The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) was set up in November 1993 as an autonomous society under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. NIOT is managed by a Governing Council and the Director is the pioneer of the Institute.
The major focus of starting NIOT under the Ministry of Earth Sciences is to develop reliable indigenous technology to solve the several engineering problems associated with harvesting of non-living and living resources in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is about two-thirds of the land area of India.
- To develop world-class technologies and their applications for sustainable use of ocean resources.
- To give competitive, value-added technical services and solutions to organizations working in the oceans.
- To develop a knowledge base and institutional capabilities in the country for management of ocean resources and environment.
Ocean Observation Systems
Under the Ocean Observation Network (OON) programme of ESSO MoES, the Ocean observation systems (OOS) group of NIOT is entrusted to responsible for the activities on the moored buoy programme. The OOS group, erstwhile National Data Buoy Programme, was set up in 1996, with the objective to operate, maintain and develop moored buoy observational networks and related telecommunication facilities in the Indian seas. After that, OOS has inherited lead responsibility for a number of important and well-established observational programmes in the northern Indian Ocean. Because of the remoteness of the vast open oceans, there has been a challenge to continuously observe the ocean, which was later harmonized by in-situ and satellite-based observations.
The Vessel Management Cell vastly known as ‘VMC’ is an operational wing of NIOT which proficiently manages the running, operation and maintenance of the fleet of MoES research vessels viz. ORV Sagar Nidhi, BTV Sagar Manjusha, CRV Sagar Purvi and CRV Sagar Paschim. Launched back in 1996, with an aim to manage two coastal research vessels CRV Sagar Purvi and CRV Sagar Paschimi acquired by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), for understanding coastal pollution, coastal pollution monitoring, coastal surveys, and nearshore multidisciplinary work. During 2001, VMC is responsible to manage a barge, Sagar Shakthi that was used for implementing 1MW gross pilot plant to demonstrate OTEC technology, which is first ever attempted in the world with a major success.