India in talks with 24 countries to boost maritime security

With an eye on beefing up maritime security, India is negotiating a deal with 24 countries for exchange of neutral merchant shipping data as it rolls out a national hub to tackle all aspects of coastal security to prevent another 26/11-like attack.

New Delhi: With an eye on beefing up maritime security, India is negotiating a deal with 24 countries for exchange of neutral merchant shipping data as it rolls out a national hub to tackle all aspects of coastal security to prevent another 26/11-like attack.

A final paper for the creation of the long-pending National Maritime Domain Awareness Grid (NMDA) is also complete and is pending approval with the Cabinet Committee on Security.

The Indian Navy had earlier this year rolled out its National Command Control Communication and Intelligence Network (NC3I) that allows surveillance of waters around India and can even track ships in South China Sea.

These are part of the decisions taken post the Mumbai terror attacks.

Talking about the inauguration of Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC), slated for Sunday in Gurgaon, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Communications Space and Network Centric Operations) Rear Admiral KK Pandey said India is looking at having a tie-up with 24 countries with which it wishes to exchange the wide-shipping data which is neutral merchant shipping data.

He said National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is leading the negotiation with some countries.

"We should be firming it up in a very quick time and if that happens, it is a win-win situation for all countries," he said.

He answered in the affirmative when asked if the there were countries east of the Malacca Straits.

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