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SAGAR-Security for Growth for All in the Region

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SAGAR-Security for Growth for All in the Region

shape Introduction

  • The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi coined the term ‘SAGAR’ in 2015 which denotes Security for Growth for All in the Region.

  • During the visit to Mauritius, Prime Minister made it clear the need to focus on the blue economy.

  • With this, SAGAR became a maritime initiative to ensure that the Indian Ocean Region primarily focuses on providing peace, prosperity, and stability.

  • The goal is to seek respect for international maritime norms and rules that are set for all the countries and establish a climate of trust and transparency.

shape PMSSY

  • Since the past millennia, the Indian Ocean has shaped the destiny of India and many other countries.

  • The Indian Ocean waters are known to carry India’s rich culture, religion, ideas, and commerce.

  • Historically, India has some of the oldest seaports of the world, and at present, the Indian Ocean is one of the busiest and the most critical maritime link for transportation in the world.

  • In lieu of this, the Indian Ocean Rim Initiative in Mauritius was first established in March 1995. The initiative was formally launched in 1997 after the conclusion of Charter of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) for Regional Corporation.

  • This multilateral treaty concluded with the principles of Open Regionalism, i.e.,

    • Strengthen economic cooperating

    • Trade and investment facilitation

    • Promotion and social development of the Region.

    • Again in Mauritius in 2015, India put forward the concept of SAGAR which was in lines with the principle of IORA.

  • India has played a pivotal role in the Indian Ocean region. Besides, geographically, it has also shared historical and cultural heritage to bind people across these waters.

  • The figure given below reveals all four key elements on which the vision of SAGAR based.

High-level articulation of India’s vision for the Indian Ocean claims that:

  • It is crucial to preserve the organic unity and at the same time advancing cooperation.

  • Security is fundamental, and it is essential that ocean waters remain peaceful, secure, and stable.

  • The Indian Ocean is considered as the engine of growth and prosperity in the Region. Therefore, it becomes the primary responsibility of those who live in this Region to bring peace, prosperity, and stability in the Region.

  • Promotion of collective action to deal with natural disasters and maritime threats like terrorism and piracy is also essential to enhance sustainable development of the Region.

SAGAR is a whole scheme to inculcate politico-economic-security cooperation as well as respect for international maritime laws. Here are seven ways in which SAGAR has been an important landmark in India’s maritime diplomacy.

    1. The policy proposal was spelled out in Mauritius rather than in India. This means that SAGAR was meant to include all the littoral countries of IOR. As a result, it became more inclusive and collaborative.

    2. Defense and strategic relations are essential pillars of any bilateral cooperation. With SAGAR, India now intended to expand its strategic partnership with IOR littorals in the countries of Asia and Africa as well.

    3. SAGAR stressed the relevance of regional mechanisms both through uniformed personnel and government level.

A holistic and integrated approach to development in IOR was focused by the IORA Council of ministers that indicated six crucial areas:

  • Fisheries management,

  • Maritime safety and security,

  • Disaster risk management,

  • Trade and investment facilitation,

  • Tourism, and

  • Cultural exchanges.

    4.SAGAR undertook India’s commitment to the highest political level. Thus, ensuring peace, development, and stability in the IOR.

    Further, it indicated India’s willingness to take leadership roles and responsibilities on a long-term basis and in a transparent manner.

    5. In all the forums that India participated that focused on the potentials of Blue Economy, India came up as a ‘net maritime security provider’ in the Indian Ocean region. All these forums indicate India’s maritime resurgence.

    6. India has pursued its capacity building initiatives in the IOR post-SAGAR. In lieu of this, India also concluded agreements on defense cooperation in African countries.

    7. SAGAR significantly brought into focus the critical role that Coast Guard agencies play to ensure the security of respective zones of the blue economy. In this way, it prioritized the Blue Economy.

SAGAR has successfully propelled many maritime issues to the center of India’s foreign policy.

In other words, while SAGAR produces a good vision, it is also a policy of naval power projection. Therefore, it can only be emancipated by a country like India which has a strong navy.