India’s Maritime Security Challenges


This is a listing of older East-West Center events (newer listed first).  See Events to get the list of current or upcoming events.

In partnership with the South Asia Studies Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

When: May 7 2013 - 10:30am until May 7 2013 - 12:00pm
Where: East-West Center in Washington: 1819 L St. NW, Suite 600. Washington, DC. 22202

India’s Maritime Security Challenges

An Asia-Pacific Security Seminar featuring:

Commodore (Ret.) C. Uday Bhaskar

Indian Navy; National Maritime Foundation, New Delhi, India

India’s Maritime Security Challenges from East-West Center on Vimeo.

Retired Commodore C. Uday Bhaskar served in the Indian military for 37 years and is an expert on maritime security and strategic issues.

India’s maritime security challenges cover the entire range from low intensity conflict and piracy, all the way to major-power strategic contests. Given its distinctive geography and the recent shift of global maritime focus from the Atlantic-Pacific combine to the Indo-Pacific continuum, the importance of the Indian Ocean Region in India’s national security calculus has greatly increased in the post-Cold War/post 9-11 era.

The two institutions that are mandated to address this wide spectrum security domain are the Indian Navy (IN) and the Indian Coast Guard (ICG). Within the Indian military matrix, the IN is referred to as the Cinderella service. The branch received about a sixth of an overall defense budget of less than USD $40 billion, with the ICG receiving an equally modest allocation of resources. However, the professional acumen of the these two services is of a high order, despite their many constraints. As Ret. Commodore C. Uday Bhaskar explained in his seminar, there is a growing awareness at the national level that over the next two decades, India’s future aspirations and anxieties will be increasingly shaped by its ability to address the challenges and opportunities of the maritime domain.

His presentation began with a comprehensive history of the development of the IN from inception today. Comodore Bhaskar then continued with a frank and candid assessment of the obstacles that will affect the future trajectory of India's martime military outfit. He noted that India's relations with its litoral neighbors in the Indian Ocean are generally stable, it is only when naval outside powers come into play that tensions rise. However, it is not geopolitics that will most stringently shape the mission and capabilities of India's Navy. Instead it is interal the issues of resource allotation, the development national martime infrastructure, and ability to capture the attention of leadership in New Delhi that will chart the course for the future.


Commodore (Ret.) C. Uday Bhaskar is currently a Distinguished Fellow with the Society for Policy Studies and a Visiting Fellow at the National Maritime Foundation in New Delhi, India. He retired from the Indian Navy in 2007 after 37 years of service, and was a recipient of the Vishist Seva Medal (VSM) and the PM's Letter of Commendation.
Until recently, Commodore Bhaskar served as Director of the National Maritime Foundation (2009-2011), and was also with the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi, where he served as a Senior Fellow, Deputy Director (1996-2004), and Director until late 2005. Subsequently he was appointed Member-Secretary of the Government of India Task Force on “Global Strategic Developments,” a report submitted to India’s Prime Minister.
Commodore Bhaskar was editor of Maritime Affairs and Strategic Analysis; and is on the editorial board of Contemporary Security Policy. He has edited books on nuclear, maritime and international security related issues, has contributed over 60 research articles to journals in India and abroad, and is a columnist for Reuters and Dainik Jagran - India's largest circulating Hindi daily. He is also a guest lecturer at the Indian National Defence College and other military colleges.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Grace Ruch
Phone: 202-327-9762