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Dr. Ashwani Kumar, Honourable Minister of the State, Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt. of India visits NIO
Honourable Minister of the State Dr. Ashwani Kumar, Ministry of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Govt. of India
visited the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) on 12 June 2011. He was briefed on the achievements, ongoing projects and 12th Five Year Plan research proposals of NIO by Dr. Satish R. Shetye, Director of the institute.
Honourable Minister also visited two laboratories. These were - Geophysical Computing Laboratory and Laboratory for study of Marine Biofouling & Marine Bioinvasion. Researchers working in these two laboratories briefed the Honourable Minister on the work being carried out in the two labs.
The Geophysical Computing Laboratory is equipped with several
workstations for handling large geophysical data acquired under different research programmes. The workstations are equipped with software for processing and interpretation of multichannel seismic reflection and other geophysical data and are interfaced to support systems like digitizers and plotters. These facilities have helped NIO to successfully complete several projects funded by National and International agencies and industries. The Honourable Minister was briefed on the importance of these projects. They include demarcation of Legal Continental Shelf (LCS) on western margin of India, identification of gas hydrate zones on both continental margins, plate reconstruction analyses of the Gondwanaland fragments, etc.
Marine Biofouling & Marine Bioinvasion laboratory has been set up to develop port specific ballast water management plans for major ports of India. This work is being carried out in association with Directorate General of Shipping, Ministry of Shipping. Marine bioinvasion through shipping activities (ballast water and biofouling) is a major concern for the health of the ocean and functioning of marine ecosystems. This issue has drawn the attention of International Maritime Organization (IMO) and a convention on ballast water management has been adopted. The importance of the threat arising from transfer of ballast water from one ocean to another surfaced in the media recently when the earthquake in Japan lead to leakage of radioactive material from nuclear power plants into nearby marine waters. NIO has plans to implement Electronic Ballast Water Reporting at the major ports in India
in order to facilitate ballast water risk assessment and decision support system for Ballast Water Management.
Honourable Minister was also briefed about the support that NIO provides to Industries. The services provided by the institute are multidisciplinary and include environmental impact assessment, environmental data collection, mathematical modeling and related studies.
Honourable Minister expressed satisfaction on the achievements of the institute. He interacted with the project leaders of the institute during the visit and briefed press reporters.
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