The recent convening of the 135th meeting of the Offshore Security Coordination Committee in Ahmedabad highlights the significance of collaborative efforts in safeguarding offshore installations. Chaired by Director General Rakesh Pal of the Indian Coast Guard, the committee brings together a range of stakeholders to address offshore security coordination and mitigate potential threats to vital resources.
This topic of “Offshore Security Coordination Committee” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.
The Apex Policy-Making Body for Offshore Security
The Offshore Security Coordination Committee serves as the apex policy-making body responsible for overseeing and coordinating efforts related to offshore security. By bringing together key stakeholders, the committee aims to ensure the smooth and effective functioning of security arrangements in the offshore domain.
Prioritizing Effective Functioning and Threat Mitigation
The committee’s primary objective is to ensure the seamless functioning of offshore security arrangements, thereby safeguarding critical installations and resources. By identifying and addressing peace-time threats such as terrorism and sabotage, the committee plays a pivotal role in maintaining security in the maritime domain.
Collaborative Approach and Committee Composition
Stakeholders and Representatives
The Offshore Security Coordination Committee meeting includes representatives from various entities such as:
- Indian Coast Guard
- Indian Navy
- Indian Air Force
- Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC)
- Intelligence Bureau (IB)
- Director General (DG) Shipping
- Ministries of Home Affairs and External Affairs
- Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)
Chairman and Members
Chaired by the Director General of the Indian Coast Guard, the committee consists of representatives from key agencies including the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, Intelligence Bureau, Ministry of External Affairs, police departments, and ONGC.
A Regular Review Process
Meeting Frequency and Purpose
The committee convenes every six months to review and evaluate offshore security in India. This regular assessment allows for timely identification of potential gaps in security arrangements and the formulation of appropriate strategies to address them.
Contingency Plans and Implementation
The Offshore Security Coordination Committee plays a vital role in developing contingency plans that are subsequently implemented by various agencies involved in offshore security. This collaborative approach ensures a comprehensive response to potential threats.
Historical Context and First Meeting
The Offshore Security Coordination Committee was established in 1978 as a response to the growing need for a unified approach to offshore security. Its inaugural meeting, chaired by Vice Admiral VA Kamath, then DGICG, set the stage for future efforts in safeguarding India’s offshore resources.