[Answered] Analyze the role of the Indian Navy in ensuring the safety of maritime trade routes, particularly in the context of threats like the Houthi rebels in the Red Sea. How does maritime security impact global and national economies?

Introduction: Give a brief context to the question

Body: Highlight the role played by the Indian Navy in the Red Sea and the impact of maritime security on the economy.

Conclusion: Way forward

The Indian Navy plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety of maritime trade routes, not only for India but also for the global economy. In the context of threats like the Houthi rebels in the Red Sea, the Navy’s role becomes even more significant due to the potential disruptions to vital shipping lanes.

Role of the Indian Navy

  • Multilateral Cooperation: To combat shared risks, the Navy works with international maritime security initiatives and organizations. To improve overall marine security, this involves taking part in cooperative patrols, information exchange, and capacity-building initiatives.
  • Protecting Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOCs): India’s maritime interests, especially its sea lines of communication, are the responsibility of the Indian Navy. This entails making sure that trade ships pass through vital chokepoints safely, such as the Red Sea, where shipping can be hampered by groups like the Houthi rebels.
  • Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR): Apart from security concerns, the Indian Navy is often involved in HADR operations. Rapid response to natural disasters or accidents at sea is crucial for ensuring the continuity of maritime trade and minimizing economic losses.
  • Counter-Piracy Operations: The Indian Navy actively engages in counter-piracy operations in regions prone to piracy, such as the Gulf of Aden. Piracy not only poses a direct threat to maritime trade but also contributes to increased insurance costs and operational challenges for shipping companies.

Impact of Maritime Security on Global and National Economies

  • Global Trade and Supply Chains: A significant portion of global trade is conducted through maritime routes. Any disruption to these routes, whether due to piracy, conflict, or geopolitical tensions, can lead to delays, increased shipping costs, and potential shortages of goods. This can impact the overall efficiency of global supply chains and contribute to economic uncertainty.
  • Energy Security: Many countries, including India, rely on maritime transport for the import of energy resources such as oil and natural gas. Disruptions in sea lanes can lead to energy shortages, affecting not only individual nations but also global energy markets.
  • Economic Impact on Nations: For countries like India, with a substantial maritime trade volume, disruptions in sea routes can have severe economic consequences. The cost of insurance for ships passing through high-risk areas can increase, impacting the overall cost of goods. Additionally, interruptions in trade can affect industries, employment, and economic growth.
  • Geopolitical Stability: Ensuring maritime security is vital for maintaining geopolitical stability. Unresolved conflicts or tensions in key maritime regions can have a cascading effect on international relations and, consequently, global economic stability.


The waters of the Indian Ocean annually, carry 80 percent of the world’s oil and 10 trillion tons of cargo to Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas making it the lifeblood of the global economy. Cooperative efforts like India’s good relations with Israel and Iran can help address these challenges efficiently.

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