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Ocean Development

Department of Ocean Development (DOD) (External website that opens in a new window) was created in July 1981 as a nodal and independent department under the direct charge of PM for organising, co-coordinating and promoting ocean development activities. Immediately after the formation of the Department, Ocean Policy Statement was prepared and brought out in 1982. The Ocean Policy Statement is primarily aimed at utilisation of marine living and nonliving resources for societal benefits in a sustainable manner.

Considering India's long coastline and 37 per cent of her population deriving benefits from the seas, this was significant considering the vast EEZ of 2 million square km coupled with additional 1 to 1.5 million of continental shelf estimated to follow as against the land area of 3.28 million sq.km. even some developed countries , with larger maritime areas had not thought of creation of a separate entity or Department.

Salient features of the Policy Statement and thrust areas include:

  • Exploratory survey, assessment and sustainable utilisation/harnessing of the ocean resources including living, non-living and renewable sources of ocean energy.
  • Technological advances geared to the utilisation and preservation of the marine environment.
  • Development of technology relating to instrumentation, diving systems, position fixing, materials development, oceanic data collecting devices, submersibles, etc.
  • Developmental activities related to integrated coastal and marine area management, coastal community development, etc., with direct application to the welfare of the society.
  • Establishment of an ocean related information system using indigenous and foreign sources; International co-operation in Ocean Science and Technology.
  • Development of technologies relating to seabed mining, extractive metallurgy and conducting Environmental Impact Assessment studies.
  • Contribution towards front ranking research in polar sciences.
  • Basic and applied research in Ocean Science and Technology, Human Resource Management, creation of Centres of Excellence in academic institutions and public awareness on the potential and uses of ocean.

Considering the need for capacity building and specialised skilled human resources as emphasised in the Ocean Policy Statement, Department of Ocean Development has established national institutes, viz. National Institute of Ocean Technology (External website that opens in a new window) (NIOT) at Chennai, National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (External website that opens in a new window) (NCAOR) at Goa, Indian National Centre for Ocean and Information Services (External website that opens in a new window) (INCOIS) at Hyderabad, Project Directorate, Integrated Coastal and Marine Area Management (External website that opens in a new window) (PD-ICMAM) at Chennai and Centre for Marine Living Resources and Ecology (CMLRE) at Kochi.

The Vision Statement highlighting the Perspective Plan 2015 of the Department of Ocean Development was formulated in the year 2002 stipulating the Vision, the Mission, the Mandate and the Priority Areas, to be pursued by the Department over the next decade. A number of new initiatives have been introduced during the 10th Five-Year Plan period, which inter alia includes Gas Hydrate Exploration and Technology Development for Assessment, Comprehensive Swath Bathymetric Survey of Indian EEZ, Geophysical study of Laxmi Basin, etc. Further, considering the devastating effect of Tsunami in Andaman and east coast, a new major initiative for setting up Tsunami Warning System for Indian Ocean has been taken up.

Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on: 09-02-2011