Deep Ocean Mission:
The Union Cabinet has approved the long-pending Deep Ocean Mission.
- The mission proposes to explore the deep ocean similar to the space exploration started by ISRO about 35 years ago.
- The focus of the mission will be on deep-sea mining, ocean climate change advisory services, underwater vehicles and underwater robotics-related technologies.
- The mission is expected to cost ₹4,077 crore over the next five years.
- The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) will be the nodal Ministry implementing this multi-institutional mission.
Key Components of the mission:
- A manned submersible will be developed to carry three people to a depth of 6,000 metres in the ocean with a suite of scientific sensors and tools.
- An Integrated Mining System will be developed for mining polymetallic nodules at those depths in the central Indian Ocean.
- Development of Ocean Climate Change Advisory Services.
- Development of a component for searching deep-sea flora and fauna, including microbes, and studying ways to sustainably utilise them.
- The next component is to explore and identify potential sources of hydrothermal minerals that are sources of precious metals formed from the earth’s crust along the Indian Ocean mid-oceanic ridges.
- It has a component for studying and preparing detailed engineering design for offshore Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) powered desalination plants.
- The final component is aimed at grooming experts in the field of ocean biology and engineering. This component aims to translate research into industrial applications and product development through on-site business incubator facilities.