Continuation of the scheme Ocean Services, Modelling, Application, Resources and Technology
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today gave its approval for continuation of the umbrella scheme ""Ocean Services, Modelling, Application, Resources and Technology (O-SMART)"" of Ministry of Earth Sciences, for implementation during the period from 2021-26 at an overall cost of Rs. 2177 crore.
- The scheme encompasses seven sub-schemes namely Ocean Technology, Ocean Modelling and Advisory Services (OMAS), Ocean Observation Network (OON), Ocean Non-Living Resources, Marine Living Resources and Ecology (MLRE), Coastal Research and Operation and Maintenance of Research Vessels.
- OSMART being a multidisciplinary continuing scheme, the ongoing extensive research and technology development activities would augment capacity building of the nation in the oceanographic field at the international level.
- The present decade has been declared as the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development by the United Nations (UN) and continuation of the scheme would strengthen our stand in the global oceanographic research and technology development.
- The scheme encompasses a total of 16 sub-projects addressing ocean development activities such as Services, Technology, Resources, Observations and Science.
- 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.
- To generate and regularly update information on Marine Living Resources and their relationship with the physical environment in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ),
- To periodically monitor levels of sea water pollutants for health assessment of coastal waters of India, to develop shoreline change maps for assessment of coastal erosion due to natural and anthropogenic activities,
- To develop a wide range of state-of-the art ocean observation systems for acquisition of real-time data from the seas around India,
- To generate and disseminate a suite of user-oriented ocean information, advisories, warnings, data and data products for the benefit of society,
- To develop high resolution models for ocean forecast and reanalysis system,
- To develop algorithms for validation of satellite data for coastal research and to monitor changes in the coastal research,
- Acquisition of 2 Coastal Research Vessels (CRVs) as replacement of 2 old CRVs for coastal pollution monitoring, testing of various underwater components and technology demonstration,
- To develop technologies to tap the marine bio resources,
- To develop technologies generating freshwater and energy from ocean,
- To develop underwater vehicles and technologies,
- Establishment of Ballast water treatment facility,
- To support operation and maintenance of 5 Research vessels for ocean survey/monitoring/technology demonstration programmes,
- Establishment of state of the art sea front facility to cater to the testing and sea trial activities of ocean technology,
- To carryout exploration of Polymetallic Nodules (MPN) from water depth of 5500 m in site of 75000 sq.km allotted to India by United Nations in Central Indian Ocean Basin, to carryout investigations of gas hydrates,
- Exploration of polymetallic sulphides near Rodrigues Triple junction in 10000 sq. km of area allotted to India in International waters by International Seabed Authority/UN and,
- Submission of India’s claim over continental shelf extending beyond the Exclusive Economic Zone supported by scientific data, and Topographic survey of EEZ of India.
Significance and benefits of the scheme:
- Currently, five lakhs fishermen community are receiving the related information daily through mobile which includes allocation of fish potential and local weather conditions in the coastal waters.
- The scheme will help in reducing the search time for fishermen resulting savings in the fuel cost.
- Implementation of O-SMART will help in addressing issues relating to Sustainable Development Goal-14, which aims to conserve use of oceans, marine resources for sustainable development.
- This scheme (O-SMART) also provide necessary scientific and technological background required for implementation of various aspects of Blue Economy.
- The ocean advisory services and technologies being rendered and developed under the scheme play a pivotal role in the development activities over dozen sectors, working in the marine environment including the coastal states of India, contributing significantly to the GDP.
- The State of Art Early Warning Systems established under the O-SMART Scheme will help in effectively dealing with ocean disasters like Tsunami, storm surges.
- The technologies being developed under this Scheme 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 SagarPurvi have been acquired to provide required research support.