Day 54 – Q 5.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.
5. 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.
हिंद महासागर क्षेत्र के बढ़ते भू-सामरिक और आर्थिक महत्व ने एक मजबूत तटीय सुरक्षा पारिस्थितिकी तंत्र के विकास की आवश्यकता को और बढ़ा डाला है। क्या आप सहमत हैं? आपकी प्रतिक्रिया को तर्कपूरित करें।
The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world’s oceanic divisions, covering 70,560,000 km2 (27,240,000 sq mi) (19.8% of the water on the Earth’s surface).It is bounded by Asia on the north, on the west by Africa, on the east by Australia, and on the south by the Southern Ocean or, depending on definition, by Antarctica.
Geo-strategic significance of Indian Ocean:
- Huge resources: The Indo-Asia-Pacific region is the greatest maritime-littoral space that has the largest concentration of population, resources, developing economies, congested sea lanes, and contested territorial spaces.
- Choke points: The Indian Ocean is home to many choke points, such as the Straits of Hormuz, Straits of Malacca, Lombok and the Sunda Straits. Any disruption in traffic flow through these points can have disastrous consequences.
- Muslim population: The region is home to most of the world’s Muslim population as well as India, one of the world’s likely “rising powers.”
- Nuclear weapon states: The Indian Ocean also is home to the world’s two newest nuclear weapons states, India and Pakistan, as well as Iran, which most observers believe has a robust program to acquire nuclear weapon.
- Communication: The Indian Ocean is home to important SLOCs and maritime choke points. A large volume of international long haul maritime cargo from the Persian Gulf, Africa and Europe transits through this ocean.
Economic significance of Indian Ocean:
- Fisheries: The people of Bangladesh, Comoros, Indonesia, Maldives, and Sri Lanka get more than half of the animal protein in their diets from fish.
- Mineral resources: Indian Ocean is rising and strengthening because its littoral states possess more than 2/3 of world’s oil reserves and roughly 35% of world’s gas reserves, 60% of Uranium, 40% of gold and 80% of all diamond deposits. Indian Ocean is also important because of the industrial raw materials it possesses including lithium, nickel, cobalt, tin, manganese, phosphate etc
- Offshore oil: Forty per cent of the world’s offshore oil production takes place in the Indian Ocean basin
- IORA: Excellence for Maritime Safety and Security; and explore a regional surveillance network, including sharing of data and exchange of information on maritime transportation systems.
- National Committee for Strengthening Maritime and Coastal Security: It is headed by Cabinet Secretary Coordinates all matters related to Maritime and Coastal Security.
- Electronic Surveillance: National Command Control Communication and Intelligence Network (NC3I) has been launched to provide near gapless surveillance of the entire coastline and prevent the intrusion of undetected vessels, the coastal surveillance network projects consists of radar and automatic identification system.
China’s aggressive soft power diplomacy has widely been seen as arguably the most important element in shaping the Indian Ocean strategic environment, transforming the entire region’s dynamics. By providing large loans on generous repayment terms, investing in major infrastructure projects such as the building of roads, dams, ports, power plants,and railways, and offering military assistance and political support in the UN Security Council through its veto powers.