Exercise ‘Dosti’

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    In news

    • The 15th edition of the biennial trilateral coast guard exercise ‘Dosti’ involving India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka is underway in the Maldives.            

    About

    • Completion of 30 years: It was first launched in 1991
      • 2021 marks 30 years since these exercises were first launched.
    • Trilateral exercise: These exercises were bilateral, involving the Indian and the Maldives Coast Guards.
      • In 2012, however, Sri Lanka joined these exercises for the first time and since then, it has been a trilateral exercise. 
    • Vessels involved: Indian Coast Guard vessels, the ICGS Vajra and ICGS Apoorva were involved in the exercise and the Sri Lanka Coast Guard, SLCGS Suraksha among others.
    • Aim: To further fortify the friendship, enhance mutual operational capability, and exercise interoperability and to build cooperation between the Coast Guards of Maldives, India and Sri Lanka.

    Significance

    • Strategic importance: Both the Maldives and Sri Lanka are of strategic importance to India and to its maritime security interests.
    • Enhance interoperability: These exercises help during joint operations and missions undertaken by countries and also help enhance interoperability.
    • Training for possibilities: Although piracy is not a major issue in this part of the Indian Ocean, these kinds of exercises also help coast guards with training for possibilities.
    • Better understanding: These exercises help develop a better understanding of the other nation’s coast guard operations and how to enhance coordination during different kinds of missions.
    • Security context: India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives agreed to work on what they called the “four pillars” of security cooperation. These involved the areas of marine security, human trafficking, counter-terrorism and cyber security.
    • NSA-level trilateral talks: NSA-level maritime security cooperation is important for relations between India and the Maldives and India and Sri Lanka.

    Limitations

    • Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ): There are limitations and regulations involving international law, for instance the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ).
    • Continental shelf: Then there is the continental shelf which also has specific rules.
      • Under international law, as stated in Article 76 of the Law of the Sea Convention, this maritime zone consists of the seabed and subsoil that extends to the outer edge of the continental margin or to a distance of 200 nautical miles if the outer edge of the continental margin does not extend up to that distance.
      • The continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) are distinct maritime zones.
      • The extended continental shelf is not an extension of the EEZ.
    • Sovereign rights: Some of the sovereign rights that a coastal state may exercise in the EEZ, especially rights to the resources of the water column (e.g. – pelagic fisheries), do not apply to the Extended Continental Shelf (ECS).

    Source: IE