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Q: Discuss the key maritime security challenges faced by India. Highlight the various initiatives taken to secure the maritime domain. (10 Marks, 150 Words)

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Being located along key Sea Lanes of Communication, having a 7500 Km long coastline, and surrounded by
adversarial nations, India faces multiple maritime challenges.
Key Maritime Challenges:
· China through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has tried to box India in the Indian Ocean by acquiring
strategic ports like Hambantota and Gwadar. It has also been continuously arming Pakistan Navy as a balancer
to Indian in the region.
· Threat of terrorist infiltration from Sea routes on the lines of 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
· Maritime disputes with Pakistan and Sri Lanka, lack of clear boundary demarcation resulting in frequent
arrest of fishermen.
· Illegal migrants coming through the sea routes and Uninhabited islands can be used by traffickers,
insurgents, and extremists.
· Natural calamities like cyclones, tsunamis, global-warming-induced rise of sea level and resultant inundation
of land areas etc.
· Great Power contest in the region as Indian Ocean is the part of Indo-Pacific geopolitical construct.
· Overlapping jurisdiction between the IN, ICG and the SCP and a lack of unity of command at the
ministry and force level.
· Involvement of state police in surveillance leads to mixing of law-and-order maintenance with maritime
border guarding.


Initiatives Taken:
· Post-Mumbai attacks in 2008, an overhaul of the maritime security apparatus was witnessed with
“emphasis on surveillance, intelligence gathering and information sharing.
· Maritime Security Strategy 2015 outlining India’s Primary and secondary areas of interest and India’s aim to
be net security provider.
· Coastal security is also reviewed periodically with all stakeholders by the National Committee for
Strengthening Maritime and Coastal Security (NCSMCS)
, constituted under the Chairmanship of
Cabinet Secretary
· Joint Operation Centres (JOC) have been set up at Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Kochi, Port Blair; jointly manned
and operated by Navy and Coast Guard.
· A National Command Control Communication and Intelligence System (NC3I) has established for real-time
maritime domain awareness, linking the Navy and Coast Guard, both, at field and apex levels.
· The Indian Navy has setup Information Fusion Centre (IFC) for the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
· India’s first National Maritime Security Coordinator (NMSC) has been appointed to investigate all
issues of maritime security and ensure inter-agency coordination.
· National Academy of coastal policing (NACP) is being setup at Mojap village, dist-Devbhoomi in Gujarat.
· 500 satellite-based transponders are being installed on fishing boats below 20 metres of length in sensitive
areas of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu for location tracking.

While India faces various maritime security challenges, it has demonstrated a strong commitment to address them.
Through proactive measures, strategic partnerships, and continuous investment, India is making commendable
progress in securing its maritime domain and ensuring a safer maritime environment.