India, UNESCO to set up oceanography training centre

The Indian Government has reached an agreement with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to set up an international training centre in India to support activities related to operational oceanography

December 15, 2017

Operational oceanography concerns systematic studies in order to provide information services to various sectors such as fishing, shipping, ports, offshore exploration and tourism

Oceanographic studies also collects information to aid marine conservation, meteorology, disaster management, marine defence and transport sectors in their day-to- day operations

The centre will develop capacity for countries on the Indian Ocean Rim (IOR), African countries bordering the Indian and Atlantic Oceans as well as small island nations under UNESCO

It is an chance for India to emerge as a leading stakeholder in the Indian Ocean region, by improving bilateral and multilateral dialogue among the countries bordering the Indian Ocean

The Indian Government has reached an agreement with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to set up an international training centre in India to support activities related to operational oceanography. The move to establish UNESCO’s Category-2 Centre in Hyderabad has been approved by the union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, according to an official announcement on December 15th. Operational oceanography concerns systematic oceanographic studies in order to provide information services to various sectors such as fishing, shipping, ports, offshore exploration and tourism. The collected information also aids conservation, meteorology, disaster management, defence sectors in their day-to- day operations.

The training centre will help develop capacity for countries on the Indian Ocean Rim (IOR), African countries bordering the Indian and Atlantic Oceans as well as small island nations under the framework of UNESCO. It is also an opportunity for India to emerge as a leading stakeholder in the Indian Ocean region. This will help India to improve dialogue among the countries bordering the Indian Ocean, including the South Asian and African states. The centre could also become a valuable resource for UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanography Commission (IOC) by enhancing the scope of its action. The centre would respond to the increasing need of technical capacity to address marine and coastal sustainability issues and prepare the region to react efficiently to marine natural hazards.

The centre could become a leading support base for small island developing states and least developed countries. The centre is currently operational with the facilities available at the Indian Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad. So far, over 681 scientists including 576 from India and 105 from 34 other countries have been trained at this centre in various aspects of operational oceanography. Once dedicated infrastructure and curiculum have been set up, the centre will invite trainees from around the world for courses spanning 3-9 months. The facility is expected to increase ancillary development leading to employment and investment generation in India.

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