Recently, INS Sagardhwani, an oceanographic research vessel embarked on a two-month long Sagar Maitri (SM) Mission-4 from South Jetty, Southern Naval Command (SNC), Kochi.
About INS Sagardhwani:
- It is a marine acoustic research ship designed and developed by Naval Physical & Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) of DRDO, Kochi and constructed indigenously by GRSE Ltd.
- It was launched in July 1994.
- The NPOL is involved in studying the ocean environment and other related fields.
- The vessel has been engaging in extensive oceanic observing missions and research for the last 25 years.
What is Sagar Maitri?
- It is a novel initiative of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
- It supports the broad objective of India’s policy declaration ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)’ to promote closer cooperation in socio-economic aspects as well as more significant scientific interaction, especially in ocean research among Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) countries.
- Under the aegis of this policy, DRDO initiated a scientific component named ‘MAITRI (Marine and Allied Interdisciplinary Training and Research Initiative)’, which focuses on establishing long-term collaboration with IOR countries in the field of ‘Ocean Research and Development’.
- The missions aim to establish long-term scientific partnerships and collaborations with Oman, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Myanmar — the eight IOR countries.
- The current mission (SM-4) plan includes scientific deployments onboard INS Sagardhwani in the Northern Arabian Sea and initiating collaborative research programmes with the Department of Marine Sciences & Fisheries at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman.
- These missions give the scientists an opportunity to cooperate and build strong working relationships with their IOR counterparts studying the oceans.
Q1) What is the SAGAR Initiative?
The Sagar Initiative is a maritime and ocean policy launched by the Indian government to enhance cooperation and engagement with maritime neighboring countries and strengthen India's presence and influence in the Indian Ocean region. The initiative's primary focus is on promoting security and sustainable development in the Indian Ocean.
Source: DRDO’s oceanographic research vessel ‘INS Sagardhwani’ embarks on Sagar Maitri Mission-4 to establish long-term scientific partnerships with Indian Ocean Rim countries in ‘Ocean Research & Development’