BHUBANESWAR: Union Minister for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan has demanded a Centre of Excellence (CoE) on marine biotechnology in Odisha for enhanced focus on scientific research.
In a letter to Union Science and Technology Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, Pradhan requested his personal intervention to facilitate setting up the CoE at Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), Bhubaneswar.
The Minister said Odisha’s long and beautiful coastline has been one of the hallmarks of the State for centuries as it provides sustenance and employment to
millions who are engaged in pisciculture and fishing, travel tourism and trade and logistics.
“World famous sites like Jagannath Temple in Puri, Sun temple at Konark, Chilika Lake and Bhitarkanika National Park form the backbone of Odisha’s tourism and allied industry. Projects such as the expansion and development of Paradip Port, IOCL refinery at Paradip, LNG terminal at Dhamra, Gopalpur-Digha coastal highway and fishing harbours at Paradip and Balasore will unlock the potential for marine-led economic growth in Odisha and eastern India,” he wrote.
Pradhan said for the past six years, Odisha’s coastline has been in focus for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision for a marine-led blue economy.
"Such industrial economic growth must be balanced with ecological conservation. It is essential to invest in the preservation of delicate marine ecosystems such as the nesting sites of the endangered Olive Ridley turtles and mangrove ecosystems while developing novel approaches using marine biotechnology," he
Since the ILS has been undertaking scientific research in this area with a proven set of publications and patents, which have led to favourable outcomes for the management of local bio-resources, eco-conservation efforts and optimal marine resource utilisation, Pradhan said, once the CoE is set up here, it would augment scientific research activities.