The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) on "Deep Ocean Mission", with a view to explore the deep ocean for resources and develop deep-sea technologies for sustainable use of ocean resources.
The estimated cost of the Mission will be Rs. 4077 crore for a period of 5 years to be implemented in a phase-wise manner. The estimated cost for the first phase for the 3 years (2021-2024) would be Rs.2823.4 crore. Deep Ocean Mission is a mission mode project to support the Blue Economy Initiatives of the Government of India. Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) will be the nodal Ministry implementing this multi-institutional ambitious mission.
The Deep Ocean Mission consists of the following six major components:
The technologies required for deep-sea mining have strategic implications and are not commercially available. Hence, attempts will be made to indigenize 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. This mission is also directed towards capacity development in Marine Biology, which will provide job opportunities in Indian industries. In addition, the design, development, and fabrication of specialized equipment, ships, and setting up of required infrastructure are expected to spur the growth of the Indian industry, especially the MSME and startups.
Oceans, which cover 70 percent of the globe, remains a key part of our life. About 95 percent of the Deep Ocean remains unexplored. For India, with its three sides surrounded by the oceans and around 30 percent of the country's population living in coastal areas, the ocean is a major economic factor supporting fisheries and aquaculture, tourism, livelihoods, and blue trade. Oceans are also storehouses of food, energy, minerals, medicines, modulator of weather and climate, and underpin life on Earth. Considering the importance of the oceans on sustainability, the United Nations (UN) has declared the decade, 2021-2030 as the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. India has a unique maritime position. Its 7517 km long coastline is home to nine coastal states and 1382 islands. The Government of India's Vision of New India by 2030 enunciated in February 2019 highlighted the Blue Economy as one of the ten core dimensions of growth.
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