The USI organized its National Security Seminar 2014, titled ‘Indian Ocean Region: Emerging Strategic Cooperation, Competition and Conflict Scenarios’ on 13-14 November 2014. The Inaugural Session of the Seminar began with the Welcome Address delivered by Lt. Gen. PK Singh, PVSM, AVSM (Retd), Director USI, followed by the Keynote Address of Admiral RK Dhowan, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC, Chief of Naval Staff. Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC, Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Air Staff also attended the inaugural session.
In his Keynote Address, Admiral RK Dhowan inter alia highlighted the following
- He brought to light the salient aspects of the roles and missions of the Indian Navy ranging from military, diplomatic, constabulary and benign.
- He also highlighted some of the initiatives that the Navy has taken with regard to maritime diplomacy, such as the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) in 2008, which enhances maritime cooperation between 35 member navies, the biennial ‘Milan’ initiative to enhance regional cooperation, which this year drew 17 regional navies in maritime engagement.
- He brought out that the Indian Navy conducts about 10 bilateral and multilateral exercises with various navies, some of the important ones being the Exercise Malabar with the United States Navy, Exercise “Konkan” with the Royal Navy (UK), “Varuna” with the French and “Indra” with the Russian Navy.
Session I: Strategic and Security Environment in the IOR: Role of Major Stakeholders
The session was chaired by Vice Admiral AK Singh, PVSM, AVSM, NM (Retd) and co-chaired by Mr. Rahul Roy Chaudhury, IISS, UK. The panelist comprised of Air Marshal PK Roy, PVSM, AVSM, VM, VSM (Retd.), Lt. Gen. MF Akbar, Commandant National Defence College (NDC), Bangladesh, Lt. Col. Nguyen from Vietnam ( The Head of Asia-Africa Division of Institute for Defense and Strategic Studies), and Lt. Col. Ibrahim Hilmy from the Maldives. They presented their perspectives on the subject.
Session II: ‘Geo-Economics, Resource Competition and Strategic Cooperation in the IOR’
The session was chaired by Rear Admiral K Raja Menon (Retd),a former member of the USI Council. The panel of speakers consisted of Ambassador Gleb A. Ivanshentov, Deputy Head of the Russian Center for APEC Studies, Lt. Gen. (Dr) Nguyen Duc Hai ,Director General of the Institute for Defense Strategy, Ministry of National Defense of Vietnam, Dr Win Thein from Myanmar and Ambassador Sanjay Singh (Retd.). They made relevant observations in their presentations.
Session III: ‘The Challenges of Avoiding Conflict: The Way Ahead’
The final session was chaired by Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha, PVSM, AVSM, NM & Bar (Retd). The distinguished experts of the panel were Major General Muniruzzaman (Retd) the President and CEO of the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS), Dr Kao Cheng Wang Dean of the College of International Studies and Professor of the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies at Tamkang University in Taiwan, Dr Michael Pillsbury,Consultant at US Department of Defense, and Commodore Lalit Kapur (Retd).
In his Valedictory Address, General Deepak Kapoor, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, SM (Retd.), former Chief of Army Staff of Indian Army and Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC), congratulated the USI for conducting an extremely illuminating seminar on a subject which was topical and relevant . He underscored the importance of the rise of China on the global geopolitical stage in the last decade and stated that such a phenomenal emergence of a new power has historically resulted in conflict.
The proceedings of the Seminar will be compiled in the form of a book. Information about the book’s publication will be provided on our Website.