Deep Ocean Mission

The Deep Ocean Mission is a new initiative launched by the Indian government to explore marine biodiversity and promote the sustainable use of marine resources in India’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. The government has allocated a budget of Rs. 600 crore in the 2023-2024 Union Budget for the implementation of this mission.


India has an exclusive economic zone of 2,200,000 km2, which is largely unexplored and unutilised. The International Seabed Authority has allocated a site of 150,000 km2 in the Central Indian Ocean Basin for the exploitation of polymetallic nodules. It is estimated that 380 million metric tonnes of these nodules are available at the bottom of the seas in the central Indian Ocean, which can meet India’s energy requirements for the next 100 years.


The Deep Ocean Mission has a five-year plan, with a cost of Rs. 8000 crore, to mine, research, and study the ocean floor. The objectives of the plan include conducting research that can result in the formation of a roadmap on climate change and help in developing a desalination plant powered by tidal energy.


The mission consists of various components such as the development of manned submersible vehicles and deep-sea mining technologies, conducting marine surveys and explorations, establishing advanced marine stations for marine engineering and biology, etc. One of the primary aims of the mission is to explore and extract polymetallic nodules, which are composed of minerals like manganese, nickel, cobalt, copper, and iron hydroxide.

Under its sub-project, known as Samudrayaan, India aims to send three people into the deep sea up to a depth of 6 km in the Indian Ocean in an indigenous deep-sea submersible that has an endurance of 72 hours.

Progress Made:

The Indian Space Research Organisation has developed the design of a crewed submersible capsule capable of travelling 6,000 m deep for the mission. A deep-submergence vehicle named Matsya 6000 is under development, and the first uncrewed trial of the vehicle was conducted in October 2021.


The Deep Ocean Mission is an important initiative that will help India explore and utilise its ocean resources in a sustainable manner. With the development of new technologies and the establishment of advanced marine stations, the mission is expected to bring about significant progress in the field of marine exploration and conservation.

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