Cabinet approves O-SMART Umbrella scheme
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the umbrella scheme which comprised of ocean services, technology, observations, resources modeling and science under the O-SMART nomenclature.
- The scheme is charted for implementation during the period from 2017-18 to 2019-20 at an overall cost of Rs.1623 crores, and would encompass a total of 16 sub-projects addressing ocean development activities like services, technology, resources, observations, and science.
- The services under this O-SMART will provide economic benefits to a number of user communities in the coastal areas, namely fisheries as this will help in reducing the search time for fishermen resulting savings in the fuel cost.
- Currently, five lakh fishermen communities are receiving this information daily through the mobile, which includes allocation of fish potential and local weather conditions in the coastal waters. Apart from this offshore industry, coastal states, defence, Shipping, ports are also set to reap the benefits from it.
- Moreover, the implementation of O-SMART will help in addressing issues relating to Sustainable Development Goal-14, which aims to conserve use of oceans, marine resources. This will also provide necessary scientific and technological background required for implementation of various aspects of Blue Economy.
- The technologies being developed under this scheme will help in harnessing vast ocean resources of both living and non-living resources from the seas around India.
- The state of art early warning systems established under the O-SMART Scheme will help in efficiently dealing with ocean disasters like Tsunami, storm surges. This scheme will also facilitate installation of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Plant (OTEC) in Kavaratti and six Desalination Plants in Lakshadweep.
- India's ocean-related activities are now extended from the Arctic to the Antarctic region covering large ocean spaces which have been monitored through a wide spectrum of in situ and satellite-based observations. India had also signed the Antarctic Treaty System and joined the Commission of Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) for harnessing the resources.