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Information Fusion Centre (IFC-IOR) inaugurated at Gurugram
The Defence Minister Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman launched the Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) on 22 Dec 18, at Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) Gurugram.
The Indian Ocean Region is vital to world trade and economic prosperity of many nations as more than 75% of the world’s maritime trade and 50% of global oil consumption passes through the IOR. However, maritime terrorism, piracy, human and contraband trafficking, illegal and unregulated fishing, arms running and poaching pose myriad challenges to maritime safety and security in the region. Response to these challenges requires enhanced situational awareness of the maritime activities in the region so as to enable security agencies function effectively.
However, the scale, scope and the multi-national nature of maritime activities, make it difficult for countries to address these challenges individually. Hence, collaborative efforts between maritime nations in the IOR, is essential. Towards this, the IFC-IOR aims to engage with partner nations and multi-national maritime constructs to develop comprehensive maritime domain awareness and share information on vessels of interest. The intention of this collaborative endeavour shall be to secure the global commons for a peaceful, stable and prosperous region towards the well-being of all.
According to the Admiral Sunil Lanba, the Chief of the Naval Staff, the IFC – IOR shall be a collaborative construct that will work with partners, countries as well as international agencies; to enhance maritime security and safety. It would also aim to work closely with the multi-national constructs and other information fusion centres said the Admiral. He further added that the IFC-IOR would work towards capability building in the region, coordination of incident response and disaster relief, and in time, also share submarine safety information.
As per the Defence Minister, the objective of having an IFC-IOR is more for partners, equals to work towards keeping the global commons safe and democratically available for all of us. In addition to utilising collective wisdom and resources towards addressing the myriad challenges in our region, the IFC-IOR will help interface and integrate, wherein, we would benefit from each other’s best practices and expertise.
The information exchange at the IFC-IOR would be initially undertaken by virtual means, using telephone calls, faxes, emails and video conferencing over internet. Subsequently, to enable better interaction, quicker analysis of information and provide timely inputs, the IFC-IOR would host Liaison Officers from partner countries. Additionally, towards enhancing capability building, the IFC-IOR would undertake conduct of exercises and training capsules in maritime information collation and sharing.