National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval participated in the first meeting of the Multi-Agency Maritime Security Group (MAMSG).
Key highlights –
- Indian Ocean is now witness to rivalries and competitions —
- In the changing geopolitical scenario, the Indian Ocean, which has been an ocean of peace, is gradually becoming competitive.
- The region has the potential to witness clash of interests. Hence, India needs to be vigilant in order to protect its interests.
- Security at the high seas and economic wellbeing is inextricably linked —
- He said security at the high seas and economic wellbeing is inextricably linked and all stakeholders must work unitedly.
- The more India develops, the more assets it creates, greater would be the vulnerability and the need for security in the maritime domain.
- India will not be able to become the power it deserves to be unless it has a very strong maritime system.
- Maritime borders are different from land borders —
- One cannot fence the maritime borders, and that disputes in seas are resolved through international norms and laws, while land disputes are bilateral in nature.
Multi-Agency Maritime Security Group –
- MAMSG was formed in November 2021 with an aim to develop better coordination between different maritime security agencies and ministries of the country.
- It works directly under the National Security Council secretariat (NSCS).
- The National Security Council is a three-tiered organisation consisting of Strategic Policy Group (SPG); the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) and the National Security Council Secretariat.
- The council oversees political, economic, energy and security issues of strategic concern.
- NSA is the Chairperson of NSCS.
- In February 2022, G Ashok Kumar was appointed as India’s first Coordinator of MAMSG – also known as national maritime security coordinator.
- It has the responsibility of coordinating between all the agencies involved in maritime security and maritime civil issues as well.
- He will be the principal advisor to the government on maritime security domain and will act as a nodal point for all issues related to maritime security.
- Role — The MAMSG is envisaged to –
- provide a standing and effective mechanism to ensure coordination of all aspects of maritime security including coastal and offshore security, and
- fill the institutional, policy, technological and operational gaps in meeting present and future security challenges.
- The group will also address maritime contingencies requiring an urgent and coordinated response.