Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved “Ocean Services, Technology, Observations, Resources Modelling and Science (O-SMART)” Umbrella Scheme. O SMART will provide economic benefits to a large number of user communities in coastal and ocean sectors including fisheries, offshore industry, coastal states, defence, shipping, ports. Central govt. approves to implement O-SMART Scheme during the period 2017-18 to 2019-20 at project cost of Rs. 1623 crore.
Till date, there are 5 lakhs fishermen who receives information daily by mobile phone. This includes fish potential allocation and local weather conditions in coastal areas. This would reduce the search time for fishermen which would result in fuel cost savings.
O-SMART implementation will address various issues relating to Sustainable Development. O-SMART would provide necessary scientific and technological background to implement various aspects of Blue Economy.
O-SMART Umbrella Scheme of Earth Sciences Approved by Cabinet
O-SMART scheme involves 16 sub-projects to address ocean development activities such as Services, Technology, Resources, Observations and Science. State of Art Early Warning System established under O-SMART Scheme would deal with ocean disasters like Tsunami, Storm Surges. Various new technologies being developed would help to harness the vast ocean resources. These includes both living and non-living resources from seas around India.
Land resources are not enough to meet future demands, India will focus on Blue Revolution for effective usage of ocean resources in sustainable manner. This requires info. on ocean science, technology development and to provide services. Coastal research and Marine biodiversity activities are essential for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). O-SMART Scheme will conserve the oceans, seas and marine resources.
Under O-SMART Scheme, Ocean advisory services and technologies have been developed to work in marine environment including coastal states. This would contribute significantly to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This would help in providing info. on oceanic disasters i.e Tsunami, Storm surges. In the upcoming 2 years, important deliverable includes the following things:-
- Strengthening of Ocean Observations and Modelling.
- To Strengthen Ocean Services for Fishermen
- To setup Marine Coastal Observatories to monitor marine pollution in 2018
- Setup of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Plant (OTEC) in Kavratti
- Acquisition of 2 Coastal Research Vessels for Coastal research
- Continuation of Ocean Survey and Exploration of Minerals and Living Resources
- Technology Development for Deep Ocean Mining – Deep Mining System and Manned Submersibles
- To setup Six Desalination Plants in Lakshadweep
Background of O-SMART Scheme – Raising Income of Fishermen
Central govt. is currently running multiple projects in the field of ocean development for the following reasons:-
- Provide easy access to Ocean Information Services.
- Develop technology to harness the ocean resources.
- To promote front ranking research.
- Conducting ocean scientific ocean surveys.
- Various Institutions are promoting the programs / policies of Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). These includes National Institute of Ocean Technology, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Centre for Marine Living Resources and Ecology, National Centre for Coastal Research and several other national institutes.
- Various research vessels like Sagar Nidhi, Sagar Kanya, Sagar Sampada, Sagar Purvi has been acquired to provide research support.
- Several ocean information services are being provided to coastal stake holders i.e fishermen, coastal states, navy, coast guard etc.
- Indian ocean Services are now extended from Arctic to Antarctic region to cover large ocean spaces monitored by Satellite based observations.
- India has signed Antarctic Treaty System and joined Commission of Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).
- Ministry Of Earth Sciences is consistently monitoring health of coastal waters of India including shoreline changes and marine ecosystem.
Other technologies like Remotely Operated Submersible and soil tester having operational capacity of 6000 m depth, shallow bed mining systems are developed.
Source : http://pib.nic.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1544214