Deep Ocean Mission (DOM)
Part of: Prelims and Mains GS-III: Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.
Context: 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.
Therefore, the Deep ocean mission is an important mission for India from the perspective of geopolitics, energy security, economic development and scientific advancement which will achieve targets of both blue economy and New India by 2030.
- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) & Ministry of Earth Sciences for implementation
- National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Earth Sciences is developing a manned submersible with a capacity to carry three human beings to 6000 m ocean depth.
- The Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) of ISRO is involved in developing a titanium alloy human sphere of 2.1 m diameter for the manned submersible.
Importance of Oceans for India
- For India, with 7,517 km long coastline, nice coastal states with 30 percent of the country’s population and three sides surrounded by the oceans, the ocean is a major economic factor supporting fisheries and aquaculture, tourism, livelihoods and blue trade.
- The oceans are also storehouse of food, energy, minerals, medicines.
- They are also modulator of weather and climate system of earth. Thus, oceanic health is important for Indian nonsoons.
- Oceans also provide ecosystem services like carbon sequestration, coastal protection, waste disposal and the existence of biodiversity.
The Deep Ocean Mission will consist of six major components:
1.Development of Technologies for Deep Sea Mining, and Manned Submersible:
- A manned submersible will be developed to carry three people to a depth of 6,000 metres in the ocean with a suite of scientific sensors and tools.
- An Integrated Mining System will also be developed for mining Polymetallic Nodules from a depth of 6,000 metres in the central Indian Ocean.
2.Development of Ocean Climate Change Advisory Services:
- A suite of observations and models will be developed to understand and provide future projections of important climate variables on seasonal to decadal time scales under this proof of concept component.
3.Technological innovations for exploration and conservation of deep-sea biodiversity:
- The bio-prospecting of deep-sea flora and fauna including microbes and studies on sustainable utilisation of deep-sea bio-resources will be the main focus of the mission.
4.Deep Ocean Survey and Exploration:
- The primary objective of this component is to explore and identify potential sites of multi-metal Hydrothermal Sulphides mineralisation along the Indian Ocean mid-oceanic ridges.
5.Energy and freshwater from the ocean:
- Studies and detailed engineering design for offshore Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) powered desalination plant is envisaged in the concept proposal.
6.Advanced Marine Station for Ocean Biology:
- This component is aimed at the development of human capacity and enterprise in ocean biology and engineering.
- This component will translate research into the industrial application and product development through on-site business incubator facilities.
News Source: PIB