Bring out the geopolitical significance of the Indian ocean area.| geopolitical significance of the Indian ocean UPSC


Bring out the geopolitical significance of the Indian ocean area. ( 64th BPSC 2019)


Geopolitical means having politics for a piece of land or area, especially international politics.

Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean is the third largest ocean after the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The following are the geopolitical importance of the Indian Ocean.

  • About 40% of the world's oil reserves are in the Indian Ocean and it is concentrated in the north-western part of the Indian Ocean.
  • 80% of the world's crude oil is transported through the Indian Ocean. There are four strategically important chokepoints or straits where most of the maritime trade passes through these straits.
    • bab al Mandeb
    • Strait of Hormuz
    • Straits of Malacca
    • Mozambique channel
  • Several countries, especially China, Japan, and South Korea, are competing to control the chokepoint. Because entry and exit into the Indian Ocean can be controlled from these choke points.
  • One-third of the world's population is settled along the Indian Ocean and it is a huge market for finished goods.
  • Many unstable countries are located along the Indian Ocean such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Maldives, etc.
  • The absence of strong formal groups like ASEAN in the Indian Ocean adds further instability to the region.
  • Competition has increased due to China's aggressiveness and expansionist policy to control the Indian Ocean. And major powers like India, America, France, Britain have increased their presence.

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