Retired Vice-Admiral and former Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Eastern Naval Command Anup Singh on Tuesday said India was moving forward to become a strong maritime power due to its strategic location.

He was delivering a lecture on maritime security at a meeting conducted by Centre for Policy Studies here.

While giving details on birth of Indian Navy after Independence, the collapse of USSR ending Cold War, thrust to self-reliance and challenges posed by globalisation, he said the geo strategic perspective of Indian peninsular configuration could not be ignored due to its domination in the Indian Ocean region and it being focal point to trade routes.

Terming sea the saviour, he said lion’s share of global trade and commerce was being done through sea. He said 7,500-km-long peninsular configuration including Andamans and Lakshadweep with 13 major ports and nearly 200 minor ports offered a plenty of opportunities to explore.

Vice-Admiral Singh said the handicaps and challenges were largely pronounced after the end of the Cold War. Referring to traditional threats like safeguarding the boundaries and maritime interest and threats to peace due to piracy and robberies, need to foster bilateral ties through ASEAN and SAARC and encountering challenges posed by globalisation, he said there was a need to realise the growing importance of maritime wealth and environment.

He mentioned how India helped China when it faced attack by pirates and rendered humanitarian assistance during attack on Beirut and in tsunami-ravaged areas in 2004.

Vice-Admiral Singh said mineral resources from the sea including fish were under threat due to poaching and called for intensified patrolling at strategic locations to prevent hijacking, sabotage and attacks on ships and smugglings of weapons and drugs and attacks like 26/11.

Centre for Policy Studies chairman D.V. Subba Rao presided and its director A. Prasanna Kumar welcomed.

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