[Answered] Discuss the need for a comprehensive “maritime vision” and articulating it into a “National Strategy for Maritime Security”.

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Explain the need for a comprehensive “maritime vision” and articulating it into a “National Strategy for Maritime Security”.

Conclusion: Write a way forward.

India comprises a significant size maritime sector with 12 Major and 200+ Non-Major Ports situated along its 7500 km long coastline and a vast network of navigable waterways. The country’s maritime sector plays a crucial role in its overall trade and growth, with 95% of the country’s trade volume and 65% of the trade value being undertaken through maritime transport.

Need for a comprehensive maritime vision:

  • Develop best-in-class Port infra structure: The 12 Major Indian Ports have witnessed just about -4 % CAGR growth in overall cargo traffic over last 5 years. Given the evolving global shipping market, India needs to upgrade its port infrastructure to increase its market share.
  • Cost Competitiveness: The overall logistics cost in India is higher than best-in-class benchmarks, primarily as a result of larger hinterland distances and higher unit costs. To be globally competitive, the India Ports must drive mechanization and adoption of technology to improve productivity.
  • Enhance Logistics Efficiency: With an aim to achieve ~5% share in world exports, India’s exports need to grow aggressively in next 5 to 10 years and it is imperative for Indian Ports to strengthen maritime capabilities and improve ease of doing business.
  • Inland Waterways: is imperative to increase share of the country’s inland waterways as they are highly economical and an eco-friendly mode of transport.
  • Promote Ocean, Coastal and River Cruise Sector: The Indian cruise industry is growing at over -3 5 % due to multiple government interventions in the last 3 years. Over the next decade, the Indian cruise market has the potential to increase by eight times driven by rising demand and disposable incomes.
  • The ship’s major systems, including gas-turbine engines, guns, missiles and radars, are imported.
  • Foreign origin of aviation-related facilitiessuch as workshops, aircraft lifts, arrestor-wires and landing-aids, vital for flying operations.
  • The case for IAC-2 remains in indeterminate state even as China awaits the third ship in its carrier-building programme and envisions a carrier-led Indian Ocean task force.

In the half-century since the Bangladesh War, our navy has emerged as a compact but potent and professional force. The navy’s role must be spelt out, and its force architecture defined as well as funded, accordingly.

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