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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. “Blue economy presents a new sphere of economic activities with great potential”. In light of this statement discuss the significance and list the steps taken by India to promote the blue economy. (250 Words)

    26 Sep, 2022 GS Paper 1 Geography


    • Start your answer by giving a brief about the blue economy.
    • Discuss the different components of the blue economy.
    • Discuss the significance and challenges associated with the blue economy.
    • Conclude your answer by giving a way forward.


    • 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 the 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.

    Significance of the Blue Economy

    • High Return on Investment: According to 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).

    Steps taken By India 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.
    • Joint Initiative of India and Norway: The India-Norway Task Force on Blue Economy for Sustainable Development 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.

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