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Why in news?

  • The Navy will formally inaugurate the Information Fusion Centre (IFC) for the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

Highlights:

  • This center will provide information on “white shipping”, or commercial shipping, which will be exchanged with countries in the region to improve maritime domain awareness in the Indian Ocean.
  • White-shipping refers to commercial shipping information about movement of cargo ships.
  • The IFC has been established at the Navy’s Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) in Gurugram, which is the single point centre linking all the coastal radar chains to generate a seamless real-time picture of the nearly 7,500-km coastline.
  • All countries that have signed white shipping information exchange agreements with India, about 21 of them, are IFC partners.

Significance:

  • The IFC-IOR is established with the vision of strengthening maritime security in the region and beyond, by building a common coherent maritime situation picture and acting as a maritime information hub for the region.
  • Establishment of the IFR-IRO would ensure that the entire region is benefited by mutual collaboration and exchange of information and understanding the concerns and threats which are prevalent in the region.
  • This will help in addressing issues related to Piracy by mutual coordination with other countries.
  • This will also help in tackling the growing influence of china in the region.

Challenges in IOR:

  • The Indian Ocean Region is vital to world trade and economic prosperity of many nations.
  • 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.

Trans Regional Maritime Network (T-RMN):

  • India has signed the ascension agreement to join the Trans Regional Maritime Network (T-RMN).
  • The pact will give India the access to information on ships which pass through the Indian Ocean region that will greatly help the security forces in keeping a tab on any suspicious activity.
  • The multilateral construct comprises of 30 countries and is steered by Italy.
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