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'Protecting Coasts Imperative': R. S. Vasan; A Report

C3S Paper No. 0185/2015

Speakers at the Regional seminar organised at Voorhees College on Friday, October 9 2015

Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy. Courtesy: The Hindu

“Blue economy is going to be the catchword in the next 10  years as we can benefit by protecting our sea coasts in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR),” said retired commodore R S Vasan, director of the Chennai Centre for China Studies and Center for Asia Studies in Chennai, at Vellore on Friday, October 9 2015.

Addressing students of Defence Studies at the Voorhees College here during a regional seminar on the topic ‘Coastal security – challenges and response’ under the aegis of the PG Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, he said, “As China and Japan are expanding their footprint in the IOR, India should take the lead to respond to that with its maritime force.”

In addition to that, increasing terror activities, cyber attacks, growing transport of illegal arms and drug trafficking in West Asia and Middle East, and USA’s counter-challenge to China and Japan on the IOR were worrying for India and thus it needed to strengthen its coastal surveillance and protection strategies, he said.

After the Mumbai terror attacks, India had created north-west and north-east maritime regions, improved patrolling, coastal security network, national intelligence agencies and satellite-based automatic identification systems, he said.

“We need to develop integrated maritime activities, resolve maritime boundary issues and ensure that India does not concede strategic space to China or any other country. All this is possible only with a strong footprint in the IOR,” he said. Blue economy would boost the overall GDP of the country, he added.

Vellore MP Senguttuvan, who inaugurated the seminar, said that he had raised several queries in Parliament on defence and coastal security of the country.

“As threats loom large from neighbouring countries, India should develop strategies for long-term security of the sea water,” he said. For many years, this aspect was not taken seriously by our leaders, but the new government is focusing its attention on the issue, he added.

College principal Dr Arulappan said that the purpose of the seminar was to create awareness among students on how coastal security was needed for the country’s peace and harmony.

[This article is a report of a regional seminar on the topic ‘Coastal security – challenges and response’ under the aegis of the PG Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, at the Voorhees College, Vellore. Commodore R.S Vasan IN (Retd) is Director, C3S and Head Strategy and Security Studies, Center for Asia Studies. Email: ,]

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