National Maritime Security Coordinator

Latest context: The government is likely to appoint a National Maritime Security Coordinator two decades after the Kargil Group of Ministers’ recommendation to ensure cohesive and quicker decision-making among multiple organisations that are handling maritime issues in India. Aspirants would find this topic very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.

About National Maritime Security Coordinator

  • The maritime security coordinator will work under the NSA and will be the principal adviser to the government on the maritime security domain.
  • The NMSC will head the National Maritime Commission (NMC), which will coordinate with all organisations such as the Indian Navy, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG), the shipping ministries and the ports. The security coordinator is likely to report to the National Security Advisor (NSA)

Objective of NMSC

Setting up the National Maritime Security Coordinator (NMSC) aims to create an interface between the civilian and military maritime domains to enhance India’s security architecture and energy security.

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Need for National Maritime Security Coordinator

  • Experts say that the Navy, Coast Guard, and state maritime boards tend to work in silos with overlapping jurisdictions and are constantly at odds with each other.
  • Historically, India has suffered from sea blindness with land-based security doctrines.
  • Geostrategically, it has about 7,000km of coastline and over 2 million sq. km of Exclusive Economic Zone.
  • Over 70% of Indian trade, including crude oil, is transported through the sea, and the protection of sea shipping lanes is important to the security of India.
  • The Indian government is also clearing the Deep Ocean Mission for the blue water economy. So strengthening maritime security is required to protect our projects.
  • As per security experts, China is moving towards a sea-based security doctrine and is penetrating into the Indian Ocean through Pakistan and Myanmar. The post of NMSC is important for maritime and energy security, as Beijing plans to reach the eastern seaboard of Africa through the Indian maritime domain.
  • The creation of NMSC is conceived as a part of India’s Act East Policy vision. It also includes SAGAR (Security and Growth of All in the Region), the Deep Ocean Mission, and the Sagarmala project to make India’s 13 major ports world-class.

India’s Initiatives in the Maritime Security Domain

  • White shipping agreements with 22 countries in the Indian Ocean have helped in enabling a comprehensive picture of maritime traffic.
  • GSAT-7A(India’s military satellite) will soon facilitate a real-time sharing of maritime information with partners.
  • The Indian Navy undertakes patrolling in the Offshore Development Areas(ODAs), and Sagar Prahari Bal (SPB) is a specialised force that undertakes patrolling of naval harbours.
  • Mission SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) promotes the idea of India as a ‘security provider’ and ‘preferred partner’ in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The Indian Navy has inducted two Sea Guardian drones on lease from the United States, to enhance surveillance of oversensitive sea areas.
  • Nine P-81 surveillance aircraft help the navy in surveillance activities.

National Maritime Security Coordinator (UPSC Notes):-Download PDF Here

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