Indian scientist elected to UN entity on ocean affairs

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Indian scientist elected to UN entity
United Nations, June 13: Indian scientist Rasik Ravindra has been unanimously elected as member of the UN's body focussed on oceans and law of the sea.

Ravindra, India's candidate for member of the Commission on the Limits of Continental Shelf (CLCS), was elected during the 24th Meeting of States Parties of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea here yesterday. He secured support of all the 111 members present and voting.

His term in the CLCS will be till June 15, 2017. The election, in which there were seven contenders, was to fill the vacancy in the CLCS following the resignation of Indian scientist Rajan Sivaramakrishnan in February this year. Ravindra is one of India's highly qualified scientists and has extensive experience in different spheres of geosciences.

He has served as Director of National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) from 2006-2012 and has been a professional geologist with the Geological Survey of India from 1971 to 2005. He has extensive experience spanning over four decades in different spheres of geosciences including geological investigations in the terrains of Antarctica, Bhutan and India.

As NCAOR's director, he had been responsible for conducting the marine geophysical surveys and analysing the results for establishing the outer limits of the continental shelf of India. He also spearheaded the climate change research in the polar regions of Arctic and Antarctic. His expertise in geological exploration in high altitude and inaccessible terrain was utilised in Bhutan Himalayas and Polar regions of Arctic and Antartic where he led several scientific expeditions to elucidate geology and tectonic set-up of the inhospitable terrain. He also has wide international exposure and has held high positions in various forum involving negotiations in technical, policy and scientific matters.

A graduate of the Jammu and Kashmir University, he has won several prestigious awards including the National Award for Polar Sciences and Cryosphere in 2013 and National Mineral Award 1990.

The Commission consists of 21 members, who are experts in the field of geology, geophysics or hydrography, and are elected for a five year term by States Parties to the Convention from among their nationals. It is the UN body with the power to grant new seabed territory to nations.

The purpose of the commission is to facilitate the implementation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in respect of the establishment of the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.

Under the Convention, the coastal State shall establish the outer limits of its continental shelf where it extends beyond 200 nautical miles on the basis of the recommendation of the Commission.

PTI

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