Bhubaneswar: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has sought Minister of Health, Earth Sciences, and Science & Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan’s personal intervention for facilitating setting up a Centre of Excellence (CoE) on Marine Biotechnology at the Institute of Life Sciences (ILS) in Bhubaneswar.
In a letter to Dr Harsh Vardhan, the Union Minister wrote: “Odisha’s long and beautiful coastline has been one of the hallmarks of the State for centuries. It provides sustenance and employment to millions who are engaged in Pisciculture and fishing, travel & tourism and trade & logistics. For the past six years, Odisha’s coastline has been in focus for PM Modi’s vision for a marine-led Blue economy.”
“World-famous sites like Puri Jagannath Temple, Konark Sun temple, Chilika Lake and Bhitarkanika National Park form the backbone of Odisha’s tourism and allied industry. Projects like the expansion and development of Paradip Port, IOCL Paradip refinery, Paradip Smart Port city, development of Dhamra LNG Terminal, Digha – Gopalpur coastal highway and development of fishing harbours at Paradip and Balasore will unlock the true potential for marine-led economic growth in Odisha and eastern India,” stated Pradhan.
As has been reiterated by the Prime Minister, 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, the Union Minister mentioned in his letter.
ILS, Bhubaneswar has been undertaking scientific research in this particular area with a proven body of publications and patents which have led to favourable outcomes for the management of local bio-resources, eco-conservation efforts and optimal marine resource utilization.
Keeping in mind the need to balance Odisha’s delicate marine ecosystem with the growth of its Blue economy, there is a need for enhanced focus on scientific research. Therefore, I seek your personal intervention in facilitating a CoE on Marine Biotechnology at Institute of Life Sciences,” Pradhan said.