Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh (File Photo)
NEW DELHI: Against the backdrop of increasing Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean Region, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh on Friday said India has the resources, assets and domain expertise for mapping, monitoring and enforcing “good order” at sea.
In an address at a seminar, Admiral Singh also asserted that the Indian Navy remained focused on contributing its “might” to support the government’s efforts on realising the potential of the blue economy.
“We have the resources, assets and domain expertise for mapping, characterising, monitoring as well as enforcing good order at sea. The Navy’s aim is to create an enabling ecosystem that supports the blue economy,” he said.
Admiral Singh also said that his force is supporting organisations like Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) in their efforts towards developing a common vision in developing the blue economy.
“The 23-member grouping has emphasised development of the blue economy through a common vision for balanced economic development in the Indian Ocean Rim,” he said at the seminar on the role of maritime forces in promoting a blue economy.
The Navy Chief said that the blue economy holds out promise and hope as a new frontier and engine of global growth in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic wrecking economies around the world.
“The prime minister has laid emphasis on India emerging as one of the leading blue economies of the world, with all maritime stakeholders joining hands to achieve this task,” he said.
“The Indian Navy is a key stakeholder in realising this vision and its strength lies in ensuring safety, security and good order at sea. This is critical to enable commerce and trade to thrive in a stable and sustainable manner,” the Navy Chief said.
Referring to the Indian Navy’s maritime domain awareness efforts, he said it is focused on preventing “inimical activities” at sea which can deprive nations of their rightful blue economic dividend.
There have been mounting concerns in the Indian Ocean Region about growing Chinese assertiveness including Beijing’s exploitation of marine resources.
“I wish to assure you all that the Navy remains focussed on contributing its might to support blue economy efforts of the government of India, and indeed, the region,” he said.
The Indian Ocean, considered the backyard of the Indian Navy, is critical for India’s strategic interests.
China has been making concerted efforts to increase its presence in the region.
The Indian Navy has been ramping up presence in the Indian Ocean to keep a hawk-eyed vigil over Chinese activities.