Blue economy: Naidu says it can boost India's growth

Government of India has planned development of ports and allied facilities through Sagarmala project, says Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.

Panaji: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said a focused approach in areas such as minerals and energy from oceans can help India become the third largest economy in the next 10-15 years.

Addressing scientists at the CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) near here, he said that at the same time, further degradation of marine ecosystems should be prevented.

"I strongly feel that focused approach in some of the areas such as minerals and energy from oceans can make India a global leader and serve our national goals," Naidu said.

India should tap the enormous potential of 'blue economy' to achieve higher economic growth and initiate programs for "sustainable harnessing of ocean resources", he said.

"However, while pursuing 'blue growth', every effort must be made by all stakeholders, including private and public sectors, to prevent further degradation of the ocean and its ecosystems," the vice president said.

Blue economy is the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihood and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health.

Naidu said there was a need to conserve oceans and the CSIR-NIO should play a major role in meeting the challenges to understand different ocean processes due to climate change.

"It is important to prioritise our efforts in ocean science and technology to achieve the national goal of transforming India to be the third largest economy in the coming 10-15 years," he said.

"Government of India has already planned development of ports and allied facilities through Sagarmala (project). Coastal economic zones are planned," he said.

Naidu said that with India looking towards oceans for economic growth through 'blue economy', important institutions like the NIO will have to step up research in areas such as ocean energy.

"India is meeting most of its oil and gas requirements through imports. Scientists should study the potential of renewable energy derived from the ocean-- from wind, wave and tidal sources," he added.

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