New Delhi: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences Jitendra Singh on Saturday October 30 visited the Indian subcontinent’s pioneer research vessel “Sagar Nidhi” and interacted with the scientists on the deck.
Singh boarded the Ship ORV Sagar Nidhi, India’s state of the art ice-class research vessel, and went on a short cruise during which, he reviewed the scientific & technology demonstration capabilities of the ship.
“Dr Jitendra Singh is the first ever Science & Technology Minister to accompany the scientists when the ship sailed from the Chennai Port,” Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Dr. M. Ravichandran told reporters.
Along with the leading scientists, the Minister reviewed the Research Fleet of National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) under the Ministry of Earth Sciences at Chennai Port, a statement from the MoES said in New Delhi.
Singh noted the role of Sagar Nidhi in exploring the ocean resources and participation in search and rescue operations, more specifically its importance for implementation of Deep Ocean Mission.
The vessel is capable of carrying out geo-scientific, meteorological, and oceanographic research, and is designed with blue-water capability with ranges of up to 10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km) for voyages lasting up to 45 days.
He was informed that Sagar Nidhi is the first Indian flagged research ship that reached the 66AoS latitude (Antarctic waters), facing 11 storms and 73 nm/hr wind speed, witnessing nature’s harshest conditions.
India, a traditionally maritime country with rich maritime heritage, has an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of about 2.37 million square kilometres wherein India enjoys the exclusive legal right to utilize all living and non-living resources.
Apart from this, India has been allotted 75,000 sq km in the Central Indian Ocean and 10,000 sq km in the Southern Indian Ocean by the International Seabed Authority. These areas are rich in minerals like Manganese, Cobalt and Nickel. For the sustainable harvesting of these non-living and living organisms, there is a need of exploring and understanding the ocean even more.
The Minister appreciated the support extended by Chairman and officials of the Chennai Port Trust for support in implementation of R&D activities of the Ministry.
Dr. Jitendra Singh was apprised of the ship’s facilities like handling gear, propulsion, and control systems. He observed that such technology demonstration vessels are required for exploration and harnessing ocean resources for the Blue Economy.
“The Minister praised the valuable contribution of these Research Ships towards enhancing the knowledge on oceans and also reviewed the fleet of research vessels comprising Sagar Manjusha, Sagar Tara and Sagar Anveshika,” the statement added.