India to launch ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ by January 2018

  • Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India is all set to launch ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ by January 2018
  • M Rajeevan, Secretary of Ministry of Earth Sciences, confirmed the participation of seven premier science agencies including NIO, ISRO and DRDO in the venture.
  • India was the first country in the world to have been given the Pioneer Area for exploration of deep-sea mineral viz. Polymetallic nodules in the Central Indian Ocean Basin in 1987.
  • The program on Poly metallic nodules was initiated at CSIR-NIO with the collection of the first nodule sample from Arabian Sea on board the first Research Vessel Gaveshani on 26 January 1981.

Reasons for Launching this Venture.

  • To improve India’s position in ocean research field.
  • India has now retained an area of 75,000 sq km with an estimated resource of about 100 million tons of strategic metals such copper, nickel, cobalt besides manganese and iron.
  • A FGM (First Generation Mine-site) with an area of 18,000 sq km has been identified.
  • Detailed environmental data has been collected for compliance with International Seabed Authorities requirements to enhance the mission.
  • Many mineral resource and developing technologies for mining and extraction, the programme has also resulted in high impact research as well as manpower has been developed.
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