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Marine Non-Living Resources

Polymetallic Nodules (PMN) Programme(External website that opens in a new window)

India is the first country to have received the status of Pioneer Investor in 1987 and was allocated an exclusive area in Central Indian Ocean Basin by UN for exploration and utilization of nodules. India is presently having an area of 75,000 square km, located about 1600 Nm away from her southern tip. India is one among the top 8-countries/ contractors and is implementing a long term programme on exploration and utilization of Polymetallic Nodules. As part of the Manganese Nodule mining programme, a crawler, in-situ tester and remotely operable Vehicle were designed, developed and tested at depths of 410m, 520m and 205m respectively. For extraction of metals, 3 primary process routes were tested on the semi-continuous demonstration pilot plant set up at Hindustan Zinc Limited with successful extraction of Copper, Nickel and Cobalt from Polymetalic Nodules.

Indian Continental Shelf Program

This is a major multi-institutional national endeavor that seeks to establish the outer limits of the country's continental shelf. Following India's ratification of the convention in June 1995, it was mandatory for the country to lodge her claims for an extended shelf latest by May 2009. The Indian endeavours towards this national goal were being spearheaded by the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR). Underpinning our endeavours has been a comprehensive multi institutional marine geophysical data acquisition programme which commenced on the 17th July 2002. Spread over 385 days of fair-weather period, over 31, 000 km of seismic reflection gravity and magnetic data were collected from the project area. In addition, for the first time in the country, 90 state of the art Ocean Bottom Seismometers (OBS) were successfully deployed along several seismic transects to constrain the velocities from the reflection data as well as to develop a crustal model of the area. The post-processing and interpretation of the data has been undertaken by three of the leading National Institutes, viz, NCAOR, NGRI and NIO. The documentation as per the provisions of UNCLOS is currently in progress. In June 2007, India got elected as a member on the commission.

During the year the Ministry had undertaken a bilateral programme to conduct geophysical survey as required by the CLCS for the Myanmar. A workshop has already been organized at NCAOR, Goa to the Scientists of Myanmar for providing hand on training on the analysis of geophysical data. A total of 2759 kms has been surveyed for collection of geophysical data in the EEZ of Myanmar.

Gas Hydrates

Considering the vast potential of various resources including the gas hydrates in the EEZ of India, a comprehensive bathymetric survey of EEZ was also taken up during the period. Towards exploration of gas hydrates, some of the scientific aspects of Gas hydrates have been address and an Indo-Russian Gas hydrate centre was established to address the technological aspects.

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