Deep Ocean Mission Current Affairs
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Union Ministry of Earth Sciences has unveiled blueprint of Deep Ocean Mission (DOM). The mission proposes to explore deep-ocean by emulating success of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in designing and launching satellites. For this mission, Centre has drawn up a five-year, Rs. 8,000 crore plan to explore deep recesses of the ocean.
Features of Mission
The focus of DOM is on deep-sea mining, ocean climate change advisory services, underwater vehicles and underwater robotics related technologies. Two key projects planned under it include desalination plant powered by tidal energy and submersible vehicle that can explore depths of at least 6,000 metres.
India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) spreads over 2.2 million sq. km and in the deep sea, lies unexplored and unutilised. Besides, India has been allotted site of 1,50,000 sq. km in Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) by United Nations International Sea Bed Authority (UN-ISBA) for exploitation of polymetallic nodules (PMN). These are rocks scattered on seabed containing iron, nickel, manganese and cobalt. It is envisaged that 10% of recovery of that large reserve can meet energy requirement of India for next 100 years. It has been estimated that 380 million metric tonnes of polymetallic nodules are available at the bottom of the seas in CIOB.
The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) is going to launch Deep Ocean Mission by January 2018 to spur research activities in ocean science and develop technology to harness ocean resources.
The proposed inter-ministerial and interdisciplinary project aims to explore and harness mineral resources beneath the ocean floor.
India has 7,500 km of coastline and 2.4 million square km of exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The oceans along Indian peninsula contain enormous opportunities in energy, food, medicine and a host of other natural resources. China has been working on a deep sea mission for mining mineral deposits in the Indian and Pacific oceans.
Deep Ocean Mission
The mission is intended to harness ocean resources in responsible way and play important transformative role in prosperity and security of the nation. It will also seek to create jobs and business opportunities in ocean science. It will not only involve the MoES, but also departments of other ministries like science and technology and the biotechnology etc.