In the next five years, India will have an ambitious programme of manned submersibles that can carry three scientists to a depth of 6,000 metres into the ocean, Earth Sciences Minister Jitendra Singh said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the 15th Foundation Day event of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Mr Singh said the Deep Ocean Mission, approved by the Cabinet in June, will expand the exploration and utilisation of deep-sea resources even further for societally benefitting activities.
The aim of this more than Rs 4,000 crore mission is to make India self-reliant in ocean technology, create more jobs in this field, and enhance the capacity building of institutions working in this sector.
"In the coming five years, we are going to have very ambitious programmes being planned including man submersibles to carry three scientists up to the depth of 6,000 metres in the ocean," Mr Singh said.
The project will be executed by the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
Mr Singh also suggested that when Gaganyaan -- India's first manned mission to the space -- takes off, the MoES should also undertake this mission.
The two missions will simultaneously take Indians to space and deep sea, he said.
The ambitious Gaganyaan mission aims to carry three Indians to space.
The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), an institute under the MoES, has designed and developed many modules for manned submersible which can go down to 6,000 metres.
NIOT is also collaborating with ISRO on this project. The development is expected to be completed by 2024. When it is completed, India will be the sixth county in the world to have manned submersibles for deep sea exploration after the US, China, Japan, Russia and France.
MoES Secretary M Rajeevan said the ministry is also planning to start radar meteorology in Bengaluru.
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