Saturday, December 4, 2021

India to get National Maritime Security Coordinator for maritime security


To enhance security architecture in maritime domain, Prime Minister Narendra Modi government led Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has approved the appointment of National Maritime Security Coordinator (NMSC) to interface between the civilian and military maritime domain.

The Coordinator will ensure effective coordination and cohesive policy-making among the central and state departments dealing with sea affairs from the coastline to the high seas.

Fulfilling the long needed requirement

The creation of the post of National Maritime Security Coordinator (NMSC) was a long needed requirement for keeping the country’s sea safer. It is noteworthy that the Maritime Security Coordinator will directly report to the Indian National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and will be the principal advisor to the government on maritime security domain.

Importantly, a retired or serving Vice Admiral of the Navy (equivalent to a Lt-General in the Army) is likely to be appointed to the post.

Bringing Synergistic Coordination

The prime objective of the National Maritime Security Coordinator will be ensuring synergistic coordination among the various authorities, which ranges from central ministries and departments (external affairs, defence, home, shipping, fisheries etc) and state governments to the Navy, Coast Guard, customs, intelligence agencies and port authorities. Additionally, the Coordinator will also look after some of the technology aspects as well.

Focus on Blue Economy

India has a 7,516-km long coastline including island territories and a two million sq km exclusive economic zone. Additionally, with 90% of the trade by volume and over 70 per cent of Indian trade including vital crude oil transported through sea and protection of sea shipping lanes is vital to India’s security.

The Union Government has also launched the ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ for the blue water economy. The mission has been implemented under the aegis of the Ministry of Earth Sciences at a total budget of Rs. 4,077 Crore for a period of 5 years. Deep Ocean Mission will be a mission mode project to support the Blue Economy Initiatives of the Government of India.

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