O-SMART Scheme: Significance, Objectives, key Features and other details
O-SMART (Ocean Services, Modelling, Applications, Resources, and Technology) Scheme is implemented by the Ministry of Earth Sciences to address Ocean development activities.
The O-SMART (Ocean Services, Modelling, Applications, Resources, and Technology) Scheme was approved by the Cabinet Committee on August 29, 2018. The umbrella scheme has been implemented by the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
O-SMART Scheme covers a total of 16 sub-projects that address Ocean development activities such as technology, resources, services, observations, and sciences.
On September 20, 2020, the Union Minister of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences and Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan had provided a written reply in Rajya Sabha in which he talked about the Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre which has been currently serving 25 Indian Ocean countries which are also implemented under O-SMART Scheme.
What is O-SMART Scheme?
O-SMART (Ocean Services, Modelling, Applications, Resources, and Technology) Scheme is a government launched scheme which was approved for the implementation during the period from 2017-2018 to 2019-2020 with an overall cost of Rs. 1,623 crores.
The scheme aims at stepping up the ocean research and setting up early warning weather systems. It also addresses ocean development activities such as resources, technology, observations, services, science and also provides the necessary scientific and technological background which is required for the implementation of various aspects of the Blue Economy.
What is the Significance of the O-SMART Scheme?
O-SMART Scheme will be providing services which will be providing a number of economic benefits to the user communities in the coastal areas including the ocean sectors and coastal states. The sectors will include fisheries, shipping, and offshore industry.
The scheme benefits the fishermen community who receive daily information through their mobile phones about things such as local weather conditions in the coastal waters and the allocation of fish potential. This has helped in reducing the search time for fishermen, which also resulted in saving fuel costs.
Objective of O-SMART Scheme:
• The Scheme generates and regularly update information on Marine Living Resources and their relationship with the physical in Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
• Periodically monitors water levels of sea pollutants for health assessment of the coastal waters of India. To develop shoreline change maps for the assessment of coastal erosion.
• Develop a wide range of state-of-art ocean observation systems for the acquisition of real-time data from seas around India.
• Generate and disseminate a suite of user-oriented advisories, ocean information, data, warnings, and data products for the benefits of society.
• Develop High-resolution models for the ocean forecast and reanalysis systems.
• Develop algorithms for the validation of satellite data for coastal research. Monitor changes in coastal research.
• Develop technologies to tap the marine bioresources
• To develop technologies generating energy and freshwater from oceans
• Develop underwater vehicles and technologies and establish ballast water treatment facilities.
• Support maintenance and operation of five research vessels for ocean monitoring/survey/technology demonstration programmes
Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre:
The Indian Tsunami Early warning centre (ITEWC) was established at the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad.
The centre has been operating under the Ministry of Earth Sciences and has currently been providing Tsunami Warning Services to over 25 Indian Ocean Countries. ITEWC and INCOIS regularly conduct training sessions, workshops, and tsunami mock exercises in order to create preparedness and awareness about the tsunamis.