Defence & Security Current Affairs - 2019

Defence Current Affairs of 2018-19 related to India’s Defence, Indian Armed Forces, Defence Production, Defence Acquisition and related matters for SSC, States Civils, UPSC and Other Competitive Examinations.

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Indian Navy launches Operation Sankalp in Persian Gulf

Indian Navy launched ‘Operation Sankalp’ in Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman to reassure safe passage of Indian flagged vessels transiting through area. This deployment is in the wake of following recent maritime incidents in region.

Key Highlights

Indian Naval Ships, INS Chennai (Kolkata-class stealth guided missile destroyers) and INS Sunayna (Saryu-class patrol vessel) have been deployed in region to undertake maritime security operations. In addition to this aerial surveillance is also being done in area by IN aircraft.

The Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) of Indian Navy is also keeping a close watch on movement of ships in Gulf region. IFC-IOR, launched in December 2018, engages with partner nations to develop comprehensive maritime domain awareness and also share information on vessels of interest.

Need: Operation Sankalp has been launched in wake of escalating tension in Gulf of Oman, where two oil tankers, one Norwegian-owned and other Japanese-owned were attacked on 13 June 2019. This incident has led to heightened tensions between Iran and United States (US). Although, it remains unclear that who was responsible for attacks but US has put the blame on Iran, which, in turn, has denied all allegations.

Importance of Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman

World’s major oil exporters and importers have a joint interest in security of Gulf of Oman this is because Gulf of Oman offers the only entrance from Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean into Persian Gulf.

Persian Gulf is an arm of Arabian Sea, lies between Arabian Peninsula and Iran, extending from Shatt al Arab delta to Strait of Hormuz. Approximately 50% of world’s total oil reserves are estimated to be found here.

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12th ReCAAP ISC capacity building workshop

The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ISC), in cooperation with its India Focal Point, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG), began its 12th Capacity Building Workshop from 19 to 21 June 2019, in New Delhi, India. In two-day capacity building workshop 31 International delegates from 19 maritime law enforcement and regulatory authorities from Asia and beyond are participating.

Key Highlights

The ISC organizes Capacity building workshop annually and is co-hosted by one of the Contracting Parties. The 12th workshop is co-hosted by ICG and ReCAAP IFC is being attended by officials of concerned ministries and members of Diplomatic Corps.

Objective: of workshop is to share updated situation of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia and other best practices of Asian countries.

During the course of workshop all participants will be trained on various issues related to piracy and armed robbery like international laws, prosecution process, forensics and emerging threats.

ReCAAP & India: Capacity building remains one of the most significant pillars of cooperation under ReCAAP agreement and India has played a leading role in this aspect by hosting this workshop for a third time (earlier in November 2011 at Goa and December 2017 at New Delhi). Indian agencies especially ICG have been actively involved in ensuring safe and secure seas for seafarers.

Mandate: The information sharing is a shared responsibility of participant governments and shipping industry and purpose of information sharing would be better served if it is accurate and shared on real time basis.

What is ReCAAP?

ReCAAP is an abbreviation for Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP).

It is 1st regional government to government agreement to enhance and promote cooperation against piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia.

Background: ReCAAP Agreement was entered into force on 4 September 2006 with initially 14 Asian as Contracting Parties North, Southeast, and South Asian nations. Then on 29 November 2006, ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP ISC) was established in Singapore.

Members: As of now it has 20 Contracting Parties, which includes 14 Asian countries, 4 European countries, (Norway, Netherlands, Denmark, and United Kingdom), United States and Australia.

Function: It strive towards developing cooperative framework to address menace of piracy and armed robbery by facilitating information exchange between various stakeholders.

At 12th Governing Council Meeting in 2018, council announced that ReCAAP ISC has met criteria to be Centre of Excellence for information sharing in combating piracy and armed robbery against ships at sea.

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