India’s Maritime Future: Navigating the Digital Dilemma

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India’s digital prowess has been a significant driver of economic growth, but its underwater domain remains largely untapped. The Blue Economy Potential of India’s maritime area is estimated to hide 80% of the country’s resources, yet it only contributes 4% to the GDP. Technology, specifically the Underwater Domain Awareness (UDA) Framework, is key to unlocking this hidden potential and optimizing resource utilization. Countries like Norway and Singapore have successfully invested in their marine industries, and India has the opportunity to do the same.

The UDA framework encourages collaboration between stakeholders, from industry players to policy makers, to optimize governance mechanisms and address fragmentation. However, the lack of appropriate technology is a major hurdle. Digital transformation and the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) can help overcome this challenge by creating models and simulations of the marine environment. Steps in the right direction include the strategic deployment of the blue economy framework, Geographic Information System (GIS) for Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP), and nurturing the startup ecosystem.

India stands at a crossroads, with the choice of sinking into obscurity or harnessing its hidden maritime potential. By embracing a comprehensive UDA framework and leveraging technology, India can propel its maritime sector into the digital age, contributing to economic growth, environmental sustainability, and national security.

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