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Govt Approves Proposal To Roll Out Project To Explore Deep Ocean For Resources

"This will support the blue economy and take India into a new era," he said. The proposal for launching the "Deep Ocean mission" came from the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

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The Centre on Wednesday approved a proposal to roll out a "Deep Ocean Mission" to explore the deep ocean for resources and develop deep-sea technologies for sustainable use of marine resources.

The decision was taken by the Union Cabinet at its meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, minister Prakash Javadekar told a press conference.

"This will support the blue economy and take India into a new era," he said.

The proposal for launching the "Deep Ocean mission" came from the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

Javadekar said under the mission, a mineral study will be conducted 6,000 metres deep in the ocean. The mission will also study the changes, if any, noticed due to climate change.

Under the mission, he said, a study will be conducted on more deep-sea biodiversity.

The minister said an advanced marine station will be set up for ocean biology under the mission. There will also be an offshore thermal energy centre, which will help new emerging sectors.

After the US, Russia, France, Japan and China, India will be the sixth country to have this kind of technology, Javadekar said.

"There will be good opportunities for our MSMEs and research. This will also help in our endeavour and vision towards an Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India)," he added.

The estimated cost of the mission for a period of five years will be Rs 4,077 crore and it will be implemented in a phase-wise manner, according to an official statement.

"The estimated cost for the first phase for the three years (2021-2024) would be Rs 2,823.4 crore. The Deep Ocean Mission will be a mission-mode project to support the blue economy initiatives of the government. The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) will be the nodal ministry implementing this multi-institutional ambitious mission," the statement said.

The mission consists of six major components -- development of technologies for deep-sea mining and manned submersible, development of ocean climate change advisory services, technological innovations for exploration and conservation of deep-sea biodiversity, a deep-ocean survey and exploration, energy and freshwater from the ocean and an advanced marine station for ocean biology.

"The technologies required for deep-sea mining have strategic implications and are not commercially available. Hence, attempts will be made to indigenise technologies by collaborating with leading institutes and private industries. A research vessel for deep-ocean exploration would be built in an Indian shipyard, which would create employment opportunities," the statement said.

"This mission is also directed towards capacity development in marine biology, which will provide job opportunities in Indian industries. In addition, design, development and fabrication of specialised equipment, ships and setting up of the required infrastructure are expected to spur the growth of the Indian industry, especially the MSMEs and start-ups," it added.


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