In view of the importance of Blue Economy to New India Vision 2030, delineate the distribution of key ocean minerals that can help India realize its potential.
Blue economy refers to the economic value & potential associated with oceans & ocean ecosystem.
Importance to New India Vision 2030:
- Sustainable livelihood opportunities. E.g., Fishermen, Sea farers, etc.
- Sustainable tourism – Boost India’s soft power & cultural richness.
- Vast reserve of minerals – Energy security & boost to Atmanirbhar Bharat.
Distribution of key ocean minerals:
- Poly metal nodules in Indian Ocean Basin can help India attain self-sufficiency in minerals like cobalt, Nickel, rare-earth minerals, etc. E.g., Central Indian Ocean Basin reserves.
- Oil reserves like Mumbai High Basin.
- Natural Gas Reserves like Cambay basin, Son valley, K-G Basin.
- Polymetallic gas nodules associated with central Indian ocean basin.
- Calcium carbonate deposits found in coral reefs, all along India’s coastline.
- Thorium deposits associated with monazite sands, Kerala.
Thus, India’s Blue Economy holds great potential to drive its development.
Measures to harness Blue Economy:
- Deep ocean mission to send submarines to deep ocean basins to explore minerals trapped.
- Agreement with UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), India won a 75000 sq. km region in central Indian ocean basin for exploration of marine reserves.
- Collaboration with ISRO to prepare a map of India’s ocean basin.
Blue economy can help attain targets of $5 trillion economy by 2025 while helping meet SDG & Paris commitments.