From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Blue Economy
Mains level : Blue Economy and its contribution to GDP
The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has rolled out the Draft Blue Economy policy for India in the public domain inviting suggestions and inputs from various stakeholders.
Blue Economy Policy
- India’s draft blue economy policy is envisaged as a crucial framework towards unlocking country’s potential for economic growth and welfare.
- The draft policy outlines the vision and strategy that can be adopted by the govt to utilize the plethora of oceanic resources available in the country.
The policy aims to-
- Enhance the contribution of the blue economy to India’s GDP
- Improve the lives of coastal communities
- Preserve marine biodiversity and
- Maintain the national security of marine areas and resources
What comprises India’s blue economy?
- India’s blue economy is understood as a subset of the national economy.
- It comprises an entire ocean resources system and human-made economic infrastructure in marine, maritime, and onshore coastal zones within the country’s legal jurisdiction.
- It aids the production of goods and services that have clear linkages with economic growth, environmental sustainability, and national security.
- The blue economy is a vast socio-economic opportunity for coastal nations like India to utilize ocean resources for societal benefit responsibly.
Need for such policy
- With a coastline of nearly 7.5 thousand kilometres, India has a unique maritime position.
- Nine of its 29 states are coastal, and the nation’s geography includes 1,382 islands.
- There are nearly 199 ports, including 12 major ports that handle approximately 1,400 million tons of cargo each year.
- Moreover, India’s Exclusive Economic Zone of over 2 million square kilometres has a bounty of living and non-living resources with significant recoverable resources such as crude oil and natural gas.
- Also, the coastal economy sustains over 4 million fisherfolk and coastal communities.
The policy recognizes the following seven thematic areas.
- National accounting framework for the blue economy and ocean governance.
- Coastal marine spatial planning and tourism.
- Marine fisheries, aquaculture, and fish processing.
- Manufacturing, emerging industries, trade, technology, services, and skill development.
- Logistics, infrastructure and shipping, including trans-shipments.
- Coastal and deep-sea mining and offshore energy.
- Security, strategic dimensions, and international engagement.