18th April – Police reforms must be expedited

police reforms

In the run-up to the 2019 general elections national security has emerged as a major issue. To strengthen only external security and ignore internal security proves inadequate for effective national security management.

Concern –

On the internal security front, the lack of the our government’s political will to implement long-pending police and intelligence reforms amounts to a failure of good governance.

Need of reforms –

  • The intelligence agencies continue to be helmed and staffed predominantly by police personnel and others on deputation from various government services.
  • The rank and file of policemen across the country have their grievances with no effective redressal mechanism in place. For instance, in June 2016 the Karnataka Police planned a protest but was reined in by systemic checks and balances. The Haryana Police were unable to control law and order when godman Baba Ram Rahim was arrested in August 2017; besides, the February 2016 Jat agitation. Clearly that amounts to failure of the police machinery in the State.
  • Today, the country is vulnerable to externally-fostered internal security threats wherein jihadi terrorists from Pakistan strike targets not only in the border States of Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat — but also operate in the hinterland States like Karnataka or Tamil Nadu. Only the police and intelligence services can ensure strong internal security management.
  • The police are hobbled by political interference and the police chain of command does not really function because the subordinate police officers cultivate MLAs and Ministers to intervene on their behalf particularly their postings to different appointments. This hampers professional policing and investigations which is to the disadvantage of the common man.
  • Another aspect of police reform is linked to Intelligence reforms. Both the internal and external intelligence agencies are predominantly staffed with police officers and there have been several acts of omission and commission.

A shallow progress –

  • The Supreme Court directed the States to review the progress on police reforms in 2006 and cracked the whip on States which were reluctant to initiate reforms.
  • In July 2018, the Supreme Court once again reviewed the progress of States and UTs on this front.
  • Almost 23 States have ignored guidelines on appointment of DGPs. As of today, 12 States have not implemented the separation of investigation and law and order wings.

Way forward –

  • Police reforms include fixed tenures for Director Generals of Police (DGPs) and Superintendents of Police. Also, the DGPs should have a minimum residual service to ensure continuity and stability and avoid frequent leadership changes.
  • As much as the police as an institution requires reform to insulate it from political interference, the intelligence agencies too merit a review in terms of accountability, staffing and operations.
  • Unlike the police whose performance is tangible, the intelligence agencies work remains invisible and away from public gaze.

Conclusion –

Reforms will help the state police forces and intelligence agencies to evolve into professional organisations and avoid future failures of law and order and more importantly, provide security oriented to the common man.

SourceThe Hindu Business Line

Also Read: 17th April – State funding of elections

Defence Agreements With Russia

Details of Defence Agreements signed with Russia over the past five years is as under

  • Defence Agreements for training of Indian armed forces personnel in the military educational establishments of the Defence Ministry of the Russian Federation. (Date of signing 11.12.2014).
  • Agreement between the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation on cooperation in Aircraft flight safety. (Date of signing 21.01.2015).
  • Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Russian Federation on cooperation in the field of Helicopter Engineering. (Date of signing 24.12.2015).
  • Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of India on supply of S-400 Triumph Air Defence Missile systems to the Republic of India. (Date of signing 15.10.2016).
  • Defence Agreements between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of India for construction of follow-on-ships of project 11356 in Russia and in India (Date of signing 15.10.2016).

India-Russia defence relations

India and Russia have several major joint military programmes including –

  • BrahMos cruise missile programme
  • 5th generation fighter jet programme
  • Sukhoi Su-30MKI programme (230+ to be built by Hindustan Aeronautics)
  • Ilyushin/HAL Tactical Transport Aircraft

Additionally, India has purchased/leased various military hardware from Russia 

  • S-400 Triumf 12.
  • Kamov Ka-226 200 to be made in India under the Make in India initiative.
  • T-90S Bhishma with over 1000 to be built in India.
  • Akula-II nuclear submarine (2 to be leased with an option to buy when the lease expires).
  • INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier programme.
  • Tu-22M3 bombers (4 ordered).
  • US$900 million upgrade of MiG-29.
  • Mil Mi-17 (80 ordered) more in Service.
  • Ilyushin Il-76 Candid (6 ordered to fit Israeli Phalcon radar).
  • The Farkhor Air Base in Tajikistan is currently jointly operated by Indian Air Force and Tajikistan Air Force.

Defence Agreements | Conclusion

The Government makes all efforts to encourage greater manufacturing of defence equipment in India through the ‘Make in India’ framework, including through transfer of technology arrangements.  Several licensed production agreements have been implemented with Russian companies in India, such as for Sukhoi-30 aircraft, T-90 tanks, BMP-2 armoured personnel carriers etc. Divulging the texts of such Agreements will not be in the interest of national security.

Doklam Standoff – India China Border

Doklam StandoffDoklam Standoff near Bhutan between India and China is becoming a major concern, near the Chumbi Valley at the corner of India-China-Bhutan tri-junction. This month long border Doklam Standoff has become the longest ever between the two nations. This is also the first time when Indian troops have confronted the People’s Liberation Army of China on the soil of a third country i.e. Bhutan. There are two reasons for this standoff – India has a long standing commitment to Bhutan’s defence and serves as a virtual security guarantor to Bhutan through the 2007 friendship treaty. Secondly, the Doklam sector is critical to India as it brings China even closer to the Indian border in a vulnerable location towards the 27-kilometres long Siliguri Corridor or “Chicken’s neck” that connects the Northeastern states of India with the rest of India. China has repeatedly disputed Bhutan’s claims over Doklam. Beijing considers this plateau as vital to fortify the dagger-shaped Chumbi valley by piercing the tri-junction.

Doklam Standoff | History

Intrusions in Sikkim area may be new but there is a general pattern of such incursions are traced back to 2008 Beijing Olympics. In Ladakh and other places, the Chinese troops have been repeatedly working towards ingression in such areas. In 2009, the Chinese refused to give visas on Indian passports for several months for citizens of Jammu and Kashmir, including the Commander-in-Chief of the then Northern Command.Three factors started emerging in 2008 which are converging now in 2017 – the first being Pakistan’s renewed animosity against India which was earlier demonstrated during the Mumbai attacks, the second was the street rage which was demonstrated within the Kashmir valley, and the last being China’s attempts to stymie India’s growth trajectory while it still can do it in the long term.

Actually, the border dispute in the region dates back to the 19th century when the states in the region were expanding in the areas which were loose in nature – North East Frontier Agency, North West Frontier Agency by the British Empire, and the Qing dynasty under the warlordswas expanding the Empire in Tibet and Sichuan. The 1890 treaty was signed between the British Empire and the Qing dynasty in China, 1914 Shimla Agreement between the British Empire, the Tibetans and the nationalist China are the two agreements being cited by China to stake legal claims over the region. The treaty of 1890 was signed but the delineation and demarcation did not happen subsequently, specifically in the Sikkim sector. In the 1914 Shimla Agreement, China was represented by Ivan Chen, LonchenShatra represented Tibet and McMahon represented the British-India Empire, yet this agreement is labelled as Imperialist in nature by the Chinese authorities. They have ignored the 1885 Treaty between France-controlled Vietnam and the Qing dynasty at the time. Therefore, selectively implementing treaties according to their own convenience is the issue at hand with China.

It is being said that one of the objectives of China is to test India’s resolve to defend its ally Bhutan in the case of a border dispute turning into a war. This current Doklam Standoff around the tri-junction of India-China-Bhutan border is an extension to the policy of encirclement being pursued by the Chinese around India. India has spent too much time on the ‘principles of Panchsheel in dealing with an aggressive state like China, the current standoff between the two neighbours at a strategic territory is a reflection of the change in this decades old approach by India towards China.

The May 2015 ‘White Paper on National Defence’ by China talks about Chinese armed forces protecting China’s interests abroad. In November 2014, President Xi Jinping addressed the fourth Foreign Affairs Work Conference and mentioned that the foreign ministry has to protect the interests of China abroad. Hence, the Foreign Ministry and the military is now showcasing a synchronised effort to secure their strategic interests at the Tibet region. China has adopted a strategy of legal, media and psychological warfare which was initiated in 2005. China is playing a psychological warfare through its state controlled media, cash-controlled global think tanks and tactical strategies by the PLA troops on the ground to aggravate India to enter into a war. It is using legal strategies to point out that India is entering a third-country i.e. Bhutan, forgetting for the moment that the Chinese entered the Korean war in the 1950s.

Doklam Standoff | Present

China can roughly mobilise about 28-30 divisions in all in the case of a conventional war which includes mobilisation of around 5 divisions in the Sikkim-Bhutan sector, 8 in the Arunachal sector, about 3 divisions in Barahoti (middle sector of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh) and roughly about 14 divisions in the Western sector. These divisions would be mobilised through the narrow passages because of the high Tibetan plateau region that makes it easier for the Chinese to push through such forts. Currently, China possesses around 62-63 division in the PLA, out of which they would have to muster around half of the strength towards India which is actually difficult for them, considering the volatile situation in China’s other long boundaries with other hostile nations. In the Sikkim-Bhutan sector, the Chinese face geographical issues because India is at the high ground over the hills, so the casualties can roughly be regarded as 33,000 on the other side. Hence, the Chinese would take a backseat in the conventional warfront. At the sub-conventional level, it is quite possible that the 158 monasteries that India has in the trans-Himalayan belt will come under stress due to the current standoff between India and China. Therefore, India needs to worry more about the sub-conventional warfare techniques of China, more than the conventional warfare strategies because it is untenable for China to go for it.

India is successfully holding to all the semantics played by China and the Government is responding to such semantics with appropriate responses at the most opportune times. As rightly pointed out by the India’s Defence Minister ArunJaitley,

“India is not the same as that of 1962.”

Kashmir Terrorism – The Last Gasp or Not

The increase in Kashmir Terrorism and violence levels on the streets and participation of the local population became a cause for worry in 2016. The peace dividend achieved at great cost only a couple of years earlier seemed to be losing out to the mindlessness of violent mobs.

Kashmir Terrorism | Troubled waters

  • There was an enhanced local recruitment, especially within the ranks of the Hizb-ulMujahideen (HM).
  • A larger proportion of the new recruits came from South Kashmir, unlike in the past when North Kashmir was the hub of violence and terrorism.
  • The security forces were routinely the target of stone pelting mobs.
  • And finally, children and women had been pushed into the line of pellets and bullets due to relentless propaganda, coercion and the resultant cycle of violence.

Kashmir Terrorism | Analyzing the trends

All this indicate an upswing in the levels of violence and a hardening of approach by Pakistan, which controls and coordinates major terrorist groups like the LeT and HM. Contrary to this seemingly obvious conclusion, however, the reality could be the very opposite. In fact, we may well witness a shift in the ground situation in Kashmir.

Kashmir Terrorism | Lessons from the Punjab experience

  • Even as terrorism was at its peak in the state during 1980s and 90s, the criminalisation of terrorist groups had led to senseless violence, with humiliation and atrocities being unleashed against policemen and their families as well as common citizens. This led to a fight for survival between the people and the local police on one side and the terrorists on the other.
  • Given the nature of violent acts perpetrated by the terrorists, the struggle also became personal. The alienation of the population and victimisation of the local police turned the tide in favour of the State.
  • The gradual rise in terrorism in Punjab stood in contrast to its sudden elimination. Terrorists were hunted down without pity or remorse.

Replicating Punjab’s strategy in Kashmir

  • The misdirected angst of terrorists against policemen, their families, a defenceless Kashmiri army officer on leave and innocent pilgrims all appear to represent a sign of disarray in their ranks.
  • It is a reflection of the frustration that has surfaced against Kashmiris employed in the police and in the security forces as well as against the syncretic culture of tolerance prevalent in the state.
  • The debacle of terrorism in Punjab suggests that all this violence against security forces and policemen could push the common people who came for the funerals of terrorists to shift their loyalties.
  • The return of violence also sets back any possibility of bringing different groups to the negotiating table in the near future.

Shift on the ground

  • The turning of the tide through a series of counter terrorism operations seems to suggest that the shift is already underway. For instance, June 2017 witnessed a series of successful strikes by security forces against terrorists and especially their leaders. To a casual observer, this may seem to be a coincidence. But the reality is that these strikes were enabled by accurate intelligence provided by angry locals who may not be able to voice their dissent in public, given their fear of being targeted by terrorists, but have helped punish them for their wanton acts of violence.
  • For the common Kashmiri people, the Amarnath pilgrimage is an important event in the annual calendar that contributes significantly to their income. The attempt to disrupt it suggests a disconnect with the local economics of the region.The distancing of every segment of Kashmiri politics, population and even separatists from the Amarnath pilgrim attack is a clear indication of anger and frustration that seems to be building up against senseless acts of terrorism. It is also a reality check for Kashmiri leaders, both mainstream and separatist.
  • The decision of some within terrorist ranks to reject Kashmiriyat and secularism is likely to propagate a radical ideology that the present leadership in the state will be unable to reconcile with their own objectives.

Conclusion

If this reality does not lead to a rejection of senseless violence, it is a matter of time before the people and their police in Kashmir turn the tide of violence and defeat terrorism in conjunction with other security forces, as happened in Punjab.

Malabar Exercise 2017

Naval co-operation between India, US and Japan epitomises the strong and resilient relationship between the three democracies. The Malabar Exercise series, initiated in 1992 between the Indian and US Navies, have steadily grown in scope, complexity and participation into a multifaceted exercise with the participation of Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF).

Details of Malabar Exercise 2017

  • The 21st edition of the exercise, MALABAR-17 will be conducted in the Bay of Bengal from 10 to 17 July 2017.
  • The primary aim of this exercise is to increase interoperability amongst the three navies as well as develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations.
  • The scope of MALABAR-17 includes wide-ranging professional interactions during the Harbour Phase at Chennai and a diverse range of operational activities at sea.
  • The thrust of exercises at sea this year would be on Aircraft Carrier operations, Air Defence, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Surface Warfare, Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS), Search and Rescue, Joint Manoeuvres and Tactical procedures.

Indian Navy – Malabar Exercise

The Indian Navy will be represented by the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya with its air wing, guided missile destroyer Ranvir, indigenous stealth frigates Shivalik and Sahyadri, indigenous ASW corvette Kamorta, missile corvettes Kora and Kirpan, one Sindhughosh class submarine, fleet tanker INS Jyoti and Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft P8I. 

Conclusion | Malabar Exercise

MALABAR-17 will be another milestone with participation of 16 ships, two submarines and more than 95 aircraft, towards strengthening mutual confidence and inter-operability as well as sharing of best practices between the Indian, Japanese and US Navies. The exercise is a demonstration of the joint commitment of all three nations to address common maritime challenges across the spectrum of operations and will go a long way in enhancing maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region, for the benefit of the global maritime community.

Indo-China Border Skirmishes | Recent Updates

The territorial and boundary dispute between Indo-China is a complex, historical, multi-layered wrangle across a sprawling 3,500-kilometre-long border.

What is the current Indo-China issue?

  • At issue is sovereignty over a scenic, 4,000-metrehigh pasture called Doklam — less than 100 square kilometres in spread.
  • India claims that the Chumbi Valley, a dagger shaped wedge of Chinese territory protruding southward from the Tibetan plateau, ends north of Doklam at the Batang La pass.
  • China asserts ownership of Doklam, too, claiming the boundary runs south of the pasture, along the dominating Gyemo Chen mountain, which China calls Mount Gipmochi.
  • Complicating this otherwise straightforward dispute is Bhutan, since the tri-junction of the Sikkim-Tibet-Bhutan boundary falls here. Bhutan’s claims are supportive of India’s.

History of border disputes between Indo-China

  • The 1962 war was sparked off near Ziminthang by disagreement over whether the boundary ran along the Thagla Ridge, as India claimed, or along the Hathungla ridgeline to its south, as China contended.
  • The 1986 Sumdorong Chu confrontation, which saw India moving tens of thousands of troops to the trouble spot, was over the tiny Thangdrong grazing ground near Tawang, with India claiming the watershed ran north of that meadow, and China claiming it was to the south.
  • At Walong, too, at the eastern end of the Indo-China boundary, disagreement centres on which ridgeline constitutes the watershed.

Concerns of India

  • Many of the 14 sub-disputes on the LAC are over relatively inconsequential grazing grounds and meadows. However, the on-going standoff at tri-junction, at the southern tip of the Chumbi Valley, is over territory that both Beijing and New Delhi regard as strategically important.
  • Indian military planners worry that letting Beijing extend the boundary southwards to Mount Gipmochi would bring China closer to the Siliguri corridor.
  • Assuming that China obtained control over the Siliguri corridor, India could simply bypass the corridor, moving through Nepal or Bangladesh.

Chumbi Valley – China’s vulnerability

  • Of all China’s border vulnerabilities, the Chumbi Valley is perhaps the greatest. It is a narrow salient overlooked by Indian defences, which can cut off the valley from Tibet by wheeling east from north Sikkim.
  • Strategists regard the capture of the Chumbi Valley as an obvious wartime target for India’s “mountain strike corps” when it is operational. By extending the Chumbi Valley southwards, therefore, China would only be expanding a key vulnerability.

Chinese argument over Doklam plateau

  • China’s foreign ministry spokesperson spelt out in tedious detail last week, the 1890 Anglo-Chinese Convention Relating to Sikkim and Tibet specifically mentioned Mount Gipmochi as tri-junction of China, India and Bhutan. True, Beijing rejects as “colonial impositions” other British era agreements, like the 1914 Simla Convention that birthed the McMahon Line. But, there is a difference — China actually signed the 1890 agreement, and not the 1914 one.
  • Beijing also argues that Jawaharlal Nehru endorsed the 1890 agreement in a 1959 letter to Zhou Enlai.
  • Beijing also cites a pastureland claim over Doklam, arguing that the yak graziers of Yadong have long held grazing rights over Doklam, and that graziers from Bhutan paid a “grass tax” to Yadong graziers if they wanted to herd there.
  • China’s foreign ministry claims the Tibet Archives still possess “grass tax” receipts from earlier times. The grazier argument is a powerful one in border lands peopled by nomadic herders. Both China and India use it to back their territorial claims in other disputed sectors.

Current position of India

  • Although Beijing has made Indian withdrawal a precondition for de-escalating the Doklam faceoff, Indian forces are showing no sign of blinking.
  • Over the preceding decade, India’s defensive posture has been greatly stiffened by raising two new divisions in the Northeast; an armoured brigade each for Ladakh and the Northeast; a mountain strike corps currently being raised and major improvements in India’s air defence and air strike capabilities.
  • Whereas once, China bullied India on the LAC and — as it is attempting in Doklam — built roads, tracks and bunkers as “facts on the ground” to consolidate its position in any future negotiation; today the Indian Army is rightly willing to, and capable of, physically blocking such attempts.

Conclusion Indo-China

There has been no shooting on the Indo-China LAC since 1975, a peace bolstered by the successful “Peace and Tranquillity Agreement” that New Delhi and Beijing signed in 1993. Paradoxically, India’s pro-active Indo-China LAC stance is creating incentives in Beijing for a LAC settlement. Yet, calibrating the aggression and managing each patrol confrontation remain tricky balancing acts. Until a Indo-China LAC agreement comes about, New Delhi must develop the instruments and expertise needed for managing such crises.

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India’s Longest Bridge

  • PM inaugurates Dhola-Sadiya bridge over river Brahmaputra: says enhanced connectivity of the North East a priority for the Government.
  • Highways projects worth Rs 1, 50,000 crores to be taken up in the North East in the next two years.
  • The Union Government has decided to name the Dhola-Sadiya bridge after the great musician, lyricist, and poet, Bhupen Hazarika.

Introduction | India’s Longest Bridge

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, inaugurated India’s longest bridge – the 9.15 km long Dhola-Sadiya bridge over the River Brahmaputra, in Assam.

Significance | India’s Longest Bridge

  • The bridge will ensure 24X7 connectivity between upper Assam and Eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh, marking a major transformation from the ferry-based, day-only connectivity that collapsed during floods.
  • It will also reduce the distance and travel time between the two states. The distance between Rupai on NH- 37 in Assam to Meka/Roing on NH-52 in Arunachal Pradesh will be cut down by 165 KM. The travel time between the two places will come down from the current six hours to just one hour – a total five-hour reduction.

More details | India’s Longest Bridge

The total length of the Dhola-Sadiya Bridge project, including the approach roads on each side, is 28.50 km. The length of the bridge itself is 9.15 Km. It has been constructed on BOT-Annuity basis at a total cost of Rs 2,056 crore, as part of the Arunachal Package of Roads and Highways under the Ministry’s SPECIAL ACCELERATED ROAD DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME for NORTH EAST (SARDP-NE). The objective was to bring the people of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh closer to each other.

SIMBEX 2017 Bilateral Naval Exercise Commences

As part of SIMBEX 2017, the ongoing Bilateral Naval Exercise between Navies of the Republic of Singapore and India, Indian Naval Ships Shivalik, Sahyadri, Jyoti and Kamorta and one P8-I Maritime Patrol and Anti-Submarine Warfare Aircraft are participating.

About SIMBEX 2017

  • SIMBEX is an acronym for “Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercises”. Bilateral cooperation between Singapore and India was first formalized when RSN ships began training with the Indian Navy in 1994.
  • This year’s edition of SIMBEX 2017 being held in the South China Sea would be the 24th in the series and is aimed to increase interoperability between the RSN and IN as well as develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations.
  • The scope of the current exercise includes wide-ranging professional interactions during the Harbour Phase scheduled from 18 May to 20 May and a diverse range of operational activities at sea during the Sea Phase to be held from 21 May to 24 May.
  • The thrust of exercises at sea this year would be on Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), integrated operations with Surface, Air and Sub-surface forces, Air Defence and Surface Encounter Exercises. 

Highlights of SlMBEX 2017

  • During SlMBEX-17, the Singapore Navy is represented by RSN Ships Supreme, Formidable and Victory and Maritime Patrol Aircraft Fokker F50 in addition to the RSAF F-16 aircraft. 
  • The two navies share a long-standing relationship with regular professional interactions that include exchange programs, staff talk, and training courses.

Boost To Transform Domestic Nuclear Industry

In a significant decision to fast-track India’s domestic nuclear power program, and give a push to country’s nuclear industry, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for construction of 10 units of India’s indigenous Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR)The total installed capacity of the Plants will be 7000 MW. The 10 PHWR project will result in a significant augmentation of nuclear power generation capacity.

Focus – Cabinet approves construction of 10 units of India’s indigenous Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR)

Analysis

  • India has current installed nuclear power capacity of 6780 MW from 22 operational plants.
  • Another 6700 MWs of nuclear power is expected to come on-stream by 2021-22 through projects presently under construction.
  • In a first of its kind project for India’s nuclear power sector, the ten new units will come up in the fleet mode as a fully home-grown initiative. It would be one of the flagship “Make in India” projects in this sector.

Significance

  • With likely manufacturing orders of close to 70,000 crores to the domestic industry, the project will help transform Indian nuclear industry by linking our goal of a strong nuclear power sector with our indigenous industrial capacities in high-end technologies.
  • This Project will bring about substantial economies of scale and maximize cost and time efficiencies by adopting fleet mode for execution. It is expected to generate more than 33,400 jobs in direct and indirect employment. With manufacturing orders to domestic industry, it will be a major step towards strengthening India’s credentials as a major nuclear manufacturing powerhouse.
  • The ten reactors will be part of India’s latest design of 700 MW PHWR fleet with state-of-art technology meeting the highest standards of safety.
  • The approval also marks a statement of strong belief in the capability of India’s scientific community to build our technological capacities. The design and development of this project is a testament to the rapid advances achieved by India’s nuclear scientific community and industry. It underscores the mastery our nuclear scientists have attained over all aspects of indigenous PHWR technology. India’s record of building and operating PHWR reactors over the last nearly forty years is globally acclaimed.  
  • The Cabinet’s decision reflects the Government’s commitment to prioritize the use of clean power in India’s energy mix, as part of low-carbon growth strategy and to ensure long-term base load requirement for the nation’s industrialization.
  • It also supports India’s commitment to sustainable development, energy self-sufficiency and bolsters global efforts to combat climate change.

International Maritime Review | PIB Summary

Admiral Sunil Lamba, Chief of the Naval Staff, is on an official tour to Singapore from 15 May 2017. The Admiral will be attending the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) 50th International Maritime Review (IMR), commemorating 50 years of the RSN which was formed on 05 May 1967, and International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (IMDEX) 2017. Besides attending the IMR and IMDEX 17, the visit aims to consolidate existing Maritime Cooperation initiatives as well as explore new avenues.

India – Singapore defence cooperation | International Maritime Review

  • Defence cooperation between India and Singapore is robust and is primarily focused towards Maritime Cooperation. India signed a Defence Cooperation Agreement in 2003, which was renewed in 2015.
  • Indian Navy and Singapore Navy are partners in the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), a Maritime Cooperation construct, conceptualized and pioneered by Indian Navy in 2008. Singapore Navy has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Indian Navy to take this 21st century maritime construct forward. Both countries have been conducting the bilateral exercise ‘SIMBEX’ since 1994. The next edition of the exercise is scheduled to be conducted off Singapore from 18 to 24 May 2017.
  • Both navies also engage in Navy to Navy Staff Talks, which commenced in 2004. The 12thStaff Talks were conducted in March 2017 and the 13th Staff Talks are scheduled to be held in 2018.
  • The Singapore Navy has participated in all the MILAN-series interactions organized at Port Blair by the Indian Navy. Warships of both countries regularly visit each other’s ports.
  • The last visit by the Chief of the Naval Staff of the Indian Navy was by Admiral RK Dhowan in 2015 and the Singaporean Naval Chief Rear Admiral Lai Chung Han last visited India in Feb 2016 for the IFR 16 at Visakhapatnam. Both countries also enjoy healthy training cooperation by means of trainee and instructor exchange programs. 

Maritime cooperation | International Maritime Review

India – Singapore share similar maritime challenges such as coastal security, large coastal shipping and fishing fleet, wherein both navies have opportunities to learn from each other’s experiences. In addition, ground exists for cooperation on a number of issues common to both navies.