NEW DELHI, Feb 3 : According to Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh, “Blue” Economy from ocean resources will be crucial to India’s future.
In reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today, Dr Jitendra Singh stated that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Government of India’s Vision of New India by 2030 enunciated in February 2019 highlights “Blue” Economy as the sixth dimension of its vision. Rs. 150 crore was provisioned during 2021-22 for Deep Ocean Mission, he added.
The Minister stated that 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. The following thematic areas or pillars are identified: 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
Pertinent to mention that India’s blue economy is understood as a subset of the national economy comprising 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.
The Modi Government had approved the Deep Ocean Mission (DOM) in June, 2021 to be implemented by the Ministry of Earth Sciences at a total budget of Rs. 4,077 Crore for 5 years. DOM is a multi-ministerial, multi-disciplinary programme with emphasis on development of deep-sea technology that includes development of manned Submersible rated for 6000 metre water depth along with technologies for deep sea mining, exploration of deep-sea mineral resources and marine biodiversity, acquisition of a research vessel for ocean exploration, deep sea observations, and capacity building in Marine Biology.