Defence Minister inaugurates Indian Navy's Information Fusion Centre
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has launched the Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region, which aims to engage with partner nations and multi-national maritime constructs to develop comprehensive maritime domain awareness and share information on vessels of interest.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on December 22, 2018 launched the Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) at Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) in Gurugram.
The inaugural event saw participation from officials belonging to different ministries and ambassadors and resident defence attaches of partner countries.
The Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region aims to engage with partner nations and multi-national maritime constructs to develop comprehensive maritime domain awareness and share information on vessels of interest.
The key intention of this collaborative endeavour will be to secure the global commons for a peaceful, stable and prosperous region towards the well-being of all.
• The IFC – IOR shall be a collaborative construct that will work with partners, countries as well as international agencies to enhance maritime security and safety.
• The centre would work towards capability building in the region, coordination of incident response and disaster relief, and in time, also share submarine safety information.
• It will help nations interface and integrate, wherein, they would benefit from each other’s best practices and expertise.
• It would also help foster bonds of trust, camaraderie and partnership, ingredients that are vital for relationships between nations to transcend from being merely transactional to ones that are transformational”.
• The information exchange at the IFC-IOR would be initially undertaken by virtual means, using telephone calls, faxes, emails and video conferencing over internet.
• Subsequently, to enable better interaction, quicker analysis of information and provide timely inputs, the IFC-IOR would host Liaison Officers from partner countries.
• Additionally, towards enhancing capability building, the IFC-IOR would undertake conduct of exercises and training capsules in maritime information collation and sharing.
The Indian Ocean Region is vital to world trade and economic prosperity of many nations, as more than 75 per cent of the world’s maritime trade and 50 per cent 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.
However, the scale, scope and the multi-national nature of maritime activities, make it difficult for countries to address these challenges individually.
Hence, collaborative efforts between maritime nations in the IOR, is essential.