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Prelims Syllabus : O-SMART scheme Mains Syllabus : Importance of the Coastal Mapping

Why in News?

  • ·The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, has given its approval for the umbrella scheme “Ocean Services, Technology, Observations, Resources Modelling and Science (O-SMART)”, aimed at stepping up ocean research and setting up early warning weather systems.
  • The scheme encompasses a total of 16 sub-projects addressing ocean development activities such as Services, Technology, Resources, Observations and Science.

O-SMART Scheme:

  • The services rendered under the O-SMART will provide economic benefits to a number of user communities in the coastal and ocean sectors, namely, fisheries, offshore industry, coastal states, Defence, Shipping, Ports etc.
  • Currently, five lakhs fishermen community are receiving this information daily through mobile which includes allocation of fish potential and local weather conditions in the coastal waters.
  • This will help in reducing the search time for fishermen resulting savings in the fuel cost.
  • It seeks to address issues relating to SDG-14, which aims to conserve use of oceans, marine resources for sustainable development.
  • It also provides necessary scientific and technological background required for implementation of various aspects of Blue Economy.
  • The State of Art Early Warning Systems established Scheme will help in effectively dealing with ocean disasters like Tsunami, storm surges.
  • The technologies being developed will help in harnessing the vast ocean resources of both living and non-living resources from the seas around India.
  • A fleet of research vessels viz., Technology Demonstration vessel SagarNidhi, Oceanographic Research Vessel SagarKanya, Fisheries and Oceanographic Research Vessel SagarSampada and Coastal Research Vessel SagarPurvihave been acquired to provide required research support.

Objectives of the Scheme:

  • The important deliverables during the next 2 years envisage include-
  • Strengthening of Ocean Observations and Modelling.
  • Strengthening of Ocean Services for Fishermen
  • Setting up Marine Coastal Observatories for monitoring marine pollution in 2018
  • Setting up Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Plant (OTEC) in Kavaratti
  • Acquisition of 2 Coastal Research Vessels for Coastal research
  • Continuation of Ocean Survey and Exploration of Minerals and Living Resources
  • Technology Development for Deep Ocean Mining- Deep Mining System and Manned Submersibles and
  • Setting up Six Desalination Plants in Lakshadweep

Other Ocean related activities:

  • India has been accorded pioneer status on deep-sea mining of Poly-Metallic Nodules [PMN] in an area of in the Central Indian Ocean [CIO] allotted by International Sea Bed Authority [ISBA]
  • India’s ocean related activities are now extended from the Arctic to the Antarctic region covering large ocean spaces which have been monitored through a wide spectrum of in situ and satellite-based observations.
  • India has also established a state-of-the art early warning systems for ocean disasters, viz, tsunami, cyclones, storm surges etc.
  • India had also signed the Antarctic Treaty System and joined Commission of Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) for harnessing the resources.
  • Besides, the ministry has been monitoring the health of coastal waters of India including shoreline changes and marine ecosystem.
  • The others like Remotely Operated Submersible and soil tester, both capable of operation upto 6000 m. water depth, shallow bed mining systems are some of the cutting edge technologies developed.
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