Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS & UPPSC Mains Exam: Paper - IV (General Studies – III) - 24 July 2019

Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS Mains Exam

Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS & UPPSC Mains Exam

UPSC Syllabus:

  • Paper-IV: General Studies -III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

Q. “It has been mentioned in budget that the development of the Blue Economy can play a critical role in nation building by enhancing the GDP. “ In this context, discuss the meaning and importance of the blue economy for Indian economy.

Model Answer:

  • Introduction
  • Importance of Blue economy
  • Related Challenges
  • Way forward


Blue Economy” refers to strategic and sustainable use of Marine Resources for the development of Economy and the well-being of human. It offers “Green Approach” to meet the aspirations of mankind.

Importance of Blue economy:

India is endowed with a vast coastline of approximately 7500 Km and hence better placed to harness the “potential of oceans” – with an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 2.02 mn. sq. km. It is an upcoming sunrise sector.

  • Economy: Blue economy, through sustainable use of oceans, has great potential for boosting the economic growth by providing opportunities for income generation and jobsIt can support food security, and diversification to address new resources for energy, new drugs valuable chemicals, protein food, deep sea minerals, security etc. At least 3-5% of global GDP is derived from oceans.
  • Socio-Economic Development: Blue Economy can help in focusing on livelihood generation, achieving energy security, building ecological resilience, and improving health and living standards of coastal communities.Blue economy would reinforce and strengthen the efforts of the Indian government as it strives to achieve the SDGs of hunger and poverty eradication along with sustainable use of marine resources by 2030.
  • Environmental Benefits: Mangroves and other vegetated ocean habitats sequester 25 percent of the extra CO2 from fossil fuels, i.e., Blue Carbon. Protection of coastal communities from disasters like floods and storms. A Sustainable Blue Economy can help to achieve commitments under UN’s Sustainable Development Goals 2030Paris climate agreement 2015 and the UN Ocean Conference 2017.
  • Renewable Energy: Sustainable marine energy can play a vital role in social and economic development. As energy sources on the surface are limited, in the near future the dependency on marine resources will increase, which will require more human resource to be deployed in the field of environment engineering and marine resource protection
  • Mineral Wealth: According to ISA there are vast reserves of Poly-metallic Nodules, sulphides, cobalt rich ferro-mangenese crust( rich in cobalt, bismuth, iron, lead, platinum). ISA has notified two major areas “clariton-clipperton fracture zone” and Central Indian Ocean Basin. India has already signed a contract and entered in the league with Japan, USA, China
  • Fisheries: Sustainable fisheries can generate more revenue, more fish and help restore fish stocks.
  • Maritime Transport: Over 80% of international goods traded are transported by sea. Marine services sector could serve as the backbone of its blue economy and help India become 10 trillion dollar economy by 2022. Indian Ocean is a major conduit of trade with as much as 80% of global oil trade happening through it.
  • Tourism: Ocean and coastal tourism can bring jobs and economic growth.
  • Climate Change and Bio-diversity: Oceans are an important carbon sink (blue carbon) and help mitigate climate change. Oceans protect biodiversity, keep the planet cool, and absorb about 30% of global CO2 emissions. Oceans cover three-quarters of the Earth’s surface, contain 97% of the Earth’s water, and represent 99% of the living area on the planet.
  • Waste Management: Better waste management on land can help oceans recover.

Related Challenges:

  • Threat of sea borne terror: Piracy and armed robbery, maritime terrorism, illicit trade in crude oil, arms, drug and human trafficking and smuggling of contraband etc.
  • Natural Disasters: Every year tsunamis, cyclones, hurricanes typhoons etc leave thousands of people stranded and property worth millions destroyed.
  • Man-Made disasters: Oil spills, climate change continue to risk the stability of the maritime domain.
  • Impact of climate change: Threats of both slow-onset events like sea-level rise and more intense and frequent weather events like cyclones. Long-term climate change impacts on ocean systems like changes in sea temperature, acidity, and major oceanic currents.
  • Marine pollution: In form of excess nutrients from untreated sewerage, agricultural runoff, and marine debris such as plastics. Deep sea mining can cause long term irreversible ecological damage to marine ecosystem.
  • Geopolitical issues: Geopolitical tussle between in various regions like South China Sea, Indian Ocean Region etc. and undermining International Laws like UNCLOS limits the countries from achieving the full potential of Blue Economy.
  • Overexploitation of marine resources: Illegal, unreported, and unregulated extraction of marine resources.FAO estimates that approximately 57 percent of fish stocks are fully exploited and another 30 percent are over-exploited, depleted, or recovering.
  • Unsustainable development near marine areas: Physical alterations and destruction of marine and coastal habitats & landscapes largely due to coastal development, deforestation, & mining

Way Forward:

  • India should look to adopt the sustainable approach of balancing economic benefitswith sustainability for meeting the broader goals of growth, employment generation, equity and protection of environment.
  • We need to come up with technology to explore the minerals deep down at seabed.
  • India must focus on marine ICTs, and transport (shipping) and communication services, and the creation of a knowledge hubfor marine research and development.
  • An effective response mechanism to address humanitarian crises and natural disastersshould be made for the evolving Indian Ocean security strategy.
  • India should not look at its oceans as just water bodies, but as global stage for continued economic, social, and cultural dialogue.
  • Ever increasing marine pollution must be abated and India’s vow to curb plastic pollution must be pursued relentlessly.
  • Tackling the Global warming and submergence of low lying islands as part of Paris Climate deal agreement and initiatives like FIPIC.

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