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What is "blue economy"? How is it important for India? How is Prime Mi...

  Dec 22, 2016

What is "blue economy"? How is it important for India? How is Prime Minister Narendra Modi pursuing it?

India realizes the importance of oceans, more particularly the Indian ocean. While security in the region remains a major concern, another way to integration is cooperation in the development of a blue economy.
 
PM Modi, in his recent visit to Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka, urged for cooperation in blue economy, which is a multi-disciplinary approach for the exploitation of hydrocarbons and other marine resources; deep-sea fishing, preservation of marine ecology, mitigating climate change by addressing environmental issues and disaster management.
 
With its advancement in science and technology, India is in a position to lend expertise in deep sea bed activities, hydrographic surveys and weather predictions. India has a long record of hydrographic surveys of Seychelles and Mauritius.
 
Mauritius and Seychelles made a strong case for blue economy for their national development strategy. They want sustainable exploitation of living and non-living marine resources and deep seabed minerals to enhance food and energy security. However, these countries are constrained by a number of technological and investment and look towards India for support.
 
PM Modi, in his recent visit   signed agreements on hydrographic survey with Seychelles. He signed MoU on ocean economy with Mauritius. With  Sri Lanka, setting up of a joint task force on ocean economy was decided. During his address at the Bangbandhu Convention Centre of Dhaka University on the last day of his two-day official visit on in June to Bangladesh, PM Modi stressed the need for the two countries to work on 'Blue Economy.'
 
Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and  Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) need to play active role too.
 
India, being a major littoral state in the Indian Ocean, needs to take additional initiative.