A UNESCO Category 2, International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography, to be inaugurated at INCOIS, Hyderabad

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New Delhi: Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences, Environment and Forests & Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan will inaugurate the newly constructed International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography (ITCOocean) Complex in the INCOIS campus at Hyderabad on 22nd December, 2018.Union Minister will dedicate ITCOocean to the Former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee who had contributed significantly to the growth of science and technology in the country. On the occasion, Dr. Vardhan will also name the academic building as Atal Bhavan and the Guest House as Atal Atithi Griha.

The UNESCO Category 2 Centre established as a training facility at INCOIS will give an opportunity to the South Asian and African states bordering the Indian Ocean and the small island nations in the Pacific to benefit from the expertise and experience of INCOIS in the areas of ocean science and management. To scale up the activities of International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography (ITCOocean), a full-fledged facility consisting of an Academic Building and International Guest House has been constructed on the INCOIS campus.

The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Govt. of India, had established an International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography (ITCOocean) at Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad to provide training to scientists/ researchers/government officers/disaster managers/decision makers, etc in 2013. Accordingly, ITCOocean started conducting short term training programmes for wide variety of participants from India and abroad. Later, in order to assist UNESCO and its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) in achieving the aims of developing new methods of capacity building for the countries on the Indian Ocean Rim (IOR), African countries bordering the Indian and Atlantic Oceans and small island countries, the Government of India through Ministry of Earth Sciences, offered to establish the ITCOocean as a UNESCO Category 2 Centre.

The General Conference of UNESCO approved the offer of Government of India to establish ITCOocean as a UNESCO Category 2 Centre in November 2017. The mission of the Centre is to assist the Member States of IOC/UNESCO in developing oceanographic scientific base, related technology and information systems and to create a pool of trained ocean scientists, technologists and managers to cater the growing demands of operational oceanographic services and better management of oceans.

INCOIS is already playing its part as a leading operational oceanography institute in the region. Tsunami early warnings from the institute are delivered to 25 countries on the Indian Ocean Rim on real-time basis, since IOC/UNESCO designated the Centre as Regional Tsunami Service Provider (RTSP) in October 2012. Under the aegis of Regional Integrated Multi-hazard Early warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES), INCOIS is also providing ocean state forecast and other related warnings to 5 countries (Sri Lanka, Maldives, Seychelles, Madagascar and Cameroon).