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India’s Defence Minister Review Defence Infra of A&N Islands With Eye On China

  • Published
    6th Jan, 2023
Context

India’s Defence Minister reviewed operational readiness and infrastructure development in the country's only integrated military command at the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, which can act as a pivot to counter China's expanding footprint in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) over the next two days.

Why Andaman & Nicobar Islands are important?

  • Strategic location: This is a strategically located 572-island archipelago.

Mapping the region

  • The Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a Union Territory (UT) of India that consists of 572 islands and islets, located at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.
  • Geographically, this UT is situated in the east of the Indian mainland.

     
  • The region can act as a pivot to counter China's expanding footprint in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
  • Strong Surveillance: The ANI are home to India’s only integrated tri-service command of the armed forces—the Andaman and Nicobar Command for maritime surveillance and enhancing India’s strategic presence in the eastern Indian Ocean as it merges into the Pacific.
  • Threatening China’s choke points: The archipelago provides India with critical military surveillance, interdiction and operational turnaround capabilities to threaten China’s ‘choke points’ in the region.
  • Fulfilling Government’s vision: The A&N Command carried forward the Government’s Act East Policy and in realising Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) by building ‘Bridges of Friendship’ with the country’s maritime neighbours.

Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC)

  • The Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) is the first integrated theatre command in India with headquarters at Port Blair.
  • It operates directly under the COSC.
  • Inception in: 2001

What has been hampering the developments over the years?

  • Internecine turf wars among the three Services
  • General politico-bureaucratic apathy
  • Funding constraints
  • Major environmental concerns
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