The Eastern Naval Command Golden Jubilee Seminar with the theme "National Maritime Power - Concepts, Constituents and Catalysts", commenced at Samudrika Auditorium Visakhapatnam on Tuesday, 22 August 2017. Admiral Sunil Lanba, PVSM, AVSM, ADC Chief of the Naval Staff was the Chief Guest for the event. The two-day seminar is jointly hosted by ENC in partnership with the National Maritime Foundation (NMF).
Welcoming the delegates and participants, Vice Admiral HCS Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, ENC narrated the fifty years of the epic journey of ENC, the milestone activities undertaken and challenges faced since then. Delivering the inaugural address, Admiral RK Dhowan (Retd), former Navy Chief and presently the Chairman of the NMF reiterated the need for fostering a maritime thought process in shaping our policies towards becoming a stronger maritime power in the Indian Ocean region. Speaking on the occasion, Admiral Sunil Lanba, the Chief of the Naval Staff highlighted the importance of our maritime objectives and priorities, necessity of convergence amongst all maritime stakeholders and the strategic footprint of the Indian Navy across the oceans.
The first day of the seminar had three sessions, featuring eminent guest speakers, experts from diverse fields who shared their perspectives. Each session was chaired by former Commander-in-Chiefs of the Eastern Naval Command. The first session of the seminar chaired by Admiral Arun Prakash (Retd), focused on "India as a Resurgent Maritime Power". Commodore C Uday Bhaskar (Retd), the first speaker of the session, spoke on the changing nature of maritime power and expanding maritime interests. Vice Admiral Pradeep Chauhan (Retd), thereafter, discussed China's increasing footprint, influence and geo-economic interests in the Indian Ocean. Prof Brahma Chellaney spoke eloquently on various non-traditional challenges in the maritime domain and described the existing geo-strategic maritime environment and changing maritime power equations.
The second session was planned to discuss "Maritime Economics, Infrastructure and Maritime Environment". The session was chaired by V Adm Anup Singh (Retd) and the first speaker was Dr. (Capt) Suresh Bhardwaj. He spoke about the challenges faced in the domain of critical infrastructure such as ports, shipping and shipbuilding, and the recommended means to overcome these challenges. The next speaker, Shri S Ramasundaram, Scientist 'D', deliberated upon the need for harnessing ocean resources through technology and work being progressed by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) towards developing marine technology and providing a bulwark for our maritime power.
The third session titled "Maritime Security and Safety" chaired by Vice Admiral Raman P Suthan (Retd) started with Rear Admiral SY Shrikhande (Retd) putting forward his views on the constabulary functions, asymmetric threats and its impact on force structure, budget and operations in the maritime domain. Deputy Inspector General Donny Michael from the Indian Coast Guard, thereafter spoke on maritime governance, law enforcement and other complex legal issues in the marine environment including overlapping jurisdictions and legislations. Captain (Dr) Gurpreet Khurana then deliberated upon India's approach towards humanitarian response for various contingencies at sea and its importance as a regional maritime power. Curtains were drawn to the first day of the seminar with extensive and thought provoking discussions and exchange of ideas on maritime power.