• Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman, the Honourable Raksha Mantri, launched the Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR), at Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) Gurugram.
Background of this program launched
• The Indian Ocean Region is vital to world trade and economic prosperity of many nations as more than 75% of the world’s maritime trade and 50% of global oil consumption passes through the IOR.
• However, maritime terrorism, piracy, human and contraband trafficking, illegal and unregulated fishing, arms running and poaching pose myriad challenges to maritime safety and security in the region.
• Response to these challenges requires enhanced situational awareness of the maritime activities in the region so as to enable security agencies function effectively.
• However, the scale, scope and the multi-national nature of maritime activities, make it difficult for countries to address these challenges individually. Hence, collaborative efforts between maritime nations in the IOR, is essential.
• Towards this, the IFC-IOR aims to engage with partner nations and multi-national maritime constructs to develop comprehensive maritime domain awareness and share information on vessels of interest.
• The intention of this collaborative endeavour shall be to secure the global commons for a peaceful, stable and prosperous region towards the well-being of all.
• The information exchange at the IFC-IOR would be initially undertaken by virtual means, using telephone calls, faxes, emails and video conferencing over internet.
• It has to enable better interaction, quicker analysis of information and provide timely inputs, the IFC-IOR would host Liaison Officers from partner countries.
• Additionally, towards enhancing capability building, the IFC-IOR would undertake conduct of exercises and training capsules in maritime information collation and sharing.
• The IFC-IOR website is accessible through https://www.indiannavy.nic.in/ifc-ior/index.html and will be hosted as an independent portal in due course of time.
Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional & global groupings & agreements involving India &/or affecting India’s interests
Prelims level: IFC-IOR
Mains level: Enhancing maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region