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.