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In this episode of National Security Conversations, Dr Happymon Jacob speaks with Dr Rahul Roy-Chaudhury, senior fellow for South Asia at The International Institute for Strategic Studies, London, about the growing significance of the Indian Ocean in the Indian strategic imagination.
Roy-Chaudhury explains the economic and energy dependence based on sea-lanes of communication that criss-cross the Indian Ocean. While he lauds India’s appointment of its first National Maritime Security Coordinator earlier this year, he also draws attention to glaring inadequacies in India’s naval capacity.
Focusing on the geopolitics of the Western Indian Ocean, he highlights the importance of deepening India’s security relationship with the littoral states and extra-regional powers like the UK, US, France, among others. He makes a case for greater cooperation between India and the UK in the Western Indian Ocean. He also stresses the importance of maritime domain awareness, maritime surveillance and intelligence sharing. Roy-Chaudhuri also addresses the China factor and its growing influence in the Indian Ocean.