Coal and Mining Sector

‘Samudrayaan’ Project

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : ‘Samudrayaan’ Project

Mains level : India's Deep Ocean Mission


  • India’s ambition to send men to the deep sea in a submersible vehicle is likely to be a reality in 2021-22 with the ‘Samudrayaan’ project.
  • It will be a part of the ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ that has received in-principle approval but is awaiting a final nod from the Union Finance Ministry.

‘Samudrayaan’ project

  • The ‘Samudrayaan’ is a part of the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ pilot project for deep ocean mining for rare minerals.
  • The project proposes to send a submersible vehicle with three persons to a depth of about 6000 metres to carry out deep underwater studies.
  • The project is undertaken by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai in line with the ISRO’s ambitious ‘Gaganyaan’ mission of sending an astronaut to space by 2022.
  • The indigenously developed vehicle is capable of crawling on the sea bed at a depth of six kilometre for 72 hours.
  • The project proposes to carry three persons in a submersible vehicle to a depth of 6000 metres under sea for various studies. Submarines go only about 200 metres.

Why such mission?

  • India has been allocated a site of 75,000 sq km in the Central Indian Ocean Basin by the International Sea Bed Authority for exploration of polymetallic nodules from seabed.
  • The estimated resource of polymetallic nodules is about 380 million tonnes, containing 4.7 million tonnes of nickel, 4.29 million tonnes of copper and 0.55 million tonnes of cobalt and 92.59 million tonnes of manganese.

Benefits

  • The success of the ‘Samudrayaan’ will help India to join the league of developed nations in exploration of minerals from oceans.
  • Such missions had already been carried by developed countries and India could be the first among the developing nations.
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