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Shri Manohar Parrikar, the Hon’ble Raksha Mantra will be the Chief Guest and deliver the keynote address at the inaugural session of the International Maritime Conference (IMC), at the Taj Gateway Hotel on the 07 February 16. One of the significant events of the International Fleet Review (IFR) 2016, the conference will see a gathering of some of the best and brightest minds in the business of maritime and security studies confabulate on issues of maritime salience to the world. The IFR which has elements of pomp, pageantry, action, drill and spectacle will also have a unique intellectual dimension to it with the Maritime Conference providing a platform for discussion on contemporary maritime issues.
Premised on the theme of “Partnering Together for a Secure Maritime Future” the conference will be conducted on 07 and 08 February. Admiral RK Dhowan, Chief of the Naval Staff will deliver the theme address setting the tone for the proceedings that follow. Admiral DK Joshi (Retd), the previous Navy Chief and presently the Chairman of the National Maritime Foundation will also be among the distinguished speakers in the inaugural session and his opening remarks will get the ball rolling. Vice Admiral Satish Soni, the Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Eastern Naval Command (ENC) will deliver the Valedictory Address on 08 Feb 16 and Vice Admiral Bimal Verma, the Chief of Staff, ENC will propose the vote of thanks.
The gathering will witness nine eminent speakers from abroad and two from India taking part and addressing different aspects of the theme. The conference is also likely to be attended by a glittering galaxy of high government officials including the Raksha Rajya Mantri (RRM) Shri Rao Inderjit Singh, National Security Adviser Shri Ajit Kumar Doval, Deputy NSA Dr Arvind Gupta, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha Chief of Air Staff, General Dalbir Singh Suhag Chief of the Army Staff, Chiefs of Navies and Senior Officials from among the 53 participating nations, serving and retired Naval, Army and Air Force officers and also the academia from the city.
The business end of the Conference will see two sessions following the inaugural one. These would be moderated by Admiral Madhvendra Singh (Retd) former Chief of the Naval Staff and Ambassador KV Bhagirath, Secretary General Indian Ocean Regional Association (IORA) respectively. The first sub theme of the conference, on 07 February, will examine ‘Importance of Oceans and Navies in Global Geo Strategic Matrix”. Salient issues likely to be highlighted in this session are the trends in the growth of maritime military power, force structures for transnational and state centric challenges, institutional linkages required for enhancing maritime security cooperation and maritime capacity building and capability enhancement
On 08 February, the Conference will take on the second theme for the conference and focus on “Regional Perceptions and Approaches for Maritime Cooperative Engagements”. Some of the key issues likely to be discussed in this session include managing competition in an uncertain but increasingly globalised oceanic commons, frameworks for enhancing inter- operability at sea, maritime domain awareness as a tool for naval cooperation and relevance of existing international frameworks for conciliation and arbitration as resolution mechanism.

It is expected that the Conference will see lively discussions and yield some takeaways towards the larger purpose of the navies partnering together for the future challenges that the maritime world may encounter. The proceedings of the seminar will be brought out in the form of a book by the National Maritime Foundation (NMF) which is the knowledge partner of the Conference.

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