India is trying to achieve the potential of Blue Economy by promoting the spirit of ‘SAGAR-Security and Growth for All in the Region’ in the Indian Ocean Region.
Despite being surrounded by three oceans, India is unable to utilize its marine resources due to lack of technology.
Blue economy is all about economic activities dependent on marine resources. A blue economy as a concept is not much explored in India because there are no specialised courses.
The objective of the Blue Economy is to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Hence, employment opportunities within the Indian Ocean region increases. India has huge potential to expand in the blue economy but, we are not utilising our marine resources to the fullest.
Coastal Economic Zones
- 14 CEZs are being developed under Sagarmala initiative covering all the Maritime States.
- CEZs are spatial economic regions comprising of a group of coastal districts or districts with a strong linkage to the ports in that region.
- CEZ will help to tap synergies of planned economic corridors.
Sagarmala initiative focuses on the development of the following:-
- Supporting and enabling Port-led Development through appropriate policy and institutional interventions.
- Port Infrastructure Enhancement, including modernization and setting up of new ports.
- Efficient Evacuation to and from hinterland by developing new lines/linkages for transport. Such as roads, rail, inland waterways and coastal routes will help to improve blue economy.
- India in recent times has shifted its focus towards Indian Ocean resource exploration. India has explored 75000 sq km of Indian Ocean Seabed and is developing technologies (like remotely operated vehicles) for mining the resources.
International relations and security
- India is participating with Indian Ocean littoral countries and projecting itself as ‘net security provider’ to ensure a safe, secure and stable Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
- The new focus on the Asia-Pacific highlights the security and economic dimensions.
- The US rebalancing of forces and counter-measures by China have created a new cold war.
- Other non-conventional threats: Defense and security-related threats like piracy and terrorism combined with natural disasters.
- The blue waters of the Indian Ocean have become a new theatre of tension.
Why is blue economy significant for India?
- India is also supporting with extra-regional powers like US, Japan in IOR. E.g. Asia-Africa growth corridor, QUAD etc.
- New partnerships are in the making in the Asia-Pacific, seeking Indian participation by competing for powers.
- The imperatives of cooperation and the need for adept diplomacy are evident.
- PM endorsed the blue economy during his visit to Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka.
- Diplomats aspiring to a “blue diplomacy” should begin to grasp the immense possibilities.