Maritime Security
Oct 21, 2016

The Department of National Security Studies, Central University of Jammu organised a special lecture on “India’s Maritime Security: Issues and Concerns” at the University main campus in Bagala, Samba, Jammu on 21 October 2016. The lecture was delivered by Professor S. Utham Kumar Jamadhagni, Head, Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, University of Madras.

Prof Mallika Joseph, introducing the speaker, highlighted the importance of maritime security in India’s strategic outlook. Quoting the popular adage whoever controls the Indian Ocean controls the World, she spoke of the empires in their attempt to conquer the Indian Ocean and thereby gain global dominance.Prof Uttam Kumar commenced his presentation expressing the strategic significance of maritime security. He defined the objectives of India’s maritime strategy in detail and explained how oceans play a major role in contributing to a nation’s prosperity. The primary and secondary interests of maritime problems were well discussed by bringing out the value of choke points in the sea. He described the strength of the Indian Navy and how it plays an important role for state policy, military and diplomatic mission and India’s national security.

Major concerns on sea based traditional threats and non traditional threats including maritime terrorism, piracy, arms smuggling, illegal fishing and drug trafficking were well covered during the presentation. He also touched upon maritime environmental issues on marine pollution, damage to eco system and predicament caused by oil spill in sea. Complexities of security issues such as the much talked about Chinese strategy of “Strings of Pearls” and the Great Game in Indian Ocean were also highlighted during the talk. Conflict and cooperation between India and other countries in bilateral and multi-lateral levels on the ocean was also flagged in his lecture.
The lecture was followed by a lively interaction between the speaker and audience. There were queries especially from students on ship building, illegal migration, piracy, surveillance, marine laws, India-Sri Lanka maritime affairs etc.

It was indeed a rare opportunity to have a discussion on maritime affairs in this part of the country where the discussion on security is clouded by beleaguered India Pakistan bilateral relationship and violence in Kashmir. The Department of National Security Studies constantly strives to introduce fresh perspectives on comprehensive aspect of security, and endeavours to bridge the gap between policy and research through these interactive sessions.