PANAJI: Stressing on the need to adopt the latest technologies and scientific advancements to strengthen¬†India’s defence forces, including the Navy,¬†Goa governor Bharat Vir Wanchoo¬†said that the complexity of maritime threats and challenges called for an ‘evolved and comprehensive regime of responses’. Wanchoo was addressing officers and delegates at the inaugural of a seminar on ‘Structuring and strengthening regional security mechanisms and co-operative frameworks to meet¬†maritime security¬†challenges’, organized by¬†the Naval War College¬†on Thursday.¬†
“Maritime piracy, drugs, arms and human trafficking, terrorism, unreported and illegal fishing and maritime pollution are a few of the threats that impinge on the security as well as the socio-economic environment in a majority of the states in¬†the Indian Ocean region. It is also prone to serious natural disasters and human security against natural disasters has remained a key challenge in this region,” remarked Wanchoo, who has served tenures in the Intelligence Bureau and the Special Protection Group.
Pointing¬†out that all the nations in the¬†Indian ocean region¬†were looking towards ocean-based economy, he added, “Our priority areas should be maritime security and safety, disaster risk reduction, trade and investment facilitation, fisheries management, academic and science and technology cooperation and tourism and cultural exchanges. In fact, economic cooperation should be at the core of our cooperation,” he stressed.
“I would like to reiterate that given India’s geo-strategic location, the Indian Ocean and India cannot be mutually exclusive,” he said.
“It is essential to devise a regional plan of cooperative engagement towards the common goal for collective prosperity. More so, because if the Indian Ocean Region littorals fail in doing so, the extra-regional powers which seek recognition for their presence in the region to ensure stability by supporting maritime security will eventually dominate the region,” he warned.
Wanchoo explained, “This may not be in the best interest of our country which is the most capable in terms of resources and expertise to be the net security provider in the Indian Ocean region”.