GS Paper - 3 (Environment)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman has allocated Rs 650 crore to India's deep ocean expedition, which aims to investigate huge marine life and non-living resources. The Earth Sciences Ministry's entire budget has been increased in 2022-23. The Finance Minister has allocated Rs 650 crore for the Deep Ocean Mission in the Budget for 2022-23 as against Rs 150 crore allocated in the revised estimates the previous year.

What

  1. The Union Cabinet had approved the Deep Ocean Mission in June last year. The mission was announced in the Union Budget last year.
  2. The government also seeks to launch manned missions to ocean floors up to a depth of six km and has put in motion plans to develop deep-sea vehicles for the purpose.
  3. The Deep Ocean Mission includes development of technologies for deep sea mining, manned submersible, and underwater robotics; development of ocean climate change advisory services and technological innovations for exploration and conservation of deep-sea biodiversity.
  4. It also involves deep ocean survey and exploration, energy and freshwater from the ocean and advanced marine station for ocean biology.
  5. The mission also involves mapping of floors of deep oceans and development of technologies like a manned submersible with 6000m water depth rating, mining system for deep sea mining, sustainable utilization of deep-sea bio resources and developing engineering designs for offshore thermal energy-driven desalination plants.
  6. The budget has also increased allocation for ocean services, modelling, application, resources and technology (O-SMART) that seeks to strengthen ocean observation networks for acquisition of time series data from seas around the country.