BLUE ECONOMY AND SECURED GOVERNANCE

Blue Economy Assets in India

India’s Blue Economy consists of a number of water bodies such as lakes, rivers, canals, dams, brackish water bodies and an extensive ocean as a resource base. The Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the nine coastal states is extensive, giving India exclusive legal right to utilise all living and non-living resources.

The inland water ways and their resources have remained largely underexploited, but are now being recognised as avenues for investments and employment creation, and are being developed for sustainable economic growth.

The sea-based economy sectors include tourism, transport, port related industries, fisheries, coastal/seabed mining, and renewable energy. Additionally, the Blue Economy approach emphasizes interconnectedness with other sectors and supports important social considerations.

 

Inland Water Resources in India

India has a network of inland waterways in the form of rivers, canals, backwaters and creeks. The eight major rivers (Indus, Ganga, Brahmaputra, Narmada, Tapi, Godavari, Krishna, and Mahanadi) play avital role in India’s economic growth. The total navigable length is 14,500 km, of which about 5,200 km is rivers and 4,000 km canals that are used by mechanised crafts.

 

Secured Governance – Blue Economy Concept

 The Secured Governance (SG) approach to the Blue Economy is premised on the sustainable use, management and conservation of aquatic and marine ecosystems, and associated resources. It builds on the principles of equity, low carbon footprint, resource efficiency, broad-based development and job creation. It is anchored on strong regional cooperation and integration and is an imperative for India’s development. Through linkages with other sectors of the economy it forms an integrated ecosystem based on harvesting living and non-living resources, which benefits coastal states, islands and union territories (UTs).

Secured Governance also offers a strategy to develop infrastructure with negligible investment. The inland water bodies support activities such as shipping, fishing, tourism and exploration of marine biotechnology, renewable energy, oil and gas and deep-sea mining.

India has an economic development programme aimed at consolidating the international business and financial hubs by creating ideal conditions for working and spurring investment through the development of smart cities. It provides technology driven facilities to the business community and creates a vibrant city lifestyle.

The Government of India needs to introduce value and valuation scheme to provide an enabling framework and an extra Floor Space Index (FSI) package consisting of attractive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to private investors for the development of smart cities across the islands.

 

Many sectors involve the science of sustainability and the mechanisms, required to successfully manage utilisation of the world’s seas and inland water-based areas. Blue resources whose universe is not yet defined properly, typically, cover oceans, rivers, lakes and other forms of water bodies and water-related activities. In precise terms, both freshwater and marine water coverage of a country and the natural resources and activities such as fishing, minerals, aquatic plants, oil, water tourism, marine biotechnology, deep sea mining of hydrocarbons and thorium, and the related activities on land are considered part of blue economy.

The concept of blue economy is relatively new and marks a new era in policy development. The constant evolution of the concept will lead to better understanding of the ocean-based resources and its proper utilisation within the paradigm of sustainable economic development.

Blue Economy offers an opportunity to boost the local economy and create jobs in knowledge intensive economic sectors. The creation of new services can help address the challenges faced by coastal regions and unleash business opportunities and boost the local economy. Therefore, it is important to promote and enhance collaboration between the various sectors of the value-chain to develop strong and vibrant local economies.

 

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About the Author:

The author is a development thinker and an author of a series of 60 plus books on Secured Techno-Economic National Growth and an advisor for public and corporate sector. He holds a Doctorate in Solid State Electronics and Nuclear Physics. The pathbreaking concept of “Secured Governance” developed by him offers a series of recommendations on various aspects of multi-sectoral growth in India. 

 

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