Wednesday, April 27, 2016

NIO to launch diploma course in marine archaeology

Panaji: India boasts of a coastline that is over 7,500km long and has more than 5,000 years of maritime history packed, into it. But, the country has a just a little more than half a dozen marine archaeologists to explore the depths of the ocean for excavation and research.

Now, thanks to an initiative by the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), this vacuum is sought to be filled with the commencement of a diploma course in marine archaeology to generate the manpower required for the research, said marine archaeologist, Sundaresh.

Beginning this academic year, the Pune-based Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute, in collaboration with the NIO, will offer the year-long diploma course from July.

The two institutes had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in 2015 to start the course and to conduct extensive collaborative research in the field of marine archaeology.
"Anything related to our cultural heritage always attracts people, be it ancient structures, towns, languages, etc. We are interested to know what happened in coastal areas governed by sea-level changes," said chief scientist and convenor of the bilateral programme, Rajiv Nigam.

In order to motivate more students to take up a career in this field, the two reputed institutes teamed up to organize a three-month-long certificate course in marine archaeology at Deccan College last year. Within no time, over 50 students enrolled for it. There were, however, no requests to continue it further.

"Owing to the wonderful response we received for the certificate course, we decided to introduce a diploma course in the same field," vice-chancellor, Deccan College, Vasant Shinde told TOI. He said the NIO will also explore the possibility of collaborating with the Goa University for similar activities.

As part of the collaboration, scientists from NIO will deliver lectures at the Deccan College, while the Pune-based institute will share with NIO data of excavations that were carried out at nearby shore areas.

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