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National Conference On Blue Economy Inaugurated At KIIT

Bhubaneswar, Feb 20: The first National Conference on Blue Economy was inaugurated at KIIT-DU on Monday, focusing on ‘navigating the marine ecosystem value chain’. This conference was graced by Dr Parvinder Maini, Scientific Secretary, Office of Principal Scientific Adviser to Govt of India, Dr M V Ramanamurthy of Ministry of Earth Sciences, and Dr. Jitendra Kumar, MD of DBT-BIRAC Govt of India.

This pioneering conference, a collaborative effort by the Indian Phycological Society, Delhi, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, DBT-Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar, CSIR-Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology, Bhubaneswar, National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, and the Bhubaneswar City Knowledge Innovation Cluster Foundation (BCKIC), aims to explore the vast potential of India’s blue economy.

The conference was graced by the presence of Minister of Science and Technology Ashok Panda, who highlighted the recent announcement of the Odisha Government’s biotech policy and its focus on aquatic management, emphasizing Odisha’s significant 480 km coastline and its role as a major stakeholder in the blue economy.

“Odisha’s rich marine resources, including its chill and mangrove forests, along with a budget of 3.50 lakh crore, are pivotal for leveraging the marine economy,” Panda stated.

Dr. Parminder Maini, Scientific Secretary to the Government of India, underscored the critical timing of the conference, noting that 40 percent of the global population lives beside oceans, which are vital for energy, food, and support 80 percent of global trade through maritime transportation.

“The blue economy contributes approximately 6 trillion dollars to the global economy annually, with India playing a crucial role in this sector,” Maini said, calling for a concerted effort to safeguard ocean resources and explore potential pathways to achieve a sustainable blue economy.

Prof. Mrutyunjay Suar, DG, R&D and Innovation at KIIT observed that Odisha is the ideal launchpad for India’s blue economy initiatives. Echoing this sentiment, Dinabandhu Sahoo, President of the Indian Phycological Society and a senior professor at Delhi University, highlighted the blue economy’s current valuation at 24 trillion dollars globally, emphasizing the ocean’s future potential for humanity.

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