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Geopolitics of the Indian Ocean realm |Explain the geopolitical importance of the Indian Ocean in regional peace and security. | Indian Geography | UP PCS Optional Geography Mains Paper 2 2019

The Indian Ocean is the third-largest ocean after the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. Border of Indian Ocean:

  • On the northern side, it stretches from the Red Sea to Malaysia
  • On the Western side, it stretches from the Red Sea to South Africa's Cape Agulhas
  • On the Eastern side, it stretches from Singapur to Australia.
  • There are 21 Indian Ocean states along with the border of the Indian Ocean.
Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean

Geopolitics means the effect of geographical areas on national, regional, and international politics and other issues.
The geopolitical importance of the Indian Ocean means the importance of the Indian ocean in national, regional, and international peace and security. The following are the geopolitical importance of the Indian Ocean :

  • Approx 40 % of Oil reserve of the world is in the Indian Ocean.
  • 80 % of World Crude oil gets transported through the Indian Ocean. There are three strategically important chokepoints or strait where most of the Maritimes trade passes through these straits.
    • Bab El Mandeb 
    • Strait of Hormuz
    • Strait of Malacca
  • One-third of the world population is settled along with the Indian Ocean.
  • Many unstable countries are located along with the Indian ocean such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Maldive, etc. Many foreign countries also interface due to instability.
  • All coastal countries except Australia and Singapore are either developing or underdeveloping.
  • Most countries are political and economically unstable. The absence of strong formal groups such as ASEAN in the Indian ocean adds more instability to the region
  • Maritime expansion of Major powers such as China, India, USA, France, and the UK in the Indian Ocean.
  • China's Aggression and expansionist policy also add competition to control the Indian Ocean. 
Sea routes of the Indian ocean are key to the prosperity of Coastal countries and it is also a common property to all. Hence, it is very important to regional peace and property.

Try to solve the following questions:
  • Explain the geopolitical importance of the Indian Ocean in regional peace and security. ( UPPSC, UP PCS, 2019, 15 Marks)
  •  Discuss the emerging geo-political scenario of the Indian Ocean realm. (UPSC 2018, 200 words, 15 marks)
  • प्रादेशिक  शांति येवम सुरक्षा में हिंद महासागर के भू राजनीतिक मुद्दों पर प्रकाश डालिये।

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