The Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) set up last year has started functioning as an information sharing hub of maritime data and “cuing incident responses” to maritime security situations through a collaborative approach.
The centre is actively interacting with the maritime community and has already built linkages with 18 countries and 15 multinational/maritime security centres.
The IFC-IOR was established with the vision of strengthening maritime security in the region and beyond, by building a common coherent maritime situation picture and acting as a maritime information hub for the region.
The IFC has been established at the Navy’s Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) in Gurugram, which is the single point centre linking all the coastal radar chains to generate a seamless real-time picture of the nearly 7,500-km coastline.
Through this Centre, information on “white shipping”, or commercial shipping, will be exchanged with countries in the regionto improve maritime domain awareness in the Indian Ocean.
Significance and the need:
The IOR has a diverse set of littorals and island nations, each with their unique needs, aspirations, interest and values. It is necessary to counter the Rise in maritime piracy in the region.
IFR-IRO would ensure that the entire region is benefited by mutual collaboration and exchange of information and understanding the concerns and threats which are prevalent in the region.
Why is the Indian Ocean is important?
It enjoys a privileged location at the crossroads of global trade, connecting the major engines of the international economy in the Northern Atlantic and Asia-Pacific. This is particularly important in an era in which global shipping has burgeoned.
Indian Ocean is also rich in natural resources. 40% of the world’s offshore oil production takes place in the Indian Ocean basin.
Fishing in the Indian Ocean now accounts for almost 15% of the world’s total.
Mineral resources are equally important, with nodules containing nickel, cobalt, and iron, and massive sulphide deposits of manganese, copper, iron, zinc, silver, and gold present in sizeable quantities on the sea bed.
Indian Ocean coastal sediments are also important sources of titanium, zirconium, tin, zinc, and copper. Additionally, various rare earth elements are present, even if their extraction is not always commercially feasible.