Why in News?
- Union Minister for Science and Technology has launched the ‘Digital Ocean’ platform of Indian National Centre for Oceanic Information Services (INCOIS) as a one stop-solution for all data related needs of a wide range of users, including research institutions, operational agencies, strategic users, academic community, maritime industry, and the public.
About the initiative
- Digital Ocean (www.do.incois.gov.in) is expected to bring a sea-change in how the oceanographic data is served for a better understanding of oceans surrounding us.
- It will play a central role in sustainable management of our oceans and expanding our ‘Blue Economy’ initiatives.
- It will facilitate an online interactive web-based environment for data integration, 3D and 4D data visualization, data analysis to assess the evolution of oceanographic features obtained from multiple sources like on site monitoring devices, remote sensing and model data.
- INCOIS provides ocean information and advisory services to various stakeholders in the country, including Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) advisories, Ocean State Forecast (OSF), high wave alerts, tsunami early warnings, storm surge and oil-spill advisories, among others., using state-of-the-art technologies and tools to get real time information on oceanographic and marine meteorological data.
Significance of this Initiative
- India will transform into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
- Will provide data to research institutions, academic communities, policy makers and the public etc.
- Sustainable management of the oceans and Blue Economy initiatives.
- Capacity building on Ocean Data Management for Indian Ocean Rim countries.
- Atmanirbhar Bharat.
Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services
- It was established as an autonomous body in 1999 under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and is a unit of the Earth System Science Organization (ESSO).
- It is mandated to provide the best possible ocean information and advisory services to society, industry, government agencies and the scientific community through sustained ocean observations and constant improvement through systematic and focused research.
- It has adopted and developed various state-of-the-art technologies and tools that includes Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) advisories, Ocean State Forecast (OSF)-Spill advisories, etc.
- Provides round-the-clock monitoring and warning services for the coastal population on tsunamis, storm surges, high waves, etc. through the in-house Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC).
- It has been serving as the National Argo Data Centre and Regional Argo Data Centre of the International Argo Programme.
Other initiatives related to Ocean exploration
Deep Ocean Mission- started in 2018
- Aim- To explore the deep ocean for deep-sea mining, ocean climate change advisory services, underwater vehicles and underwater robotics related technologies.
- Two key projects planned in the Mission are:
- A desalination plant powered by tidal energy.
- A submersible vehicle that can explore depths of at least 6,000 metres.
- India has a long coastline of 7,517 km– with an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 2.02 mn. sq.km.
- Marine services sector could serve as the backbone of its blue economy and help India a 5 Trillion Dollar Economy
- Indian Ocean is a major conduit of trade with as much as 80% of global oil trade happening through it.
- The objective of the Blue Economy is to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and employment opportunities within the Indian Ocean region’s maritime economic activities.
- The Blue Economy is determined to initiate appropriate programs for: the sustainable harnessing of ocean resources; research and development; developing relevant sectors of oceanography; stock assessment of marine resources; introducing marine aquaculture, deep sea/long line fishing and biotechnology; and human resource development; among others.
- The idea encompasses Renewable Energy, Fisheries, Maritime Transport, Tourism, Mitigating Climate Change (oceans as a carbon sink), Waste Management (reducing burden on oceans).
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