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NIO provides scientific backup for the India's claims to extend its EEZ
The laboratories of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, India - National Institute of Ocaenography (NIO) and National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) had been working hard in identifying the country's limits of the continental shelf under the Ministry of Earth-Sciences (MoES), Government of India initiated program (National Centre for Antarctic and Oceanic Research (NCAOR) entrusted with the responsibility of implementation) for delineation of the outer limits of India’s continental shelf. Other agencies such as DGH, ONGC, GSI and NHO also have their inputs in this endeavor. This important work has helped India in providing the science behind India’s claim to extend its present limit of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the marine area over which India enjoys special rights for exploration and exploitation (our present area is ~2 million sq. km.).
Outer limits of the extended continental shelf in the eastern offshore region of India
Outer limits of the extended continental shelf in the western offshore region of India
On 16th August, 2010, India made a formal presentation in this regard to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf at the United Nations (UN), New York. Among the delegation, Dr. A.K. Chaubey, a senior geophysicist from NIO presented before the commission the science behind the country’s claim to extend its EEZ. This presentation was for the partial boundaries of India on the northern sides - eastern and western offshore regions as shown in the figures for which India made its continental shelf submission to the UN last year in May 2009.
There are in all 53 countries that have made submissions to provide them extended areas beyond their EEZs through the Secretary-General of the United Nations, to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. Large number of countries has already made presentations. These would now be placed to the sub-commissions consisting of experts in the field and UN would consider their recommendations for final decision.
Among the eight member delegation from India, Dr. Shailesh Nayak, the Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) made introductory and concluding remarks during presentation; Dr. A.K. Chaubey, Scientist, NIO and Mr. Narinder Singh, Joint Secretary (Legal and Treaties Division), Ministry of External Affairs made their presentations on their areas of expertise. Other members of delegation consisted of H.E. Mr. Manjeev Puri, Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN; Dr. M.P. Wakdikar, Scientist, MoEF; Dr. B. Ashalatha, Scientist, NGRI; Dr. D.K. Pandey, Scientist, NCAOR and Mr. Pradip Chaudhury, Legal Counselor, Permanent Mission of India to the UN.
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