National Institute of Oceanography, India

National Institute of Oceanography, India
National Institute of Oceanography
Nio arabian sea.jpg

Motto "To continuously improve our understanding of the seas around us and to translate this knowledge to benefit all"
Established January 1, 1966
Research Type Advanced science/technology
Director Shetye, S.R.
Location Dona Paula, Goa
Operating Agency CSIR

The National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) is one of 39 constituent laboratories of the CSIR - Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, an autonomous research organization in India. The institute has its headquarters in the coastal state of Goa, and regional centres in Kochi , Mumbai and Vizag. The Institute was established on 1 January 1966. At the end of over 40 years it has grown today into a large oceanographic laboratory of international repute mainly focusing on the understanding of special oceanographic features of the Northern Indian Ocean.



The NIO draws its roots from the International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE). India was one of many countries that participated in this multi-national, multi-institutional expedition and provided a base for the analysis of biological samples at Indian Ocean Biological Centre and non-biological samples at Indian Ocean Physical Oceanography Centre. During the early 60's, the CSIR felt the need for oceanographic research in the country and considered to establish this institute; incorporating the scientific manpower involved in the IIOE at the end of the expedition.

Research programmes

NIO focuses on research in Physical Oceanography, Biological Oceanography, Chemical Oceanography and Geological Oceanography. Related areas of its interest include Ocean Engineering, Marine Archaeology, Instrumentation, Marine biofuling and others. With a staff strength of 200 researchers and over 100 technical personnel, the focus of research has been on observing and understanding the special oceanographic features that the North Indian basin offers. The inferences from this research have been reported in about 6000 research articles so far. Besides this, the industry sponsors a variety of projects to the institute to carry out applied research that mainly include oceanographic data collection, environmental impact assessment, coastal zone management and coastal processes modeling studies.

The institute also supports students pursuing doctoral research in oceanography programmes under the guidance of its scientists. At present over 60 research fellows from various universities (students qualified through CSIR/UGC eligibility criterion) are engaged in research towards their degrees at the institute. In addition over 200 post-graduate students, work at the institute for short-term research projects and dissertations every year. Nearly 5% of them are from other countries.

NIO has developed an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) that has applications in the field of oceanographic research. An Autonomous Surface Vehicle (ASV) has also been developed.[1]

Research vessels of the NIO

Research vessels are the most important research tool for oceanographic studies. NIO's scientists use following vessels at large, besides chartering others for specific purposes, for collection of data at seas.

Sagar Kanya

Sagar Sukti

CRV Sagar Sukti is NIO's coastal research vessel with 23.5 m length and 6.5 m in breadth. It provides accommodation to 8 scientists, 4 officers and 8 crew on board with an endurance of 12 days.

RV Sindhu Sankalp

The vessel originally built as fishing training vessel (FV Chisio Maru) by the Japanese Government in 1989 was bought by NIO in 2008. Extensive modifications have been done to convert this fishing training vessel into a multi-disciplinary research vessel. The vessel has been registered under Indian Flag with a new name RV Sindhu Sankalp. With newly laid accommodation and modern scientific facilities, RV Sindhu Sankalp will be available for the scientist community from in 2010.

ORV Sagar Nidhi

RV Gaveshini
ORV Sagar Nidhi in Antarctic waters

India's first multidisciplinary oceanographic research vessel, RV Gaveshani, was decommissioned in 1994. The vessel had originally been acquired in 1976, and performed over 200 cruises to all parts of the Indian Ocean. NIO was sanctioned Rs. 190 crore for construction of a new multi-disciplinary oceanographic research vessel. The new vessel ORV Sagar Nidhi joined NIO in 2008. The new multi-disciplinary oceanographic research vessel has capabilities to undertake basin scare observations and will enable Indian oceanographers to take up studies in any part of the Indian Ocean. It is aimed to serve as a stable platform allowing data acquisition and operation of sensitive equipment while underway.


  1. ^ NSTL develops autonomous underwater vehicle

External Links

Coordinates: 15°27′22.44″N 73°48′7.28″E / 15.4562333°N 73.8020222°E / 15.4562333; 73.8020222

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