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‘India to Launch Deep Sea Mission’

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    1st Dec, 2020

India will soon launch an ambitious ''Deep Ocean Mission'' that envisages exploration of minerals, energy and marine diversity of the underwater world, a vast part of which still remains unexplored.

Context

India will soon launch an ambitious ''Deep Ocean Mission'' that envisages exploration of minerals, energy and marine diversity of the underwater world, a vast part of which still remains unexplored.

About

  • The mission, which is expected to cost over ? 4,000 crore, will give a boost to efforts to explore India's vast Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf.
  • The mission will also involve developing technologies for different deep ocean initiatives.
  • The multi-disciplinary work will be piloted by the MoES and other government departments like the Defence Research and Development Organisation, Department of Biotechnology, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) will be stakeholders in this mission.
  • Some of the technologies involved will be developed by organisations such as the ISRO and DRDO.

Exploration of Indian Ocean

  • India has been ear-marked nearly 1.5 lakh square kilometres of area in the central Indian Ocean for exploration.
  • In September 2016, India signed a 15-year contract with the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for exploration of Poly-Metallic Sulphides (PMS) in the Indian Ocean.

Poly-Metallic Sulphides (PMS)

  • Poly-Metallic Sulphides (PMS), which contain iron, copper, zinc, silver, gold, platinum in variable constitutions, are precipitates of hot fluids from upwelling hot magma from deep interior of the oceanic crust, discharged through mineralized chimneys.
  • PMS in the Ocean Ridges have attracted worldwide attention for their long term commercial as well as strategic values.
  • The 15-year contract formalised India's exclusive rights for exploration of PMS in the allotted area in the Indian Ocean.
  • The ISA earlier approved 10,000 sq. km for India with a 15-year PMS exploration plan along the Central Indian Ridge (CIR) and Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR) region of the Indian Ocean.
    • The ISA is an institution set up under the Convention on Law of the Sea to which India is a Party.
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