Integrated ocean research in India

N.K. Panikkar


Integrated Ocean Research is comparatively a recent development in the annals of Indian Science. On 26th May 1962, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research established the Directorate of International Indian Ocean Expedition for framing and executing the Indian Programme for our participation in the Expedition. This was the beginning of multidisciplinary investigations of the Indian Ocean where about 20 countries with 40 ships came together with a common objective to explore this third great ocean. Earlier, ocean studies in India began as early as 1872 by the Indian marine Survey and hydrographic Division of the then Royal Indian Navy particularly on the charting of seas around India for the preparation of Navigational charts. The charts are being continually revised, up dated and published by the Hydrographic office of the Indian Navy at Dehra Dun. The services relating to the prediction of tides of Indian Seas have an equally long history and is currently done by the Geodetic Branch of the Survey of India, Dehra Dun. After Indian Independence also started looking at Marine resources and naturally our early efforts were directed towards more popular resources such as fishery wealth. Notable effort was made in this direction by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute with its large number of sub-stations and units all over the Indian coastline. Limited, but continuing efforts were also made by the Universities at Trivandrum, Waltair, Madras, Annamalai and more recently by the Cochin University. A physical Oceanography Wing was established in mid fifties by the central Board of Geophysics,, in accordance with a scheme which prepared and operated from the Marine Fisheries Institute until it was merged with the National Geophysical Research Institute. On the formation of the Indian Directorate of the IIOE it was transferred to the directorate to participate in the physical studies of the Expedition


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