seek to develop the technologies required for exploring and, then, extracting minerals in the deep seabed

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Earth Sciences Jitendra Singh on Tuesday (3 August) said that India’s Deep Ocean Mission (DOM) will commence from this year, Swarajya reported.

The government has approved Deep Ocean Mission (DOM) to be implemented by the Ministry of Earth Sciences at a total budget of Rs 4,077 crore for five years.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by PM Narendra Modi, approved the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) proposal on ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ to explore the deep ocean for resources and develop deep-sea technologies for sustainable use of ocean resources.

The mission planned by the earth sciences ministry will be carried out in collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and it will be a major step in the direction of integrating and bringing together efforts of different streams of science operating under different ministries, he said.

The mission will also drive the creation of ocean climate change advisory services under which “a suite of observations and models will be developed to understand and provide future projections of important climate variables on seasonal to decadal time scales”.

A key component of the mission is pursuing technological innovations for exploration and conservation of deep-sea biodiversity through “bio-prospecting of deep-sea flora and fauna… and studies on sustainable utilisation of deep-sea bio-resources”.

The estimated cost of the mission will be Rs 4077 crore for five years to be implemented in a phase-wise manner. The estimated cost for the first phase for three years (2021-2024) would be Rs 2823.4 crore.

It is planned to develop a manned submarine to carry 3 people to a depth of 6000 metres in the ocean with a suit of scientific sensors and tools. All the components of the mission will commence in 2021, the minister said.

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