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NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved 'Deep Ocean Mission to study biodiversity, impact of climate change, and establish an offshore marine station to explore source of thermal energy.

“Cabinet approves the proposal of the Ministry of Earth Sciences on 'Deep Ocean Mission' with a view to explore Deep Ocean for resources and develop deep-sea technologies for sustainable use of ocean resources," a government spokesperson said after the Cabinet meeting.

The cost of the Mission has been estimated at Rs4,077 crore over a five-year period and will be implemented in phases. The estimated cost for the first phase for three years (2021-2024) is estimated at Rs2,823.4 crore. The Ministry of Earth Sciences will be the nodal ministry implementing this multi-institutional ambitious mission, a government statement said.

Union cabinet minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters that such technology and expertise is now available with only five countries -- US, Russia, France, Japan and China. India will now be sixth country to have it.

“The mission will notice changes, because of climate change, to study more deep-sea biodiversity. There will be deep sea survey. There will be advanced marine station for ocean biology. And there will also be offshore ocean station (to explore) thermal energy as part of the mission," Javadekar said, adding that this will aid the blue economy.

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