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Deep Ocean Mission (DOM)

Deep Ocean Mission (DOM)

Why in news?

  • Recently, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) on the Deep Ocean Mission (DOM).
  • The blueprint of the DOM to explore the deep recesses of the ocean was unveiled in 2018. Earlier, MoES had also rolled out the draft Blue Economy Policy.

About The Mission

  • The mission proposes to explore the deep ocean similar to the space exploration started by ISRO.
  • Underwater robotics and ‘manned’ submersibles are key components of the Mission which will help India harness various living and non-living (water, mineral and energy) resources from the seabed and deep water.
  • The tasks that will be undertaken over this period include deep-sea mining, survey, energy exploration and the offshore-based desalination.
  • These technological developments are funded under an umbrella scheme of the government – called Ocean Services, Technology, Observations, Resources Modelling and Science (O-SMART).
  • The cost of the Mission has been estimated at Rs. 4,077 crore over a five-year period and will be implemented in phases.
  • It will be a mission mode project to support the Blue Economy Initiatives of the Government of India.
  • The technology and expertise needed in such missions is now available with only five countries – US, Russia, France, Japan and China.

Major Objectives Of The Deep Ocean Mission

  • Development of technologies for deep sea mining, underwater vehicles and underwater robotics;
  • Development of ocean climate change advisory services;
  • Technological innovations for exploration and conservation of deepsea biodiversity;
  • Deep ocean survey and exploration;
  • Proof of concept studies on energy and freshwater from the ocean; and
  • Establishing advanced marine station for ocean biology

Major Components

  • Development of Technologies for Deep Sea Mining, and Manned Submersible
  • Development of Ocean Climate Change Advisory Services
  • Technological Innovations for Exploration and Conservation of Deep-sea Biodiversity
  • Deep Ocean Survey and Exploration
  • Energy and Freshwater from the Ocean
  • Advanced Marine Station for Ocean Biology


  • India’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) spreads over 2.2 million sq. km and in the deep sea, lies unexplored and unutilised.
  • Besides, India has been allotted site of 1,50,000 sq. km in Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) by United Nations International Sea Bed Authority (UN-ISBA) for exploitation of polymetallic nodules (PMN).
  • These are rocks scattered on seabed containing iron, nickel, manganese and cobalt.
  • It is envisaged that 10% of recovery of that large reserve can meet energy requirement of India for next 100 years.
  • It has been estimated that 380 million metric tonnes of polymetallic nodules are available at the bottom of the seas in CIOB.

Other Blue Economy Initiatives

  • India-Norway Task Force on Blue Economy for Sustainable Development : It was inaugurated jointly by both the countries in 2020 to develop and follow up joint initiatives between the two countries.
  • Sagarmala Project: The Sagarmala project is the strategic initiative for port-led development through the extensive use of IT enabled services for modernization of ports.
  • O-SMART: India has an umbrella scheme by the name of O-SMART which aims at regulated use of oceans, marine resources for sustainable development.
  • Integrated Coastal Zone Management:
    It focuses on conservation of coastal and marine resources, and improving livelihood opportunities for coastal communities etc.
  • National Fisheries Policy : India has a National Fisheries policy for promoting ‘Blue Growth Initiative’ which focuses on sustainable utilization of fisheries wealth from marine and other aquatic resources.


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