Deep Ocean Mission : Significance – UPSC GS1

Deep Ocean Mission:
  • Deep Ocean Mission aims to explore the deep ocean for resources.
  • It also aims to develop deep-sea technologies for sustainable use of ocean resources.
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Earth Sciences(MoES) will be the nodal Ministry for implementing this mission.
  • Duration of the mission: The mission will be implemented over a period of 5 years in a phased manner. Its 1st phase will be of 3 years.
Components of the Mission: The Deep Ocean Mission consists of the following six major components:
  1. Development of Technologies for Deep Sea Mining and Manned Submersible:
    • A manned submersible will be developed to carry three people to a depth of 6000 metres in the ocean with a suite of scientific sensors and tools.
    • For mining Polymetallic Nodules from 6000 m depth in the central Indian Ocean, an Integrated Mining System will also be developed.
  2. Development of Ocean Climate Change Advisory Services: Models will be developed to understand and provide future projections of important climate variables on seasonal to decadal time scales.
  3. Technological innovations for exploration and conservation of deep-sea biodiversity: Bio-prospecting of deep-sea flora and fauna including microbes and studies on sustainable utilization of deep-sea bio-resources will be the main focus under this component.
    • Bio-prospecting is defined as a systematic and organized search for useful products derived from bio-resources. It includes plants, microorganisms, animals that can be developed further for commercialization and overall benefits of the society.
  4. Deep Ocean Survey and Exploration: This component will explore and identify potential sites of multi-metal Hydrothermal Sulphides mineralization along the Indian Ocean mid-oceanic ridges.
  5. Energy and freshwater from the Ocean: Studies and detailed engineering design for offshore Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) powered desalination plants are being planned under this component.
    • OTEC is a processor technology for producing energy by harnessing the temperature differences (thermal gradients) between ocean surface waters and deep ocean waters.
  6. Advanced Marine Station for Ocean Biology: This component is aimed at the development of human capacity and enterprise in ocean biology and engineering. It will translate research into the industrial application and product development through on-site business incubator facilities.
Significance of the mission:
  • Deep Ocean Mission will be a mission mode project to support the Blue Economy Initiatives of the Government of India.
  • The technology and expertise needed in such missions are now available in only five countries – US, Russia, France, Japan and China. India will be the sixth country to have it.
  • The United Nations(UN) has declared the decade 2021-2030 as the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
  • The Government of India’s Vision of New India by 2030 announced in 2019 highlighted the Blue Economy as one of the ten core dimensions of growth.
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