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Current Affairs

Deep ocean mission

Date: 17 June 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The Union cabinet has approved the Deep Ocean Mission to study under the ocean elements. The mission was due from a long time.

 

Background

There are plans to launch a submersible vehicle up to a depth of 6000 metres. This would make India part of handful countries able to reach such depths.

 

Details

  • The mission will be taken under the leadership of Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and would cost a total of Rs ?4,077 for five years of mission.

  • The mission has been in working since 2018. And the cost of first phase is about Rs 2,823 crore.

 

Components of the mission

  • A manned submersible vehicle will be taken to the depths of 6000 metres with all sensors and tools along with three passengers.

  • Mining for polymetallic nodules will be set up in the central Indian Ocean through information collected through the mission.

  • The second component would be towards studying climate changes. It involves developing scientific modules to predict future climate variables.

  • The third component would focus on looking for deep sea flora and fauna including microscopic organisms and developing methods to use them.

  • The fourth component would involve searching Indian Ocean mid-oceanic ridges for hydrothermal minerals. These minerals are source of precious metals present in earth’s crust.

  • The fifth component would be looking at designing desalination plants that is based on using Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion method.

  • The last component will be trying to groom experts in the domain of ocean engineering and biology. It would aim at developing research into industrial use and product.

 

Area of focus

  • India will be working on an area in Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB), where it has been granted permission to undertake exploitation of polymetallic nodules.

  • The polymetallic nodules contain various types of metals such as manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel.

  • Access to a small fraction of these polymetallic nodules will help in meeting energy requirements of India for next 100 years.

  • The UN International Sea Bed Authority has given India to undertake the mission over India’s Exclusive Economic Zone in Indian Ocean Region.