India’s Oceanographic Research Programme

India’s Oceanographic Research Programme

  • Set Up: The Department of Oceanograph Development was established in 1981 to promote research and development in the marine sector. Since then considerable research work has been done which included the Antarctic Research Programme.
  • Antarctic Research Programme: Antarctic, the last continent explored by man, was discovered by Captain John Davis, an American hunter, on Feb. 7, 1821. It has a landmass of about 14 million sq km situated almost circulatory around the South Pole. Only 5% of the land is visible and the rest is covered by a vast stretch of ice going to a depth of about 2000 m. It has immense value and potential of marine and mineral resources.
  • Research Programme: The first expedition landed on Dec. 6, 1981. Since then several expeditions have been made on a regular basis, India was accorded ‘pioneer status’ by the U.N. Conference on the Laws of the Sea in April 1982. On August 17, 1987, the country was registered as a ‘pioneer investor’ and marine site of 1,50,000 sq km in the Central Indian Ocean basin was allotted to carry on the research and development work. India is the first development country to have received this registration  and first country in the world to have secured registration of the marine site.


Number Year No. of Team Team Me  Members Remarks Leader
First Dec. 1981/Jan. 1982 21 Dr. S.Z. Qasim
Second Dec. 1982/Jan. 1983 28 DrV.K. Raina
Third April/March 1984 83 Dr H.K. Gupta First permanent station’Dakshin Gangotri established
Fourth Dec. 1984/March 1985 82 Dr B.B. Bhattacharji
Fifth Nov. 1985/Feb. 1986 88 Mr. M.K. kaul
Sixth Dec. 1986/March 1987 90 Dr A.H. Parulekar
Seventh Nov. 1987/March 1988 92 Dr. D.R S Sengupta
Eight Dec. 1988/March 1989 58 Dr Amitava Sengupta Second permanent station ‘Maitree’ constructed
Ninth Nov. 1999/March 1990 72 Dr. R. Ravindra
Tenth Nov. 1990/March 1991 72
Eleventh Nov. 1991/March 1992 98 Dr S. Mukherji ‘Sodar’ (Sound detection and ranging system) installed


  • Circumnavigation: ‘Trishna; is a 37 feet cube fiberglass yacht which sailed around the world manned by the officers of the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army. It sailed from Mumbai on September 29, 1985 and covered a distance of 30,000 nautical miles in 15 months in  15 months before  completing its journey at Colombo on December 21, 1980.

The was the first expedition undertaken by the Indians to circumnavigate the earth.

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