With respect to the maritime security threats, elucidate the meaning and components of the Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) while discussing India's efforts towards achieving complete Maritime Domain Awareness.

Published: December 31, 2016

Maritime Domain Awareness is an effective understanding of anything which is associated with the maritime domain which would impact the security, safety, economy, or environment of the country.
A Global MDA will enable a country to detect, surveil, identify, classify, and interdict vessels of interest. Global MDA will be helpful in providing situational awareness and clarity necessary to determine if a vessel is friend or foe.
Our country is significantly focussing on improving its maritime domain awareness (MDA) due to maritime security threats in coastal waters and much farther afield, and most importantly China’s presence in the Indian Ocean.
The Mumbai Attacks of 2008 made India aware of the gaps in its coastal surveillance and intelligence capabilities.
This led to the establishment of the National Committee for Strengthening Maritime and Coastal Security, headed by the cabinet secretary, with overall responsibility for the national MDA project.
Further, in 2014 the Ministry of Defence launched the Information Management and Analysis Centre and the National Command Control Communication and Intelligence Network.3 This network collates data on all vessels operating near the Indian coast from multiple technical sources, including the automatic identification system and radar chain.
Most recently, in order to keep the maritime secure and being aware of any threats, recently Indian Maritime Security Strategy 2015 (IMSS) titled as ‘Ensuring secure seas’ underlined India’s growing maritime interest & ambitions in Indian Ocean Region (IOR) was released. It spells out the navy’s current maritime operation philosophy.

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