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Date of Publication: 15-Apr-2021

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Special Issue II: Emerging India from Maritime Perspective

Proceedings of the National Webinar held to commemorate 58th National Maritime Day, jointly organized by UGC Centre for Maritime Studies, Pondicherry University and Electronic Journal of Social and Strategic Studies

Author: Editor in Chief

Category: Strategic Studies


India observed 58th National Maritime Day on the 05th of April 2021. In tune with the International Maritime Organization’s theme for 2021, "Seafarers: at the core of shipping’s future", India’s Maritime Day recognizes the services of seafarers and services of persons and organizations connected with promotion and development of national maritime industry.

In the emerging global scenario, India stands at an important juncture where the prominence of the sea is emerging as vital to its aspirations for growth. The geopolitical environment, particularly on account of an assertive China; emerging challenges to global order; developmental and economic considerations; dynamic and fluid neighborhood scenarios; challenges arising due to environmental and climate change concerns; and the sheer weight of internal challenges are increasingly bringing the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and Indo-Pacific into sharp focus. The necessity to abide by and uphold international law while at the same time navigating the complex national interests have placed India in a position where the rest of the world takes a keen interest on India’s actions on the international arena as well as the shifts in its policy paradigms.

Duly appreciating India’s concerns, UGC Centre for Maritime Studies, Pondicherry University and Electronic Journal of Social and Strategic Studies (EJSSS) jointly hosted a webinar on 05 April 2021 to discourse Emerging India from Maritime Perspective.

Keywords: Special Issue, Maritime Day, Webinar, Pondicherry University, EJSSS

DOI: 10.47362

Full Text:

The Webinar was inaugurated by Prof. A Subramanyam Raju, Coordinator, UGC Centre for Maritime Studies with a welcome address.

Prof. Gurmeet Singh, Vice Chancellor, Pondicherry University delivered the Presidential Address in which he exhorted the research community to further the knowledge on India’s maritime concerns by adopting a multidisciplinary approach.

Ambassador Sudhir Devare, former Foreign Secretary of India, and currently the Chairman of Society for Indian Ocean Studies (SIOS) New Delhi delivered the Inaugural Address. He pointed to how the neglect of the sea led to colonization in South Asia and highlighted the traditional and non-traditional threats that are present in India’s ocean neighborhood. He elaborated on the strategic and economic concerns, including that of climate change/sea level rise, that portend multidimensional challenges to India. He said, with SAGAR, Mousam and Sagarmala, India is moving in the right directions and emphasized on developing the PPP model for addressing India’s economic and neighborhood concerns.

Vice Admiral Pradeep Chauhan PVSM & Bar, VSM (Retd), Director General, National Maritime Foundation, delivered the Keynote Address. While stressing on India’s maritime interests as India’s own, the Admiral carried out a SWOT analysis of eight interests that India has in the maritime domain. He specifically called for exploring the maritime potential of QUAD to further rule of law and freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific region. He called for synergetic, multidisciplinary approach to the concept of Blue Economy, exhorting research community to address multiple issues. He pointed to the importance of improving our diplomatic and trade relations with West Asia as well as with Indonesia, since that island nation is critical to India’s interests in the Indo-Pacific.

There were seven papers presented by emerging scholars in two sessions, as per details below:

Session I

  1. Assessing India’s Role in the Indo-Pacific ‘Great Game’ by Jay Maniyar, Research Associate, National Maritime Foundation
  2. The Emergence of Quad and Its Implications for China: Analyzing the Politics of Balance of Power in the Indo-Pacific Region by Hari Yadav, PhD Candidate, Pondicherry University
  3. India’s Relations with France and UK in the Indo-Pacific by Rishi Athreya, Research Fellow, Asian Centre, Bangalore

Session II

  1. Role of Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Indo-Pacific: India’s Eastern Anchor by Muraliprasath P, PhD Candidate, UGC Centre for Maritime Studies
  2. Energy Security of India: Role of International North-South Transport Corridor by Narendra Sharma, PhD Candidate, School of International Studies, JNU
  3. China’s attempt to reshape the Indian Ocean and its implications for India by Shalu Runthala, PhD Candidate, Aligarh Muslim University
  4. Coastal Societies in India: Perspectives, Challenges and Options by Sarita Fernandes, Research Associate, National Maritime Foundation

Both the Sessions were chaired by Captain SS Parmar, Executive Director, National Maritime Foundation, New Delhi and Dr R Srinivasan, Editor-in-Chief, Electronic Journal of Social and Strategic Studies (EJSSS) respectively. Respective Chairs summarized the papers presented and shared their perspectives for future research with the presenters.

The Webinar came to an end with Prof. Subramanyam Raju presenting his overall perspectives and conveying his appreciation to Capt. Parmar and Dr Srinivasan for Chairing the Sessions. Mr. Ajmal Farhan, PhD Candidate with UGC Centre for Maritime Studies moderated the Sessions and conveyed the Vote of Thanks on behalf of the Centre.

This Special Issue is a collation of the papers presented during the webinar by mentioned scholars. Editors of the Special Issue duly note that at least two of the papers are more in the form of scripts for presentation in the webinar than in the form of a standard research paper, even though they carry citations for sources consulted.

Together, these six papers present the debates that engage the minds of emerging scholarship in India relating to economic, strategic, climate change and international order concerns for India in its ocean neighborhood. Accordingly, Editors hope that publishing their thought processes, in the manner in which they were presented, as a compilation of Conference Proceedings in this Special Issue will promote further research.

EJSSS wishes to place on record our gratitude to Prof. Gurmeet Singh, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, Pondicherry University, for his kind permission to co-host the event. We acknowledge and thank Prof. A Subramanyam Raju, Coordinator, UGC Centre for Maritime Studies, Pondicherry University for the immense support and encouragement for organizing the webinar. We are also thankful to Computer Centre, Pondicherry University, for the technical assistance provided for the successful conduct of the webinar.