National Maritime Security Coordinator: Relevance
- GS 3: Security challenges and their management in border areas – linkages of organized crime with terrorism.
National Maritime Security Coordinator: Context
- Recently, Government of India has decided to appoint Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar (Retd) as the first National Maritime Security Coordinator (NMSC) of India to ensure cohesion among various key stakeholders with an overall objective to secure the country.
National Maritime Security Coordinator: Key points
- NMSC has been appointed within the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) under National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
- The post of the NMSC is the second to the Military Advisor’s post that was created to bring in inputs related to military matters.
- The post of Military Advisor was created in 2011.
- The NSCS is headed by the NSA who is also the secretary to the apex National Security Council headed by the Prime Minister.
- NMSC will have the responsibility of coordinating between all the agencies involved in maritime security and maritime civil issues.
- He will also be responsible for improving the needs of blue economy of India.
- He will look at all aspects of maritime security, and will be the nodal point for all issues related to it.
- He will also be tasked with ensuring better coordination between the different authorities that work on maritime issues, but work independently.
Need of NMSC
- The need NMSC was first expressed by the Group of Ministers (GoM) formed after the Kargil War, more than two decades ago.
- The Kargil Group of Ministers’ had recommended in its report that an apex body for management of maritime affairs should be formed for institutionalised linkages between the Navy, Coast Guard and the concerned Ministries of the Central and the State Governments.
- The GoM has therefore asked the Defence Ministry to take necessary action to constitute the apex body.
- After the 26/11 terror attacks in 2008, the Defence Ministry had proposed to create Maritime Security Advisory Board, and appointment of a Maritime Security Advisor. However, that was kept pending.
- Again, in November 2021, the Cabinet Committee on Security finally cleared the creation of the NMSC.