India developing capabilities for undertaking deep ocean missions: Harsh Vardhan

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India developing capabilities for undertaking deep ocean missions: Harsh Vardhan

Chennai, Jan 9 (PTI): The government was in the processof developing a capability in which scientists can go deepinto the ocean beyond three kilometres for taking up oceanexploration, Union Science and Technology Minister Dr HarshVardhan said on Saturday.

Participating in a function here, he said India wasranked at the top in weather forecasting and had never issueda false warning whenever cyclones were formed.

”Normally it is about six hours of going down (inthe ocean) doing some research activities and coming back.

We are developing the capability in which scientistscan go deep in the ocean beyond three kilometers and they canbe there for almost 16 hours (for research purposes),” he saidafter dedicating coastal research vessel ‘Sagar Avneshika’ atChennai Port Trust here.

On weather forecast, he said the naturalcalamity, the country remembers — was the Tsunami of 2004which caused a ‘tragedy of a huge magnitude’.

”When we look back on how our scientists havedeveloped (since Tsunami hit in 2004), we can proudly say thatwe are the best nation in the world in predicting earlywarnings of tsunami.We have never issued false warnings.Myscientists tell me that Japan has issued false warnings ontsunamis,” he said.

The minister said because of early warningfacilities, states and administration were able to take upprecautionary measures in protecting the people.

”Some cyclones could have caused huge damage.Butthey were very well predicted sometimes 10 days or two weeksearlier so that the government and respective States got ampletime and opportunity to take care of all the precautions sothat lives of people and sources of livelihood could beprotected,” he pointed out.

The country‘s most ambitious mission was tolaunch a deep ocean mission which would look at all theaspects of the ocean as a source of minerals, a source ofwater and strengthen the scientific community, he said.

”We are already in the process and then we willtake the help of big organisations in a collaborative way likeDRDO, ISRO, people in IITs,” he said.

Vardhan said ‘Sagar Avneshika’ launched today canaccommodate about 15-20 scientists for research purposes andhas laboratories similar to research vessel ‘Sagar Thara’ fortaking up scientific explorations.

”The state-of-the-art vessel will transform ourocean research activities and boost our blue economy,” hesaid.

The vessel is equipped with advanced navigationsystems as well as research and exploration apparatus.

It would boost multi-disciplinary research onoceanography along the Indian coast and will deepenunderstanding of the ocean and help harness its enormouspotential, he added.

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