Post of Maritime Security Advisor created, Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar to don the role
As the NMSC Vice Admiral, Kumar will be entrusted with the responsibility of coordinating between the various ministries and agencies related to maritime matters.
NEW DELHI: Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar (retd) has been appointed the National Maritime Security Coordinator (NMSC) within the National Security Council Secretariat under National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. Kumar recently retired as Vice Chief of the Naval Staff.
As the NMSC Vice Admiral, Kumar will be entrusted with the responsibility of coordinating between the various ministries and agencies related to maritime matters. The post of maritime coordinator was first proposed by the Group of Ministers formed after the Kargil conflict. The need was felt after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, post which the significance of maritime security including those involving the scattered Indian island territories was realised.
Eventually, the Cabinet Committee on Security cleared the post of NMSC in November 2021. The post of NMSC is the second, after the Military Advisor’s post, created to bring in inputs related to military matters. The post of Military Advisor was created in 2011 with Lt Gen Anil Chauhan holding the charge at present. The NSCS is headed by the NSA and he is also secretary to the apex National Security Council which is headed by the Prime Minister.
Vice Admiral Kumar retired as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff in July 2021. An alumnus of Sainik School Amravathinagar, he was Commissioned in the executive Branch of Indian Navy in 1982. India has a vast coastline of 7516.6 kilometers which includes 1382 islands spread out. India’s Exclusive Economic Zone is spread out in 2.3 million square kilometers.The significance of the post of NMSC can be understood from the fact that India’s growth story is majorly maritme dependent.
Indian trade, over 70% which includes the vital crude oil contributing towards the country’s growth story, is transported through sea. Also the security imperatives rising out of the Chinese focus on swift expansion of its maritime forces and increasing sea- legs towards the Indian Ocean makes the post of NMSC vital for India’s maritime security imperatives.