Saturday July 20, 2019

CMFRI, ISRO Join Hands to Protect Coastal Wetlands

“Wetlands are highly prospective for some selective aquaculture ventures which will help the local people earn economical gains” he added

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In an effort to build resilience against the impact of climate change on wetlands, the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have teamed up to map, validate and protect smaller wetlands in the coastal region and restore them through coastal livelihood programmes.

This is the first time that a fisheries institute is collaborating with the ISRO to develop a comprehensive climate resilient framework for fisheries and wetlands.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the CMFRI and the Space Applications Centre (SAC) of the ISRO to develop a mobile app and a centralised web portal with complete database of wetlands in the country which were smaller than 2.25 hectares.

Such smaller wetlands cover an area of more than 5 lakh hectares across the country, with Kerala alone having as many as 2,592 such wetlands.

According to the MoU, the two institutes will identify and demarcate the wetlands and restore the degraded ones through suitable livelihood options such as coastal aquaculture.

The mobile app will be used for real-time monitoring of the wetlands and giving advisories to the stakeholders and the coastal people.

climate, global warming, celsisu, oceansac
A fisherman stands on his boat as he fishes at the Tisma lagoon wetland park, also designated as Ramsar Site 1141 in the Convention on Wetlands, in Tisma, Nicaragua. VOA

The collaborative move is part of a national framework for fisheries and wetlands recently developed by the National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA), a project of the CMFRI.

The NICRA project aims to find ways and means to mitigate the impact of climate change on marine fisheries and coastal region. According to the MoU, the National Wetland Atlas, already developed by the SAC, will be updated with real-time data of physical, chemical and biological parameters of the wetlands to be provided by the CMFRI.

P.U. Zacharia, who is attached to the NICRA project, said the real-time data of the demarcated coastal wetlands would greatly help in developing a conservation plan for the degraded wetlands in the region, besides utilising these resources for livelihood prospects in the area such as shrimp and crab farming.

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“Smaller wetlands across the country are in a highly neglected state owing to multiple reasons. Climate variability induced rainfall drastically changes the physio-chemical characteristics of such wetlands, which was evidently seen during the devastating floods in Kerala last year.

“The collaborative initiative will help develop a comprehensive wetland information system which could facilitate the village-level wetland advisories to the local people by scientific communities,” Zacharia said.

“Wetlands are highly prospective for some selective aquaculture ventures which will help the local people earn economical gains” he added. (IANS)

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ISRO to Speed up its Rocket Production with New Arm

It will also be involved in marketing spin-off technologies and products/services, both in India and abroad, and in any other subject which the government deems fit

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With the setting up of a new commercial arm-New Space India Limited (NSIL)- the Indian space agency will now be able to produce fast its new rocket Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) and commercialise its other technologies.

Delivering her maiden budget speech on Friday, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said: “India is now a major space power with the technology and ability to launch satellites and other space products at globally low cost”.

“Time has come to harness this ability commercially,” Sitharaman said.

She said the new company NSIL will tap the benefits of the research and development (R&D) carried out by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

“The Company will spearhead commercialisation of various space products including production of launch vehicles, transfer to technologies and marketing of space products,” she said.

The ISRO Chairman K.Sivan had told IANS that the space agency wants to give a big push for production of the SSLV.

“We expect the demand for SSLV to be about two/three rockets per month. We also want to increase the production of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV),” Sivan said.

Sivan said the increase in production is sought to be achieved partnering with the private sector.

He said ISRO has developed technologies, materials, chemicals and others which can be transferred.

ISRO
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chairman K. Sivan, left, and Junior Indian Minister for Department of Atomic Energy and Space Jitendra Singh address a news conference in New Delhi. VOA

The Indian space agency can also manufacture satellites for interested parties.

On transfer of technologies, ISRO has decided to transfer its lithium-ion cell technology to Indian private companies.

Presently, the lithium ion battery is the most dominant battery system finding applications for a variety of societal needs, including mobile phones, laptops, cameras and many other portable consumer gadgets apart from industrial applications and aerospace.

Recent advances in the battery technology have made it the preferred power source for electric and hybrid electric vehicles also.

India also sells to foreign parties the data generated by its remote sensing satellites.

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As per the scheme of things, NSIL will obtain the licence from Department of Space/ISRO and sub-licence to industries for manufacturing of small rockets.

It will also be involved in marketing spin-off technologies and products/services, both in India and abroad, and in any other subject which the government deems fit.

Meanwhile the budget allocation for the Department of Space for the year 2019-20 has gone up to Rs 12,473.26 crore up from the revised estimates of Rs 11,200 crore for the fiscal 2018-19. (IANS)