Whither Indian Ocean Maritime Order? Contributions to a Seminar on Narendra Modi’s SAGAR Speech

Yogendra Kumar

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Prime Minister Modi articulated his vision for the future of the Indian Ocean region when he presented the Offshore Patrol Vessel Barracuda to the Mauritian Coast Guard on March 12, 2015, at Port Louis. Such authoritative statement on Indian Ocean by an Indian leader has not been made for a long time. It evoked considerable interest amongst strategic analysts everywhere. Whilst infusing a soft civilisational complexion to India’s envisaged role, it signifies, also, a determination to seek a future of ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region’ – or SAGAR (Hindi for ‘sea’).

As Indian Ocean assumes greater significance in the wake of profound geo-strategic shifts and multitudinous challenges to regional stability, there is universal interest in India’s policy approach and capabilities toward the shaping of a stable maritime order. The Indian political leadership is conscious of the evolving strategic situation and its implications for the country’s security and well-being; it, at the same time, feels that the current circumstances are propitious for such a policy to be successful in substantial measure. Its benign external image and US and other countries’, especially regional, support for more proactive engagement provide the wellspring for its determination that the Indian Ocean’s challenges should be met by the countries of the region itself even as the legitimate interests of outside powers can be accommodated.

The eminent contributors to this volume analyse the various components of the SAGAR pronouncement and contextualise them against the emerging strategic trends and the spectrum of bilateral and multilateral effort required for its success.

Mr Yogendra Kumar has been India’s Ambassador to Tajikistan and the Philippines as well as High Commissioner to Namibia. He has been concurrently accredited to Palau, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands.


Contents
Acknowledgements
SECTION I
Foreword
S JAISHANKAR, Foreign Secretary of India
Introduction
YOGENDRA KUMAR, former Ambassador
A Strategic Perspective
SHYAM SARAN, Chairman, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), former Foreign Secretary of India, former Chairman, National Security Advisory Board

SECTION II
1. Mapping the Maritime Order from International Relations’ Theoretical Perspectives SANJAY CHATURVEDI, Professor, Centre for Study of Geopolitics, University of Punjab, Chandigarh
2. Traditional Security Challenges to the Maritime Order in the Indian Ocean Region SATISH SONI, Vice Admiral (Retd.), former Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, former Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, Indian Navy 3. Non-Traditional Security Challenges to the Maritime Order in the Indian Ocean Region
AJAY MATHUR, Director General, The Energy Research Institute (TERI), New Delhi, SAURABH BHARDWAJ and NITYA NANDA, Fellows at TERI

SECTION III
4. Overview of Governance Structures for the Indian Ocean Region LEELA K PONAPPA, India Chair, the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP), former Deputy National Security Adviser of India, former Ambassador
5. Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) KV BHAGIRATH, Secretary General, Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)
6. Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) P K GHOSH, Senior Fellow, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi
7. Ways to Strengthen Cooperation between BIMSTEC and IORA PRABIR DE, Professor, RIS, New Delhi

SECTION IV
8. Indian Diplomacy for the Indian Ocean Region RENU PALL, former head of Indian Ocean division, Ministry External Affairs, Ambassador to Austria
9. Diplomatic Role for the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard GOPAL SURI, Commodore, Indian Navy, Senior Fellow, Vivekanand International Foundation, New Delhi
10. Diplomatic Outreach in the Shipping Sector DEEPAK SHETTY, former Director General, Shipping, Secretary to the Government of India
11. Diplomatic Role for Ministry of Earth Sciences K SOMASUNDER, Adviser, Ministry of Earth Sciences, New Delhi and M N RAJEEVAN, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences Appendix A: Proposed Revised Ocean Policy Statement for
Blue Economy of India
K SOMASUNDER, Adviser, Ministry of Earth Sciences,
SECTION V 12. Strategic Overview of India’s Maritime Challenges ARVIND GUPTA, Deputy National Security Adviser of India

SECTION VI
Epilogue
YOGENDRA KUMAR, former Ambassador
Annexure
Prime Minister’s SAGAR Speech
Contributors’ Profile
S Jaishankar
Shyam Saran
Sanjay Chaturvedi
Satish Soni
Ajay Mathur
Saurabh Bhardwaj
Nitya Nanda
Leela K Ponappa
K V Bhagirath
Probal Ghosh
Prabir De
Renu Pall
Gopal Suri
Deepak Shetty
K Somasunder
M N Rajeevan
Arvind Gupta
Yogendra Kumar

Yogendra Kumar

 

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