The International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography, hosted at the ESSO-INCOIS (ESSO-Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services) campus in Hyderabad will be established as a Category-2 Centre (C2C) through an agreement to be signed with UNESCO. This was approved by the Cabinet on 15 December 2017.
The field of operational oceanography involves systematic ocean studies aimed at supporting day-to-day operations and providing information services to various sectors of the blue economy (valued at millions of crores of rupees) viz. fishing, disaster management, shipping and ports, coastal management, environmental management, offshore industries and defense forces i.e. navy, coast guard.
ESSO-INCOIS is India’s premier institution in operational oceanography providing several services that include the ISO 9001:2008 certified Potential Fishing Zone Advisory Service, Ocean State Forecast Service, and Tsunami Warning Service. ITCOocean is currently operational with state-of-the-art facilities at ESSO-INCOIS, Hyderabad and so far, over 681 scientists including 576 from India and 105 from 34 other countries have already been trained at this center in various aspects of operational oceanography.
Establishing ITCOocean with UNESCO C2C recognition will provide an opportunity for India to emerge as a leader in the Indian Ocean, forging cooperation among South Asian and African countries. The Centre will cater to the worldwide increasing need to build technical and management capacity in marine and coastal sustainability issues as well as efficient management and response to marine natural hazards. The Centre may thus contribute to achieving UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goal-14 (SDG 14) and fulfill commitments to support Small Island Developing States, Least Developed Countries etc.
As a C2C, ITCOocean will strive to improve skills of students and other trainees which will increase employment opportunities within and outside India.