Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Particulars of the DOM
Mains level: All such missions are important from examination point of view.
Deep Ocean Mission
- The Centre has drawn up a five-year, ₹8,000 crore plan to explore the deep recesses of the ocean.
- The Union Earth Sciences Ministry tasked with coordinating the exercise unveiled a blueprint of the Deep Ocean Mission (DOM).
- Among the key deliverables to achieve these goals are an offshore desalination plant that will work with tidal energy and developing a submersible vehicle that can go to a depth of at least 6,000 meters with three people on board.
- The focus will be on technologies for deep-sea mining, underwater vehicles, and underwater robotics and ocean climate change advisory services, among other aspects.
Other deep-sea missions
- India has been allotted a site of 75,000 square kilometers in the Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) by the UN International Sea Bed Authority for exploitation of polymetallic nodules (PMN)
- These are rocks scattered on the seabed containing 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.
- It has been estimated that 380 million metric tonnes of polymetallic nodules are available at the bottom of the seas in the Central Indian Ocean.
- India’s Exclusive Economic Zone spreads over 2.2 million square kilometres and in the deep sea, lies unexplored and unutilised.
- Recently India’s exclusive rights to explore polymetallic nodules from the seabed in Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) have been extended by five years by International Seabed Authority
UN International Sea Bed Authority
- The International Seabed Authority (ISA) is an intergovernmental body that was established to organize, regulate and control all mineral-related activities in the international seabed area beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, an area underlying most of the world’s oceans
- It is an organization established by the Law of the Sea Convention
- It is based in Kingston, Jamaica
- Currently, the Authority has 167 members and the European Union, composed of all parties to the Law of the Sea Convention
- The Authority operates by contracting with private and public corporations and other entities authorizing them to explore, and eventually exploit, specified areas on the deep seabed for mineral resources essential for building most technological products