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India set to launch deep sea mission

Topics Covered: Indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

India set to launch deep sea mission:


Context:

India will soon launch an ambitious ‘Deep Ocean Mission’.

  • Required approvals are being obtained for the mission.

About the Mission:

The mission proposes to explore the deep ocean similar to the space exploration started by ISRO about 35 years ago.

The focus of the mission will be on deep-sea mining, ocean climate change advisory services, underwater vehicles and underwater robotics related technologies.

  • Two key projects planned in the ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ report include a desalination plant powered by tidal energy and a submersible vehicle that can explore depths of at least 6,000 metres.

Significance:

  • The mission will give a boost to efforts to explore India’s vast Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf.
  • The plan will enable India to develop capabilities to exploit resources in the Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB).

Potential:

India has been allotted 75,000 square kilometres in the Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) by UN International Sea Bed Authority for exploration of poly-metallic nodules.

  • CIOB reserves contain deposits of metals like iron, manganese, nickel and cobalt.
  • It is envisaged that 10% of recovery of that large reserve can meet the energy requirement of India for the next 100 years.

What are PMN?

Polymetallic nodules (also known as manganese nodules) are potato-shaped, largely porous nodules found in abundance carpeting the sea floor of world oceans in deep sea.

Composition: Besides manganese and iron, they contain nickel, copper, cobalt, lead, molybdenum, cadmium, vanadium, titanium, of which nickel, cobalt and copper are considered to be of economic and strategic importance.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. What is deep sea mining?
  2. What are PMNs?
  3. Location of the Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB).
  4. Functions of the UN International Sea Bed Authority.

Mains Link:

Discuss the need for and significance of ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ to be launched by India.

Sources: the Hindu.