The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the establishment of International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography, as a Category-2 Centre (C2C) of UNESCO, in Hyderabad.
The purpose of this Agreement is to establish a training centre towards development of capacity for the countries on the Indian Ocean Rim (IOR), African countries bordering the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, small island countries under the framework of UNESCO. The operational oceanography is an activity of conducting systematic oceanographic studies towards providing information services to various sectors viz. fisherman, disaster management, shipping, ports, coastal states, navy, coast guard, environment, offshore industries for conducting their day-to- day operations.
The Centre will provide assistance in areas of capacity building and training, knowledge sharing and exchange of information, and hence could represent a valuable resource for UNESCO and its Intergovernmental Oceanography Commission (IOC) by enhancing the impact and visibility of UNESCO’s action.
The establishment of UNESCO Category-2 Centre will provide an opportunity for India to emerge as a leading country in the Indian Ocean. This will also help India to forge cooperation and improve engagement among the counties of the Indian Ocean, including South Asian and African states bordering the Indian Ocean. The establishment of the centre would respond to the worldwide increasing need to build technical and management capacity to address marine and coastal sustainability issues and prepare the region for and react efficiently to marine natural hazards. The Centre could contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goal-14 (SDG 14) related to building marine scientific research capacity in geographical area of the Centre responsibility which will also fulfill the commitments to support Small Island Developing States, Least Developed Countries.
This C2C is intended to improve skill of students and other participants which will increase the employment opportunities within and outside India. The establishment of C2C is also expected to increase ancillary development leading to employment generation in India. The centre is currently operational with the state-of-the-art facilities available at 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. The other infrastructure facilities like building and training hostel are being established. It is also envisaged to invite world class (acuities and trainees from around the world and work out a curriculum for long duration courses (of 3-9 months).