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November 2022 Yojna Magazine: Indian Maritime

Yojana Magazine Summary for November 2022 Issue

Yojana Magazine is an important source of material for the UPSC exam. The monthly magazine provides details of major government schemes and programmes in various domains. Moreover, coming from the government, it is an authentic source of information for the UPSC Exam. Here, we provide the Gist of Yojana, exclusively for the IAS Exam.

Chapter 1: Paradigm of Coastal Security

Introduction:

  • India has a vast coastline stretched over 7000 kilometers having over 1000 offshore islands that bring enormous resources and opportunities.
  • The long stretch of shores has been a habitat of varied coastal communities as well as vegetation.
  • Safeguarding these waters from external threats and protecting India’s maritime interests is of great importance, particularly in the existing geopolitical and security situation.
  • Around 95% of India’s trade by volume and 68% by value is conducted through these waters, with priority being accorded to port-led development plans in recent years.
  • The safety and unhindered continuity of maritime trade, through a wide network of ships, is also a primary national concern as it directly impacts our economy.

Coastline Vulnerability:

  • The coastal areas host major commercial cities, and significant strategic and vital installations of Defence, Atomic Energy, Petroleum, and private ventures besides 12 major ports and more than 239 non-major ports which increases the coastline’s vulnerability.
  • The geostrategic location of the Indian peninsula poses typical oceanic challenges owing to proximity to major international shipping lanes, hostile neighbourhood-sponsored cross-border terrorism, transnational maritime crimes like narcotics and weapon trafficking, human trafficking, etc., and dense fishing traffic around the Indian cape.
  • Increased oceanic traffic may translate into an increased likelihood of maritime incidents and challenges in the proximity of the Indian coast.
  • The use of sea routes by terrorists during the attacks of 26/11 highlighted the vulnerabilities of India’s coastline and its security.

Stakeholders in ocean governance:

  • Several agencies including the Indian Coast Guard, Indian Navy, Coastal Security Police, Customs, Fisheries, Port Authorities, Intelligence Agencies, and other Central and State Departments look after maritime security and governance.
  • The multi-agency concept mandates cooperation, coordination, and institutionalised domain control of the respective agency to achieve foolproof security by optimum utilisation of limited resources.
  • As per the concept of a tiered mechanism for surveillance in-depth, the Indian Coast Guard is additionally responsible for coastal security in territorial waters.
    • The Director General of the Indian Coast Guard is designated as Commander, Coastal Command with responsibility for overall coordination between state and central agencies in matters of coastal security.
  • Coastal Security Exercise namely ‘Sagar Kavach’ is conducted by the Indian Navy along with the Indian Coast Guard and all stakeholders involved in Coastal Security.
  • The exercise involves synergised application of maritime surveillance assets, coordinated air and maritime strikes, air defence, and submarine and landing operations.
  • Joint Coastal Patrol (JCP) by the Indian Coast Guard and Coastal Police has been instituted across all coastal States and Union Territories.
  • The apex level monitoring and review of the implementation of measures for enhancing the effectiveness of the Coastal Security Framework are done by the National Committee on Strengthening of Maritime and Coastal Security against threats from the sea.
  • The Indian Coast Guard ships and aircraft provide essential deterrence and ensure the security of the maritime zones of India, thereby protecting the national maritime interests in such zones.

Conclusion

The coastal security construct of the present day has successfully built synergy and coordination, which are very much required in the current security environment. The Indian Coast Guard has grown into a force to be reckoned with and is rightfully called “Sentinels of Sea,” executing the roles of maritime law enforcement, ocean peacekeeping, and many other tasks.

Chapter 2: International Maritime Transport

Introduction:

  • Water transport, especially through the oceans and seas has been a major contributor to the planet’s progress. As industrialisation and international trade expanded, countries increasingly invested in seaports, airports, produced storage, and large ocean-going ships.
  • Though trade had flourished through the ages, maritime transport matured in technology and tonnage only after World War II, especially in the last three decades of the 20th century.
  • Trade barriers have diminished with globalisation, advancing marine engineering technologies and containerisation.
  • Computerisation has changed the ways and conduct of international trade and transport.

Status and Challenges:

  • Recently a major disruption in the sector was caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Geopolitical factors of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the China-Taiwan tensions also add up to the diminishing growth.
  • Decarbonisation is another major challenge for maritime transport along with high shipping costs, fuel costs, freight and logistics costs.
  • The Drewry World Container Index (composite), an indicator of the container spot rates, had climbed 5 to 6 times since the end of 2020 and breached USD 10000 (in 2021).
  • The main challenges in terms of quantity are:
    • Geographical restrictions due to narrow channels
    • Capacity limits of ports for mega-ships
    • Unused container spaces on ships (utilisation risk)
  • The main challenges in terms of sustainability are:
    • Environmental regulations
    • Higher costs due to switch to sustainable fuels
    • Recycling of ships

Impact of Modern Technology:

  • In shipbuilding, the preference for lightweight components, superior hull coatings, energy-efficient main and auxiliary machinery, condition monitoring, predictive maintenance regimes, etc., will continue to improve.
  • Electric cargo handling equipment, high stacker forklifts, etc., are already present in many modern ports. E-documents, paperless smart technologies for swifter truck movement, digital tracking of containers, etc., are changing the business process in shipping.

Opportunities for Improvement:

  • Structure favourable tax regimes and incentivising shipping: India is placed 35th amongst 46 countries in the PRIME (Protectionism in Maritime Economies) index, implying a high level of protectionism. Reduced protectionism can make shipbuilding and operations competitive and improve efficacy.
  • Low tonnage and dependence on foreign vessels for overseas trade: This is largely attributed to the poor vessel turnaround and ageing Indian fleet (average age 20 years and above). This causes a bleed of foreign exchange also.
    • The port calling costs in India are also higher by 3 to 5 times the costs in neighbouring ports, and high logistics costs.
    • Improved hinterland connectivity, easing port congestion and investment in infrastructure, etc., can help with fighting these challenges.
  • Lack of focused attention on core and areas of concern: These include shipbuilding/repair/recycling; container manufacturing, etc.
    • India has about 32 yards with the capacity to build ships but the major share of shipbuilding is held by the public sector yards.
    • On the ship repair front, India is yet to exploit its proximity advantage (geographic location on the international trade routes).
  • The global market in recycling is between USD 10-12 billion, whereas India’s share is around USD 100 million only.
  • Development delays in Ports Sector: The integration of inland waterways with ocean transport would pave the way for reducing congestion and costs.

Maritime India Vision 2030 (MTV 2030):

  • The Maritime India Vision is a 10-year blueprint with the aim of overhauling the Indian maritime sector. The Maritime India Vision 2030 was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Maritime India Summit in November 2020.
  • Recently, a Direct Port Entry (DPE) facility of V O Chidambaranar Port Trust (VOCPT) has been inaugurated by the Union Minister of State for Shipping. This project will make Indian ports world-class ports aligning with the ‘Maritime Vision 2030’ of the Ministry of Shipping. It will also help in increasing the Ease of Doing Business for the exporters as it is cost-effective.
  • It is the latest venture of the Sagarmala programme which outlines a series of policy initiatives and development projects.
  • Maritime India Vision 2030 will create the Waterways Connectivity Transport Grid, a project that will develop connectivity with Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar.
  • Additionally, a Riverine Development Fund (RDF) will extend low-cost funding to finance inland vessels and for extending the coverage of the tonnage tax scheme to inland vessels.
  • The Port Charges will be rationalised to make them more competitive along with the scrapping of hidden charges levied by ship liners, thereby bringing in more transparency and accountability.
  • For decongestion of urban areas, and developing waterways as an alternative means of urban transport.

ConclusionMaritime transport will be a major mode of trade across the globe, especially considering the volumes. For sustainable development, three major factors namely, geopolitics, environment and technology will have to be kept in the scheme of things.

Chapter 3: Coastal Erosion

Introduction:

  • Coastal areas are given crucial importance in recent years, due to the increasing human population and accelerated developmental activities near coasts.
  • The developmental activities have put tremendous pressure on the fragile coastal environment and about 20% of the Indian population resides in the coastal area.
    • Many thickly populated and industrialised cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Kochi, and Visakhapatnam are located along/near the coastal regions.
  • Some of the general problems along the Indian coast which require engineering interventions include silting up of entrance channels, the closing of river mouths, flooding during a storm surge, sand bar formation near mouths of inlets, rivers, and estuaries, and erosion of the coast. While all the problems need to be addressed, coastal erosion is a major concern.

What is Coastal Erosion?

  • Coastal Erosion is the wearing away and redistributing of solid elements of the shoreline as well as sediment, normally by such natural forces as waves, tidal and littoral currents, and deflation.
  • Erosion occurs when the material being removed, for deposition elsewhere, exceeds the rate of supply finally resulting in the landward shifting of the shoreline.
  • The causes of erosion are either natural or man-made. Sometimes, it is a combination of both.
  • The coastal sediments, together with those arising from inland erosion and transported seaward by rivers, are redistributed along the coast, providing material for dunes, beaches, marshes, and reefs.
    • The removal of the sand from the sand-sharing system results in permanent changes in beach shape and structure.

History of Coastal Erosion in India:

  • Kerala is the worst affected state by coastal erosion in India.
  • An assessment made in the late 1980s indicated that almost 85% of Kerala’s coastline is vulnerable to erosion.
  • Even Karnataka and Maharashtra are also affected badly by sea erosion.
  • The problem in other states was found to be in patches/coastal pockets depending on various factors. The first anti-sea erosion measure in Puducherry was initiated by the French in the early 1920s with a 1.75 km long retaining wall along the urban coastline in Puducherry.

Causes of Coastal Erosion:

  • The coastline keeps changing its shape and position continuously due to dynamic environmental conditions.
  • Various developmental projects are made in coastal areas, placing great pressure on them, and leading to various hazards like soil erosion, seawater intrusion, coral bleaching, etc.
  • The causes of erosion are either natural or man-made. Sometimes, it is a combination of both.
    • While the former is a relentless process that is often impossible to resist, the latter is often due to ill-planned activities and can certainly be contained, or even reversed.
  • The effects of climate change, sea-level rise and other long-term causes of erosion are still unaccounted for.

Natural Causes:

  • Natural factors influencing coastal erosion are waves, winds, tides, near-shore currents, storms, sea level rise, etc. The combined action of different processes on the coastline like waves and tides maintains the stability of the shoreline.
  • If for any reason, the sediment supply to a section of beach is reduced due to littoral drift/sea level rise or constant impact of waves, it can cause severe erosion.
  • Sea level rise is another major factor for coastal erosion.
  • Catastrophic events like severe storms, tidal surges and cyclones cause the sea level rise and cause severe erosion.

Coastal Erosion by Waves:

  • Waves are the main cause of coastal erosion. Waves bring an enormous amount of energy to the coast that is dissipated through wave breaking, generation of currents, water level changes, and movement of sediment, turbulence, and heat.
  • Waves are the major factor in determining the geometry and composition of the beaches. The action of waves dictates the processes of removal and addition of material/sediment on the coast.
  • The two processes of accretion and erosion play a major role in defining coastal geography. The shoreline changes induced by coastal erosion and accretion are natural processes that take place over a range of time scales.
  • With respect to temporal scale, these processes may occur in response to both small-scale events, such as storms, regular wave action, tides, and winds, and large-scale events such as glaciation or orogenic cycles, or tectonic activities that cause coastal land subsidence or emergence.

Man-induced erosion:

  • Most of the human-induced erosion is due to human interventions in the natural transportation process as well as in the sediment load of the rivers. Human activity may be enumerated as coastal defence structures, river regulation works, dredging aggregate extraction/sand mining, oil/gas exploration and ports/harbours that impact sediment transport.
  • Coastal activities can also directly or indirectly result in beach erosion. For example:
    • Construction of buildings via land reclamation or within sand dune areas has a long-term impact on coastal processes and sediment stability.
    • Breakwaters, which obstruct the long-shore transport of sand and cause accretion on the up-drift side, and erosion downdrift.
    • The mining of sand/gravel along beaches and in the surf zone will cause erosion by depleting the shore of its sediment resources.
    • The removal of dune vegetation and mangroves due to man interventions causes exposure of the low-energy shorelines to increased energy and reduced sediment stability. This further promotes erosion of the coastal zone.
  • Climate change has recently emerged as an important determinant in the coastal environment.
  • The rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide are causing the oceans to absorb more of the gas and become more acidic. This rising acidity can have significant impacts on coastal and marine ecosystems. The low-lying areas along the coast are likely to be prone to salinisation due to seawater intrusion (surface and ground).

Coastal protection measures:

  • Coastal protection measures moderate the long-term average erosion rate of shoreline change from natural or man-made causes.
  • Reduced erosion means a wider buffer zone between the land and the sea. Protection of the coastline from erosion is provided by nature in the form of a stable beach, capable of dissipating incident wave energy.
  • Nature’s coastal protection is also demonstrated at the headlands, reefs, shores, dunes, etc.
  • Protection works to prevent erosion should be on a long-term basis and must be planned to suit the particular site conditions on the basis of thorough field investigation and available data which require observations over an extended period of time.
  • The measures to control erosion include non–structural and structural or their combination.
  • Many schemes have failed and resulted in environmental and socio-economic problems owing to improper design, construction and maintenance.

Non-structural measures:

  • The non-structural measures aim at the dissipation of the wave energy by mirroring the natural forces and maintaining the natural topography of the coast. These measures are also called soft solutions. Some of these are:
    • Artificial nourishment of beaches
    • Coastal vegetation such as mangrove and palm plantation
    • Sand bypassing at tidal inlets
    • Dune reconstruction/rehabilitation
  • These measures have limitations. While artificial nourishment of beaches is complicated and costly, mangrove plantation is possible only in marshy land and in semi-tropical or tropical conditions.

Structural Measures:

  • The structural measures, also known as the hard structural/engineering measures, use physical structures constructed near the coast to prevent or restrict water from reaching the potential damage areas.
  • These solutions influence the coastal processes to stop/reduce the rate of coastal erosion.
  • The structural measures used for coastal erosion prevention include seawalls, revetment, off-shore breakwaters, groins/groynes/spurs, offshore reefs, and artificial headland.
  • Seawall is a popular measure and is generally used in almost all maritime states in varying proportions.

Combination of both measures:

  • Using a combination of structural and non-structural measures helps in providing better efficacy and efficiency.
  • The combination gives synergetic outcomes and provides an environmentally and economically acceptable coastal protection system.
  • The hard solutions offer a wide variety of disadvantages like causing erosion and unnecessary accretion at various points, being expensive, and also, at times, spoiling the economic value of the site by making it look less beautiful.
  • Soft solutions take time to be effective and these are effective only in a medium to long-term perspective.
  • Therefore, a combination of both measures is preferred for optimal results, for example:
    • Combining beach nourishment with artificial headlands/groynes
    • Revegetation with temporary offshore breakwaters/ artificial reefs is commonly used

Shoreline Change Atlas of Indian Coast:

  • Coastal Protection and Development Advisory Committee (CPDAC) recommended the need for the preparation of a Coastal Atlas showing information related to coastal erosion derived from satellite data and protection measures undertaken by all maritime states of India.
  • Accordingly, a project entitled, “Shoreline Change Atlas of the Indian Coast”, was initiated by the Space Applications Centre (ISRO), Ahmedabad, in collaboration with the Central Water Commission.
  • SAC and CWC worked jointly to bring out a shoreline change atlas for the time frame 1989-91 and 2004-06 in 2014.
  • The maps show eroding, stable and accreting coasts along with the status of coastal protection measures taken up by maritime States/UTs.
  • Around 15% of the 7549 km coastline has eroded, 14% of the coast has accreted, and the remaining of the coast remained stable w.r.t 2004-06. The area under accretion is higher than the area under erosion with a net gain of 362 ha of land.
  • The shoreline along the eastern Indian peninsula is observed to be more dynamic and along the west coast, the shoreline changes are more along the Kerala and Karnataka coasts.

Chapter 4: Marine Plastics Pollution

Introduction:

  • Marine plastics pollution is a global menace. There is a need for regular and standardised monitoring of marine litter to understand long-term changes in marine litter pollution and for the successful development and implementation of mitigation strategies.
  • Every year, humans produce 300 million tonnes of plastic waste including 11 million tonnes of plastic waste that eventually wind up in the ocean.
  • Most plastics never disappear; instead, it becomes smaller, with particles being swallowed by fish and eventually consumed by humans in their food and tap water.
  • Plastic waste also enters the ocean directly from ocean-based sources such as the fishing industry, commercial and recreational shipping, and offshore platforms.

Marine Plastics Survey in India:

  • Under the Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction System (COMAPS) programme by ICMAM-PD now the National Centre for Ocean Research of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, accumulation of marine debris was reported along the coast of Great Nicobar Island, Andaman.
  • This accumulation might have been due to surface ocean currents prevailing leading to the transportation of solid waste dumped by passing ships/fishing vessels.
  • 8% of the total solid waste produced is plastic waste and the top three cities that contribute most to pollution are Delhi, Kolkata, and Ahmedabad.
  • Plastic production in India increased by 39.7% and now stands at 9.46 million tonnes of plastic waste per year.
  • Only 15% of the plastic waste produced is recycled in India and the rest is sent to landfills, incinerators, or dumped into the oceans and rivers. 0.6 million tonnes of plastic waste end up in oceans from India alone via rivers, surface run-off, etc.
  • Rivers contribute about 67% of the total marine plastic debris in the world.

Tamil Nadu Coast and Plastic Pollution:

  • Plastic waste reaching through rivers and land run-off and ghost gear dumped cause serious problems to the flora and fauna as well as the livelihood of the fishing communities along the coast.
  • The Government of Tamil Nadu banned the usage of thin plastic (polymers of thickness below 40 microns). Despite such laws passed, Chennai is the major cause of plastic production in Tamil Nadu as it produces about 898700 tonnes of plastic waste per year of which 57000 tonnes per year are disposed into the ocean.
  • The major contributors to the discharge of plastic into the ocean are the Adyar and the Cooum rivers, which run through the heart of the city accounting for 81% and 19% of total riverine discharge from Chennai, respectively.
  • Thermocol (30.82%), plastic bags (28.30%), bottles & caps (13.84%), straws (12.83%), and food wrappers (8.97%) comprise the majority of macroplastic debris.

Biodiversity of the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere:

  • The Gulf of Mannar endowed with three distinct coastal ecosystems namely coral reef, seagrass bed and mangroves is  considered one of the world’s richest regions from a marine biodiversity perspective, is known for its unique biological wealth and is a storehouse of marine diversity of global significance.
  • The Gulf’s 4,223 species of plants and animals representing from primitive to higher forms make it one of the richest coastal regions in India.
  • The sea bottom of the inshore area around the islands is carpeted with seagrass beds which serve as an ideal feeding ground for Dugongs.
  • Highly productive fringing and patch coral reefs surround the islands and are often referred to as underwater tropical rainforest and treasure house for marine biodiversity, in particular marine ornamental fishes. The occurrence of these specialised ecosystems makes the Gulf of Mannar a unique large marine ecosystem in the Indian subcontinent.
  • Anthropogenic influences on the environment leading to pollution and climate change are the major causes of biodiversity degradation.

Abandoned, Lost or Discarded Fishing Gear (ALDFG):

  • Abandoned, Lost, or Discarded Fishing Gear (ALDFG) is a serious problem worldwide.
  • Most of these wastes are due to shipping or fishing accidents, bad weather, etc., and while most of the lost gear is retrieved by the fishers, the little that remains causes serious problems to the marine ecosystems.
  • A lot of species are killed by these wastes, and since they do not decompose easily, they keep killing various organisms throughout their lifetime.
  • About 20% of all the plastic debris in the oceans is from ALDFG according to UNEP. Globally, it is estimated that about 640000 tons of ghost gear are disposed of into the oceans every year.

Microplastics:

  • Plastics are made from non­renewable resources such as crude oil and hence they are hard to decompose as the polymers are bonded through covalent bonds, a strong bonding force.
  • Microplastic is about 5 mm in diameter and is always disposed of into the environment through anthropogenic sources.
  • They are particularly hard to locate, track and study as they are smaller than what the naked eye can see.
  • Another major issue with microplastics is that they show a high affinity to other toxicants, making them more dangerous to the organisms ingesting them.
  • The majority of the plastic debris (94%) in the oceans disintegrates into microplastic while the remaining 6% remains as microplastic.
  • The Marine Plastics survey programme of NCCR studied the distribution of microplastics in Coastal locations in the Bay of Bengal (BoB) and Arabian Sea (AS).
    • This showed microplastics are observed in almost all the sampled sites in the open ocean in the 100m mid-water column in all seasons.
    • Compared to other transects, more microplastics were observed during pre-monsoon in the Bay of Bengal and post-monsoon in the Arabian Sea.

Swachh Sagar, Surakshit Sagar:

  • Commemorating the 75th year of India’s independence, a coastal cleanup drive was carried out at 75 beaches across the country for 75 days over a 7500 km long coastline.
  • This unique first-ever national campaign culminated on “International Coastal Clean-up Day” on 17 September 2022.
  • This drive was aimed to remove 1,500 tonnes of garbage from the sea coast which will be a huge relief to marine life and the people staying in coastal areas.

Chapter 5: Blue Economy

Introduction:

  • According to the World Bank, the blue economy is defined as the “sustainable development of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs while preserving the health of the ocean ecosystem.”
  • The Commonwealth of Nations defines it as an emerging concept which encourages better stewardship of our ocean or blue resources.
  • Ocean economy focuses on the use of ocean resources and is aimed at empowering the economic system of the ocean. The blue economy goes beyond viewing the ocean economy solely as a mechanism of economic growth.
  • Population explosion has led to immense pressure on land resources. The population growth and resultant consumption of natural resources have exceeded the regenerative capacities of natural systems.
  • The ocean is one of Earth’s most valuable natural resources. Mankind exploits the ocean to meet its energy, food, recreational, military, and other needs. Oceans are used for transportation – both travel and shipping. Today around 80% of world trade is seaborne. As the volume of global trade increases, predictions are that global commercial vessel traffic is expected to double or treble in the next 20 years.
  • The Indian Ocean is the third largest ocean, covering an area of more than 70 million sq km that includes extensive Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of different countries and large “High Seas”.
  • The economic and sustainable development issues in the Indian Ocean rim are challenging since a majority of littorals are developing countries.
  • These countries are home to one-third of the world’s population that rely extensively on marine resources for livelihood and food security. The sheer size of this population subjects the Indian Ocean’s resources to pressures from pollution, habitat degradation, and over-exploitation.
  • As the population of the region is projected to increase significantly in the coming decades its impact on food security and the economy from marine resources would become more substantial.

Maritime Governance and Blue Economy:

  • With its geographic and geostrategic position in and critical dependence on the Indian Ocean, India has been leading the Blue Economy discourse at the highest level of the Government, with a greater focus on the Indian Ocean region. The essence of this approach was spelt out by the Government for seeking “Security And Growth for All in the Region” (SAGAR).
  • The Indian Ocean is vital to the economies, security, and livelihoods of its littoral states. India is focussing on overall maritime governance including economies based on marine resources assured, advancing the blue economy through sustainable management and utilisation of the ocean’s resources, food security, and livelihoods for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
  • The current governance framework of marine resource management in the Indian Ocean explores the challenges in Blue Economy development to ensure sustainable development in the region. Maritime security is essential to ensure a holistic approach toward the governance, use, and maintenance of Oceans.

Significance of Blue Economy:

  • Blue Economy would contribute to food security, poverty alleviation, the mitigation of and resilience to the impacts of climate change, enhanced trade and investment, enhanced maritime connectivity, enhanced diversification, job creation, and socio-economic growth.
  • From the business perspective, Blue Economy requires innovative and dynamic business models, forming business connections between India and other countries.

Overview of India’s Blue Economy:

  • The Blue Economy of India includes the complete ocean resources system as well as human-made economic infrastructure in the country’s legal jurisdiction, marine, maritime, and onshore coastal zones.
  • It plays an important role in the country’s economic growth because of its enormous maritime interests. It accounts for roughly 4% of the GDP.
  • The sector has recorded exports worth US$ 7.2 billion between April 2021- February 2022.
  • Fisheries and minerals are the two most viable components of the blue economy in India. The two mineral deposits of commercial significance to developers in the Indian Ocean are polymetallic nodules and polymetallic huge sulphides.
  • India comprises 200 ports of which 12 are major ports that handled 541.76 million tones in FY 2021, the highest being Mormugao Port, located in Goa, which handled 62.6% of the total traffic.
    • Shipbuilding and shipping are also important aspects of the blue economy in India. The modal share of coastal shipping has the potential to increase to 33% by 2035, up from roughly 6% presently.
  • Most of the country’s oil and gas are supplied by sea, leading to making the Indian Ocean region critical to India’s economic growth.
  • India has significant diplomatic interests in the Indo-Pacific, as well as international commitments in the region under the UNCLOS, such as Search and Rescue, seabed mining and antipiracy.

Blue revolution:

  • Blue Revolution also known as Neel or Nili Kranti Mission in India was launched in 1985-1990 during the 7th Five-Year Plan. The main objective is to develop, manage, and promote fisheries to double the farmers’ income.

 

Maritime Security Strategy:

  • India’s maritime security strategy focuses on all aspects of the challenges including the ocean economy that are affecting the health and the future of oceans and countries.
  • It combines the traditional and non­traditional security paradigms of maritime security such as environmental degradation, ocean trade security, drug trafficking and piracy among other traditional challenges.
  • With nations committed to fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) towards the Blue Economy, the role of oceans in this is significant.
  • Maritime security is an enabler of the Blue Economy. The non-traditional security threats have effects on the military and also on strategy, policy and operations.
  • Unregulated and illegal fishing is another aspect that endangers the ocean ecology.
    • Checks and Balances have been established to address illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, still, the current international law regime still lacks rigid barriers and strict mechanisms to address the problem.

Indian Coast Guard as Blue Economy Enabler:

  • Coast Guard is one of the major maritime law enforcement agencies in the Indian Ocean Region. It plays a bigger role in averting major pollution incidents, anti-poaching, and Search & Rescue, its importance as an essential actor in non-traditional security is well established.
  • The duties of ICG as enshrined are in consonance with the Blue economy vision of the Government.
  • With evolving challenges in maritime security and the increased focus of India on the Blue Economy, the role of ICG becomes very crucial.
  • India is situated in a strategic position between two important choke points namely the Strait of Hormuz and the Strait of Malacca, through which most of the trade in commercial shipping moves in the Indian Ocean.
  • Piracy and other transnational crimes are rampant and ongoing almost daily. Such crimes support militant activism and homemade insurgencies.
  • The Indian Coast Guard has been carrying out duties such as oil spill response, helping mariners in distress at sea, warning vessels during bad weather, offering assistance during scientific experiments, and augmenting the national defence resources. These duties coupled with other challenges would be the focus area of various enablers of the Blue Economy.
  • Considering the future of the exploitation of ocean resources in the IOR, the Indian Coast Guard will have a major role to play.

Conclusion:

In pursuit of the SDGs of Blue Economy, revolutions in maritime transportation and information systems, growth of ports and shipping, mineral research and exploitation, emerging threats to the marine environment, and changing national security concerns will shape the course of the Nation. Mindful of these responsibilities, the ICG has charted its course and embarked on an ambitious plan to renew assets and increase capabilities, by matching its high-performing people with modern equipment and technologies.

Chapter 6: Sailing through the history

Introduction: Aircraft Carriers

  • Aircraft carriers are extremely strong and have powerful weapons. Their military capabilities, which include carrier-borne aircraft, have completely changed the marine domain.
  • An aircraft carrier offers a wide range of strategic benefits. It offers incredibly flexible operational options.
  • Surveillance, air defence, airborne early warning, protection of Sea Lines of Communication (SLOG), and anti-submarine warfare are some of its principal functions.
  • For India, the carrier battle group, with its inherent combat elements and firepower, becomes a key capability to establish effective air dominance and efficient sea control.

History of Aircraft Carriers in India:

  • Since the 1960s, the Indian Navy has had the unique distinction of operating all variants of aircraft launch and recovery systems.
  1. INS Vikrant (R11) – India’s First Aircraft Carrier
  • The INS Vikrant was launched on September 22, 1945, as Hercules. However, its construction was stalled and was completed when India purchased it from Britain in 1957.
  • On March 04, 1961, it was commissioned as Vikrant in its first avatar. It was placed under the command of Captain Pritam Singh Mahindroo.
  • On March 05, 1961, Vikrant sailed from Belfast for Portsmouth and Portland to carry out sea trials, and on October 06, 1961, Vikrant finally sailed for India. It entered Bombay on November 03, 1961.
  • INS Vikrant was the first-ever carrier for an Asian country and remained so for a long time. Soon after its commissioning, the INS Vikrant saw action during the Goa Liberation Operation in 1961.
  • It played a crucial role in the 1971 war with its aircrafts decimating the enemy. The Sea Hawks and Alizes pounded the enemy targets over Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Khulna and Mongla.
  • Vikrant ensured a total blockade off East Pakistan. The INS Vikrant helped in preventing the reinforcement of Pakistani forces from the sea, leading to the birth of Bangladesh.
  • The INS Vikrant emerged in a new avatar as a Vertical/Short Take Off and Land (V/STOL) carrier in 1984, with the brand new, state-of-the-art aircraft Sea Harrier.
    • Its new capability inspired the induction of INS Vikramaditya and the plans for its reincarnation. It was decommissioned from active service on 31 January 1997.

      2. INS Viraat

  • INS Viraat was originally commissioned by the British Royal Navy as HMS Hermes on November 18, 1959.
  • It served the Royal Navy in three different avatars – 1959-­1970-as the Strike Carrier, 1970-1980- as a Commando Anti-Submarine Warfare Carrier, and 1980 onwards it was a V/STOL Carrier, for which it underwent major structural modifications.
  • The Indian Navy, in need of a second aircraft carrier, acquired the HMS Hermes on April 24, 1986. INS Viraat was finally commissioned by the Indian Navy on 12 May 1987.
  • INS Viraat’s first major operation was ‘Operation Jupiter’ in July 1989 as part of Peacekeeping Operations in Sri Lanka, following the breakdown of the Indo-­Sri Lanka Accord of 1986.
  • It also played a pivotal role in Operation Parakram, which was carried out in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament. By establishing a blockade against Pakistan during the 1999 Kargil War, the INS Viraat also played a crucial part in Operation Vijay.
  • The ship has additionally taken part in a number of foreign joint exercises, including Malabar (with the US Navy), Varuna (with the French Navy), and Naseem-Al-Bahr (with the Oman Navy), as well as being a crucial component of every year’s Theatre Level Operational Exercise (TROPEX).

       3. INS VikramadityaRussia’s refurbished Admiral Gorshkov was commissioned into the Indian Navy as INS Vikramaditya at Severodvinsk, Russia on November 16, 2013.

       4. INS Vikrant (IAC-1):

  • At 45,000 tonnes, INS Vikrant is the largest naval ship to be designed and built in India. It has an overall indigenous content of 76%.
  • Vikrant has been built with a high degree of automation for machinery operation, ship navigation, and survivability, and has been designed to accommodate an assortment of fixed-wing and rotary aircraft.
  • The ship is capable of operating an air wing consisting of 30 aircraft comprising MiG-29K fighter jets, Kamov-31, MH-60R multi-role helicopters, in addition to indigenously manufactured Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) (Navy).
  • Using a novel aircraft operation mode known as STOBAR (Short Take-Off but Arrested Landing), the IAC is equipped with a ski jump for launching aircraft, and a set of ‘arrester wires’ for their recovery onboard.

Carrier Stats

Image Source: Indian Express

 

Chapter 7: Port-led Development

Sagarmala Project:

  • The prime objective of the Sagarmala Project is to promote port-led direct and indirect development and to provide infrastructure to transport goods to and from ports quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.
  • The Sagarmala Project aims to develop access to new development regions with intermodal solutions and promotion of the optimum modal split, enhanced connectivity with main economic centres and beyond through expansion of rail, inland water, coastal and road services.
  • The Sagarmala initiative addresses challenges by focusing on three pillars of development, namely-
    • Supporting and enabling Port-led development through appropriate policy and institutional interventions and providing for an institutional framework for ensuring inter-agency and ministries/departments/states collaboration for integrated development.
    • Port infrastructure enhancement, including modernisation and setting up of new ports.
  • The Project intends to achieve the broad objectives of enhancing the capacity of major and non-major ports and modernising them to make them efficient, thereby enabling them to become drivers of port-led economic development, optimising the use of existing and future transport assets and developing new lines for transport, setting up of logistics hubs, and establishment of manufacturing centres to be served by ports in EXIM and domestic trade.
  • It also aims at simplifying procedures used at ports for cargo movement and promotes the usage of electronic channels for information exchange leading to quick, efficient, hassle-free cargo movement.

Skill Development under the Project:

  • Under the programme, an integrated approach is being adopted for improvement in quality of life with a focus on skill building and training, upgrading of technology in traditional professions, focused, and time-bound action plan for improving physical and social infrastructure in collaboration with the coastal states.
  • The main features of the Coastal Community Development plan include Skill development, Coastal tourism, Development of fishing harbours, and R&D in the Port and Maritime Sector.
  • To ensure technology-based skill development, the Ministry of Shipping has set up the Centre of Excellence in Maritime & Shipbuilding (CEMS) with two campuses at Vizag and Mumbai that are operational from February 2019.
  • Sagarmala has conducted skill gap studies for 21 coastal districts in India. Skill Development programmes in these 21 districts are being undertaken in convergence with the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana programme.

Chapter 8: Indian Coastal Community and Climate Change

Introduction:

  • Most of India’s coastal regions are low-lying and densely populated, with nearly 250 million people living within 50 km of the coast.
  • The country has a total of 1382 offshore islands, comprising 514 Islands along the mainland coast and 868 Islands in the island territories (Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep). Among the 1382 offshore islands, 346 islands are inhabited.
  •  As per the Census data of 2011, there are 486 census towns along the coast of India, accounting for a population of 41.7 million constituting 20.7% of the total coastal population.
  • The coastal areas of India experience tropical climates and have diverse geological, geomorphologic, and ecological setups.
  • India’s coast is vulnerable to exponential developmental activities coupled with climate change impacts.
  • The likely scenarios of climate change and associated variability pose the greatest risk to the socio-economic and environmental functioning of coastal regions.
  • The coastal communities, for their livelihoods, face enormous challenges from natural calamities triggered by climate change parameters.
  • Important coastal economic generation activities such as fishing, salt production, agriculture, aquaculture, and animal husbandry have been affected by climate change.

Policies to address the impacts of Climate Change:

  • The Coastal Zone Management Guidelines of India by MS Swaminathan emphasise strengthening the coping capacity of coastal communities to face the challenge of sea-level rise caused by climate change, as well as frequent tsunamis and cyclones to protect life and livelihoods.
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has demarcated the Hazard Line which is a hundred years return interval of dangers by natural events such as cyclones, tsunamis, floods, storms, waves, shoreline changes, and sea level rise due to global warming.
  • The Coastal Regulation Zone Notification (2019) under Environment Protection Act (1986) directs to clear the developmental projects in the coastal areas after considering the disaster risks including climate change risks such as SLR and other natural disasters.

Sea Level Rise (SLR):

  • Globally, the rate of sea-level rise is about 4.5 mm per year. It is projected that SLR risks 10% of the coastal population living in the low-lying coastal region within a 10-m elevation of Mean Sea Level (MSL).
  • SLR results in a combination of risks in retreat, submersion, erosion, and increased vulnerability to extreme marine events.
  • It is one of the primary factors driving the historical shoreline changes and wave climate changes that engulf land masses with the economically potential physical infrastructures.
  • Coastal communities and other stakeholders are impacted by the loss of land, erosion, flooding, and saltwater intrusion in Coastal aquifers.
  • This leads to the squeezing of settlements, reduction of common property lands and inland movement of coastal habitats.
  • The consequences of SLR cause changes in livelihood dependency, ecosystem degradation, reduction in potable water, an increase in hazards, and health ailments, a rise in homelessness and poverty, involuntary migrations, loss of employment, and an increase in debt.
  • It also increases conflicts, criminal cases, delinquencies, and inequality and paves way for human rights violations among the coastal communities.

Increased sea surface temperatures:

  • Sea surface temperature (SST) is the water temperature close to the ocean’s surface.
  • An increase in SST leads to alterations in climate patterns around the world. SST affects fish migrations, fish physiology, fish breeding, fish recruitment, and habitat loss. It also enhances ocean acidification, salinity, and longshore current patterns that influence primary production and fish stock in the sea.
  • Change of SST not only affects fish stock and biomass but also influences cyclogenesis (development or strengthening of cyclonic circulation in the atmosphere), as the warm waters could transform tropical disturbances into cyclones. Tropical disturbances normally become cyclones if the SST is more than 26°C.

Shoreline Changes:

  • The wave energy closer to the shore leads to an increase in shoreline changes in soft rocks and beaches.
  • Based on the results of trend analysis, the coastal stretches of India have been classified as stable, accreting, low erosion, medium erosion, and high erosion coasts.
  • Accordingly, the high erosion (HER) site is where the erosion is higher than -5m/yr, and medium erosion (MER) is between -2m/yr. and -5m/yr and low erosion (LER) coast if it ranges from -0.5m/yr to -2m/yr. Stable coast (ST) is where the erosion or accretion rate is within the range of -0.5m/yr to + 0.5m/yr.
  • Construction of seawalls, groynes, training walls, breakwaters, and other protection structures on the shores to reduce the impacts of SLR, wave action, and erosion are classified as artificial coasts (AC).
  • Shores with continuous sand deposition are classified as accreting coast (DEP).
  • Shoreline changes cause social and economical effects on livelihoods, property, recreation and tourism, ecosystem services, resilience, and vulnerability.

Frequency of cyclones and floods:

  • The coastline has undergone physical changes throughout its geological past due to continuous wave actions, floods, cyclones, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Besides cyclones, tidal range, storm period, high tide water level, shoaling waves, river discharge, and rainfall-driven runoff also contribute to flooding in coastal areas.
  • During the 21st century, there has been an increase in the occurrence and severity of flood hazards in India.
  • Cyclones and floods cause casualties, and injuries besides the devastation of coastal infrastructures, road networks, schools, cyclone centres, health centres, houses, and, other common properties which are livelihood capitals and assets of coastal communities.

Saltwater Intrusion

  • The primary data of the coastal villages in coastal districts indicate that there are saltwater intrusions in near-shore freshwater sources during the summer season as most people use bore wells and municipal water for drinking and other domestic purposes.
  • Overharvesting of water from coastal aquifers, SLR by variations in atmospheric pressures, expansion of summer, and melting of ice sheets and glaciers impose additional saline water intrusion. As a result, an aggravated saltwater intrusion is expected in many coastal stretches in the near future.
  • High population pressure, intense human activities, inappropriate and indiscriminate landscape alterations, resource use, and the absence of proper management practices add to the deterioration of water resources.
  • Saltwater intrusion affects the productivity of horticulture and livestock. Reduction in income and expenditure for potable water reduces the savings of indigenous communities and increases their debt.
  • Raising the groundwater table in the fishing village using suitable methods may be one way of mitigating the intrusion of saltwater in coastal stretches.

Reduction in capture fisheries

  • Climate change impacts the productivity of fisheries due to an increase in SST, changing current patterns and upwelling affecting the fish reproductive biology, alteration of habitats and migratory routes.
  • A decrease in capture fishery influences the per capita income, revenues, wealth, and socio-economic status of the fishing community.
  • Conflicts in fish catch, an increase in poverty, migration of fishermen, shifting of occupation, and an increase in inequality are the consequences on fishing communities.

Way Forward:

  • Poorer households are often less able to adapt and are more vulnerable to tackling climate change risks. Prioritisation of problems due to climate change based on the risk and vulnerability using the Livelihood Vulnerability Index shall support identifying the location-specific problems to mitigate climate change risks.
  • Coastal habitats shall be demarcated and suitable locations for shelter during the flood which are the high elevated areas along the coasts shall be identified.
  • In the potential saltwater intrusion areas and drought-prone areas, sites for water tanks in the coastal habitats to mitigate the water scarcity problems due to climate change shall be constructed.
  • The identified suitable evacuation location during cyclone and flood shall be informed to coastal communities through awareness creation activities, capacity-building activities, and mock drills.
  • Fish stock trends and assessments shall be conducted to develop policies and schemes to replenish the economically important fishery resources with the involvement of local stakeholders.
  • To reduce captured fishery demand from the natural coastal environment, nearshore cage culture, aquaculture, and mariculture activities shall be encouraged with the participation of local communities under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode.

Gist of Yojana November 2022:- Download PDF Here

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