Nov 24: Maritime Security- https://youtu.be/vbR3BDOmSCU
- GS-2: Important International Organisation & their mandate
- GS-3: Security & Challenges
Context: With a coastline of over 7000 KM, maritime security is an important aspect of national security for India. The Government of India is implementing Coastal Security Scheme, in phases, to strengthen security of coastal areas against sea borne threats.
Need for Maritime Security
- With a long coastline and large island chains spread across the Indian Ocean, India has a natural seaward orientation, with key sea lanes of communication coursing through its surrounding seas.
- 90% of global trade is conducted on the high seas, for the simple reason that it continues to be the most cost effective mode of transport.
- Disruption of sea lanes of communication has National and global economic repercussions.
- Freedom of navigation and unimpeded commerce are key to the spread of prosperity.
- India’s natural interests stretch across both the Indian and Pacific Oceans as reflected in its inclusive Indo-Pacific vision.
The Coastal Security Scheme aims to augment the capabilities of police force of coastal states and UTs for patrolling and surveillance in territorial waters especially shallow waters close to the coast
- India has growing strategic interest due to its strong economic and political relations with Southeast Asian countries coupled with concerns about the safety of the sea lanes.
- At the 2018 Shangri-La Dialogue Prime Minister Narendra Modi outlined the vision for free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific region which was universally welcomed.
- Later at the 14th East Asia Summit (EAS) in 2019, Prime Minister Modi announced the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative or IPOI as practical implementation of this shared Vision for the Indo-Pacific with a focus on collaborative effort to better manage, conserve, sustain and secure this maritime domain.
- In August this year under India’s presidency United Nations Security Council also hosted a high level open debate on enhancing Maritime Security.
Measures taken by the Government
India’s 5-Point Agenda for Enhancing Maritime Cooperation
- We must remove barriers in maritime trade as they are challenges for the entire world.
- Maritime disputes should be resolved peacefully and on the basis of international law only.
- We should face natural calamities and maritime threats created by non-state actors together.
- We have to preserve the maritime environment and maritime resources.
- We should encourage responsible maritime connectivity.
Key Measures –
- Capacity augmentation of maritime security agencies for surveillance and patrol of the nation’s maritime zones
- Enhanced technical surveillance of coastal and offshore areas
- Establishment of mechanisms for inter-agency coordination
- Increased regulation of activities in the maritime zones
- Integration of the fishing and coastal communities
- Indian Naval ships and aircraft are regularly deployed on ‘Mission Based Deployments’ in Indian Ocean Region to enhance maritime security.
- Undertakes surveillance to enhance Maritime Domain Awareness and address contingencies that may arise. These are in consonance with Government of India’s vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) and the Maritime Security Strategy to build its role as the ‘Preferred Security Partner’ in our extended maritime neighbourhood.
- India proactively engages with regional Navies to enhance friendship/cooperation and promote maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Operational interactions with friendly foreign countries include activities like Joint Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Surveillance, Coordinated Patrols on annual / bi-annual basis along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL), Maritime Exercises, etc.
- India also exchanges Maritime Information bilaterally with Friendly Foreign Countries to create Maritime Domain Awareness in IOR. This includes information on military and naval assets of hostile / adversarial countries; assessment of maritime activities of mutual concern and activities related to transnational maritime based threats.
- India also participates in regional frameworks such as Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum (ARF), East Asia Summit (EAS) and the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) to expand its cooperation and exchanges with the Indo-Pacific region.
Can you answer the following questions?
- What are various key aspects of Maritime Security and what is being done by India to tackle all the challenges in this domain?
- The increasing geo-strategic and economic significance of the Indian Ocean realm has necessitated the development of a robust coastal security ecosystem. Do you agree? Substantiate your response.