Colombo Security Conclave [UPSC Current Affairs]

The Colombo Security Conclave (CSC) was established in 2011 as a trilateral maritime security grouping that includes India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. In this article, you can read all about the Colombo Security Conclave, its functioning, members, significance, etc. for the IAS exam.

Colombo Security Conclave (CSC)

Colombo Security Conclave CSC

The Colombo Security Conclave is a regional security grouping initially formed in 2011 as a trilateral Indian Ocean maritime security grouping of India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. 

  • It was revived again in 2021 and the Conclave has since expanded both its membership as well as its scope.
  • CSC now includes:
    • Members
      • India
      • Sri Lanka
      • Maldives
      • Mauritius
    • Observers
      • Bangladesh 
      • Seychelles
  • Aim: To create a platform for closer cooperation in maritime security and address the challenges such as narco-trafficking, human trafficking, piracy, terrorism and extremism.

Pillars of Cooperation

  • Initially, there were four areas of cooperation mentioned in the conclave.
  • The recent edition of the conclave (2022) saw the addition of “humanitarian assistance and disaster relief” as the fifth area of cooperation.

Colombo Security Conclave Significance

The conclave that emphasizes military and security collaboration, gains significance in the region, in the context of the current geopolitical situation.

  • Maritime security – the conclave conducts “CSC Focused Operation” which plays a key role in keeping the Indian Ocean safe and secure for commercial shipping, international trade and conduct of legitimate maritime activities.
  • Exchange of information – it further improves the existing harmony in the region through timely exchange of information.
  • Cooperation between agencies – the conclave will aid in greater understanding and interoperability between the security agencies.
  • Cybersecurity – the grouping helps in addressing key challenges such as Deep Web, Dark Net, Digital Forensics, Cyber Threat intelligence; and Defensive Operations in Cyber Domain.
  • Tackling environmental hazards – recent incidents like that of MV Xpress Pearl, MT New Diamond, and MV Wakashio caused wide-scale marine pollution in the Indian Ocean. The conclave also focuses its attention in this regard.

Colombo Security Conclave and India

  • India has a large coastline along with islands of strategic importance, this makes maritime security an utmost priority for the country.
  • Closer cooperation among regional partners will aid India’s efforts to ensure security and stability in the region.
  • The members of the grouping like the Maldives have increased their engagements with the QUAD which is again a key security grouping that India is a member of.
  • This will help India extend its influence in the region.
  • The “minilateral” conclave is mainly driven by India and is seen as India’s outreach to the Indian Ocean to underline regional cooperation and shared security objectives. 
  • Through CSC, India can restrict China’s growing dominance in the region and reduce the Chinese influence on the member countries.
  • The grouping is also in line with India’s vision of “SAGAR: Security and Growth for all in the Region”.
  • India has strong bilateral relations with each of the member and observer countries and the grouping will further assist in regional cohesion and collaboration. 

Way forward

  • India should look to extend its soft power in the Indian Ocean region by taking up measures that help in the overall development of countries in the region.
  • India has extended help to countries like Mauritius and Seychelles in the recent past.
  • Since the grouping has a large potential and scope, India should look to expand the grouping by urging other countries in the region, especially countries from Africa to join the conclave.
  • India must also work to increase the capacity of the conclave by sharing technology, extending training facilities, supplying equipment and upgrading coastal security installations with the member countries.

Colombo Security Conclave:- Download PDF Here

Frequently Asked Questions on Colombo Security Conclave


What is the Columbo Security Conclave?

The Colombo Security Conclave was formed in 2011 as a trilateral Indian Ocean maritime security grouping.


Who are the members of the Columbo Security Conclave?

The members of CVC include India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Mauritius.


What are the key areas of cooperation in the Columbo Security Conclave?

The key areas of cooperation include maritime security, human trafficking, counterterrorism, cybersecurity, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Related Links
India – Sri Lanka relations India – Maldives relations
India – Mauritius relations India – Bangladesh relations
Project Elephant Tiger Conservation in India



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