Global conference of Indian Ocean nations begins in Odisha Friday

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 19:

A three-day long international conference titled ‘India & The Indian Ocean: Renewing the Maritime Trade & Civilisational Linkages’, will be held in Odisha’s capital city from March 20 – 22.

Pic-1 -International Conference on India and the Indian Ocean to begin from Friday

The conference will be inaugurated on Friday by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, along with Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik, who will also be the Chief Guest. Dharmendra Pradhan, the chief patron of the conference and Union Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister, will be the guest of honour among others.

“The state has been able to put its footsteps in various countries and through this first of kind event, Odisha is going to be a maritime trade hub,” said Reception Committee Chairman and eminent writer Haraprasad Das while addressing a press conference here today on the eve of the conference.

Twenty nations from the region, popularly known as Indian Ocean Rim Countries, will participate in this three-day deliberations covering vital aspects of Trade, Maritime Security and Civilisational linkages. Apart from the participating IOR Countries, China & USA have evinced interest to send observers.

Apart from India, Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Thailand, Mauritius, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Madagascar, Singapore, Yemen, Oman, Iran, Cambodia etc. are expected to attend the Conference.

The high profile conference will be attended and supported by eight different ministries of Government of India & representatives of 20 nations along with top office bearers of the Union Government.

Topics and issues such as trade, Regional Maritime Security and Civilisational linkages will be deliberated upon in the conference along with socio-cultural similarities, exciting facts on ancient maritime trade, security and the future potential of trade and blue economy in Indian Ocean region by eminent scholars, researchers and experts in the conference.

It is expected that through this conference there will be a thorough study and analysis on Indian Ocean from all the aspects and perspectives – historical, economic, geopolitical, cultural, energy security, religion, literature, trade, migration, diaspora, etc. – and rejuvenate the deep ties that bind the regional nations.

Knowledge sessions apart, an Exhibition on the Indian Ocean: The Seafaring Legacy will be organized on the Inaugural session of IOR Conference and a Postal Stamp on ‘Indian Ocean and Rajendra Chola I’willo be released on 1000th coronation of Rajendra Chola-I.

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  1. Milind Pimprikar says

    Need for Space based Collective Safety, Security and Prosperity (CSSP) in Indian Ocean Rim

    With greater emphasis being placed on global maritime situational awareness, global asset monitoring, and environmental monitoring, maritime and terrestrial sensor and data acquisition systems are critical enabling capabilities that are becoming more ubiquitous. The need is driven by global maritime security and safety initiatives responsive to the new face of conflict, which involves every sector of society and knows no geographic boundaries.

    There is a need for a space-based data collection and distribution backbone covering the Indian Ocean Rim region. Furthermore, we feel that creating such a system should be undertaken as an international collaborative effort amongst the Indian Ocean RIM countries.

    Current practices rely on a diverse set of sensors to garner the positions of ships through Automatic Ship Identification System (AIS) mandated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) since 2004. A number of national space agencies and commercial interests have been active in deploying AIS receivers and data extraction capabilities on satellites; however, there currently exists no international partnership to coordinate and organize all the diverse efforts.

    Shortly after the IMO carriage requirements became effective, the US Navy in the Mediterranean began to collaborate with European and African governments to establish a network of shore stations, all of which contributed the AIS signals they received locally to a consolidated data stream, which was then shared among participating nations. This Maritime Safety and Security Information System (MSSIS) has since grown into a network of AIS base stations in over 60 participating nations around the world, providing current positions for over 15000 ships.

    The major strengths of this innovative collaboration are the trust and interdependence it generates, and of course, an unprecedented picture of maritime activity. However, the major shortcomings are the limited set of ships broadcasting AIS, and the limited reception range for VHF signals; no data is received from non-cooperative vessels, or from the open oceans or areas near non-participating nations. Herein lies the need for space based CSSP.

    How the CSSP Concept proposes to address the dilemma?
    Collaborating and sharing information mutually enhances nations’ security and prosperity by expanding their capacity for situational awareness of their territories. The CSSP is an opportunity for constructive engagement in space technology with partners that will increase member nations’ capacity for socio-economic needs.

    The CSSP objective is to demonstrate the benefits of sharing assets (space, ground segment infrastructure, data fusion, data products, etc,) in a multi-country and multisystem environment to develop regional monitoring system using data collected from existing capabilities in worldwide satellite coverage. The data is shared amongst partners from the Indian Ocean Rim Countries to promote data exchange among countries and to develop data exchange policies and models.

    The core premise of the CSSP concept is that a space-based communications infrastructure owned and operated by a multi-national cooperative for the socio-economic needs will promote cooperation, trust and interdependence, to the mutual benefit of all partners.

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