In news- The United Kingdom has officially joined the Indian Navy’s Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR).
- UK’s Lieutenant Commander Stephen Smith will be deputed full time at the centre for two years.
- The development is part of the 2030 roadmap announced by Indian PM Narendra Modi and British PM Boris Johnson after their virtual summit in May, 2021.
- The UK is the fifth country to send its officers after the US, Japan, France and Australia.
- The move comes as even the UK has announced its “Indo-Pacific tilt”.
The UK already has a presence in the Western Indian Ocean Region. It has seven permanent bases in Kenya, Singapore, Brunei, Nepal, Bahrain, Oman, and British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), and seven ships deployed at any one time to provide security in the Western region of the Indo-Pacific.
About Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR)-
- IFC-IOR was inaugurated in 2018, with a focus on India and like-minded countries sharing real-time developments in the maritime domain.
- It has been also recognised by the UN’s International Maritime Organization (IMO).
- It keeps an eye on the Indian Ocean with a key focus on the early mobilisation of resources in case of any crisis.
- It has been established at Gurugram, India and is collocated with the Information Management and Analysis Centre which is jointly administered by the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard.
- IFC-IOR is established with the vision of strengthening maritime security in the region and beyond, by building a common coherent maritime situation picture and acting as a maritime information hub for the region.
- The information Exchange initially is undertaken by virtual means, using telephone calls, faxes, emails and video conferencing over the internet.
- Subsequently, to enable better interconnection, quicker analysis of information and provide timely inputs, the IFC-IOR hosts Liaison Officers from partner countries.
- Additionally, towards enhancing capability building, the it would undertake conduct of exercises and training capsules in maritime information collection and sharing.