A maritime bastion

Syllabus: GS-III, Subject: Internal Security, Topic: Border Management, Issue: Andaman Nicobar Islands

Significance of Andaman Nicobar Island:

  • Strategically close to Myanmar, Indonesia, and Thailand, while being distant from Indian mainland.
  • Despite small surface area, the islands significantly extend India’s exclusive economic zone, with potential hydrocarbon and mineral resources.


  • Chinese Navy vessels, including submarines, frequent the waters around the A&N islands, indicating a sustained Chinese naval presence.
  • With only 31 of the 836 islands inhabited, there is a risk of covert occupation by a neighboring country, akin to the “Kargil heights” scenario.

The way ahead:

  • Robust maritime domain awareness and defensive/offensive capabilities.
  • The Malacca Strait’s strategic importance highlights the potential of Great Nicobar.
  • Upgrading security infrastructure in the A&N islands can enhance India’s defensive capabilities and project power in the Indo-Pacific region.

Port Blair could serve as a regional hub for cooperative maritime endeavors among navies, including disaster relief and countering piracy.

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