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Indian Economy

Promoting Blue Economy

  • 04 Feb 2022
  • 7 min read

For Prelims: Blue Economy concept, Deep Ocean Mission, Sagarmala project, Integrated Coastal Zone Management, India's Vision of New India by 2030.

For Mains: Concept of Blue Economy and its significance, Need for a Blue Economy Policy and related steps taken, India's Vision of New India by 2030.

Why in News?

Recently, the union minister of science and technology and earth science said that the Blue Economy is the sixth dimension of Government of India’s Vision of New India by 2030.

  • A Draft Policy document on Blue Economy has been prepared by the Ministry Of Earth Sciences taking into consideration the reports of the expert working groups which emphasizes holistic development and growth of India’s Blue Economy.

What is India's Vision of New India by 2030?

  • In the Union Budget of India 2019 the Finance Minister laid out the Vision 2030 while highlighting India’s transformation in the last five years.
  • India is poised to become a USD5 tn economy by 2025 and aspires to become a USD10 tn economy by 2030.
  • The dimensions of Vision-2030 outlined are as follows:
    • To create physical and social infrastructure for ten trillion dollar economy and to provide ease of living.
    • Digital India led by the youths with innumerable start-ups and million of jobs.
    • To make India pollution free by focusing on Electrical Vehicles and renewables.
    • Rural industrialisation using modern technologies to generate massive employment.
    • Clean rivers, with safe drinking water to all Indians and efficient use of water in irrigation using micro-irrigation techniques.
    • Besides scaling up Sagarmala, India’s coastline and ocean waters will power development
    • Through our space programme – Gaganyaan, India becoming the launch-pad of satellites for the World
    • Self sufficiency in food production and producing food in the most organic way.
    • A healthy India by 2030 and a distress free health care and wellness system for all. Ayushman Bharat and women participation would be an important component in it.
    • Employees working with elected Government, transforming India into Minimum Government Maximum Governance nation.

What is the Blue Economy?

  • The concept was introduced by Gunter Pauli in his 2010 book- “The Blue Economy: 10 years, 100 innovations, 100 million jobs”.
  • It is the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health.
  • It advocates the greening of ocean development strategies for higher productivity and conservation of ocean's health.
  • Blue Economy emphasizes on integration of development of the ocean economy with social inclusion, environmental sustainability, combined with innovative business models.
  • It encompasses–
    • Renewable Energy: Sustainable marine energy can play a vital role in social and economic development.
    • Fisheries: Sustainable fisheries can generate more revenue, more fish and help restore fish stocks.
    • Maritime Transport: Over 80% of international goods traded are transported by sea.
    • Tourism: Ocean and coastal tourism can bring jobs and economic growth.
    • Climate Change: Oceans are an important carbon sink (blue carbon) and help mitigate climate change.
    • Waste Management: Better waste management on land can help oceans recover.

What is the Significance of the Blue Economy?

  • High Return on Investment: According to a research commissioned by the high-level panel for a sustainable ocean economy shows that USD1 invested in key ocean activities yields five times i.e. USD5 in return, often more.
  • Synergy With SDG: It supports all of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG14 ‘life below water’.
  • Sustainable Energy: Supporting the increasing demand for renewable energy, offshore regions have tremendous potential in the form of offshore wind, waves, ocean currents including tidal currents, and thermal energy.
  • Importance For India: With an over 7,500-km-long coastline spread across nine coastal states, 12 major, and 200 minor ports, India's blue economy supports 95% of the country's business through transportation and contributes an estimated 4% to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

What are the Steps taken to Promote Blue Economy?

  • Deep Ocean Mission: It was launched with an intention to develop technologies to harness the living and non-living resources from the deep-oceans.
  • India-Norway Task Force on Blue Economy for Sustainable Development: It was inaugurated jointly by both the countries in 2020 to develop and follow up joint initiatives between the two countries.
  • Sagarmala Project: The Sagarmala project is the strategic initiative for port-led development through the extensive use of IT enabled services for modernization of ports.
  • O-SMART: India has an umbrella scheme by the name of O-SMART which aims at regulated use of oceans, marine resources for sustainable development.
  • Integrated Coastal Zone Management: It focuses on conservation of coastal and marine resources, and improving livelihood opportunities for coastal communities etc.
  • National Fisheries Policy: India has a National Fisheries policy for promoting 'Blue Growth Initiative' which focuses on sustainable utilization of fisheries wealth from marine and other aquatic resources.

Way Forward

  • With its vast maritime interests, the blue economy occupies a vital potential position in India’s economic growth.
  • It could well be the next multiplier of GDP and well-being, provided sustainability and socio-economic welfare are kept center-stage.
  • India should look to adopt the Gandhian approach of balancing economic benefits with sustainability for meeting the broader goals of growth, employment generation, equity and protection of environment.

Source: PIB

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