In the next five years, India will have an ambitious programme of manned submersibles that can carry three scientists to a depth of 6,000 metres into the ocean, Earth Sciences Minister Jitendra Singh said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the 15th Foundation Day event of the Ministry of Earth Sciences here, Singh said the Deep Ocean Mission, approved by the Cabinet in June, will expand the exploration and utilisation of deep-sea resources even further for societally benefitting activities.
The aim of this more than Rs 4,000 crore mission is to make India self-reliant in ocean technology, create more jobs in this field, and enhance the capacity building of institutions working in this sector.
"In the coming five years, we are going to have very ambitious programmes being planned including man submersibles to carry three scientists up to the depth of 6,000 metres in the ocean," Singh said.
The project will be executed by the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
Singh also suggested that when Gaganyaan -- India's first manned mission to the space -- takes off, the MoES should also undertake this mission.
The two missions will simultaneously take Indians to space and deep sea, he said. The ambitious Gaganyaan mission aims to carry three Indians to space.
The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), an institute under the MoES, has designed and developed many modules for manned submersible which can go down to 6,000 metres.
NIOT is also collaborating with ISRO on this project. The development is expected to be completed by 2024. When it is completed, India will be the sixth country in the world to have manned submersibles for deep sea exploration after the US, China, Japan, Russia and France.
Singh also launched the MoES-ESSDP (Earth System Science Data Portal), an integrated digital web portal of MoES institutes, which makes available data on various themes of earth system science for public use. The portal has been developed using the latest information technology tools and is available at https://incois.gov.in/essdp.
The portal is aligned with the Digital India initiative of the Government of India to transform the country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. It would facilitate search and retrieval of earth system science data of atmosphere, ocean, poles, geosciences and seismology for societal benefit in a big way.
MoES Secretary M Rajeevan said the ministry is also planning to start radar meteorology in Bengaluru.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) also introduced a new mobile app, named 'Pune Weather Live', which would provide real-time and location-specific weather updates for Pune city.
The app, released by Rajeevan, captures live data, including information on rainfall, from more than 80 weather stations.
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