June 26: Securing India’s Vital Interests in the Maritime Domain

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June 26, 2012: R.N. Ganesh
(Click to enlarge) Retired Vice Admiral R.N. Ganesh, takes a question from the audience at his talk at the East-West Center in Washington.
(Click to enlarge) Retired Vice Admiral R.N. Ganesh, takes a question from the audience at his talk at the East-West Center in Washington.

Securing India’s Vital Interests in the Maritime Domain

WASHINGTON, DC (June 26, 2012) – With the majority of the world’s trade traveling by sea, the importance of securing the maritime routes this trade depends upon has never been greater. For a country such as India with a developing economy and a population of over one billion people dependent upon such trade, ensuring this security is even more critical. Despite this, Retired Vice Admiral R.N. Ganesh, of the Indian Navy, described India as “sea-blind” up until recently.

In this seminar, Vice Admiral Ganesh examined India’s vital interests in maritime security, describing the complex situation in which the national interests of a peaceful environment in its littoral areas and the prevention of the influence of outside powers in the immediate area necessitate a focus on the Indian Ocean, while evolving trade and geo-political trends cause the Pacific to splash into India’s area of concern. His candid and encompassing discussion explored the challenges India faces in securing those interests vis-à-vis a rising China and a rebalancing United States, as well as the maritime strategy India is developing to address them.

Vice Admiral (Ret.) R.N. Ganesh is currently Director of the Asia Centre in Bangalore, India, which is focused on the study and analysis of international relations and strategic affairs. He is also an adjunct faculty member at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore. Vice Admiral Ganesh retired from active service in 2002 after nearly four decades of service. During his career, Vice Admiral Ganesh’s sea commands included diesel submarine, India’s first nuclear submarine the INS Chakra, as well as the aircraft carrier INS Vikrant. Other appointments included Flag Officer (Submarines), Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet, Commander A&N Islands, Director General of the Indian Coast Guard, Commander-in-Chief Southern Naval Command and Director General of the Indian nuclear submarine program. He is a graduate of the Defense Services Staff College, the National Defense College, New Delhi, and the Makarov Pacific Higher Naval Academy in Vladivostok, Russia. Vice Admiral Ganesh continues to be an active student of maritime security and strategic affairs. Since his retirement, he has presented papers and given lectures on issues related to these topics in Canada, the US, Singapore and Australia.