Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has inaugurated the Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre (IFC) that aims to collaborate with partner countries and multinational agencies to develop maritime awareness and share information, especially on commercial cargo vessels.
Speaking at the inauguration, Sitharaman said the objective of having an IFC- Indian Ocean Region is more for partners to work towards keeping the global commons safe. The Indian Ocean Region (IOR) is vital to world trade and economic prosperity of many countries as more than 75 per cent of the world’s maritime trade and 50 per cent of global oil consumption passes through it. Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, who was also present at the event, said India aims to work closely with the multinational constructs and other Information Fusion Centres through this new centre. Additionally, the IFC-Indian Ocean Region would work towards capability-building in the region, coordination of incident response and disaster relief, and in time, also share submarine safety information, he said. A worrying trend, Lanba pointed out, has been the proliferation of violent non-state actors and networks at sea which harbours numerous challenges and demands a recalibrated outlook to collective maritime security.