India as a Maritime Power: Contemporary Perspectives

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Greetings from Centre for Aerospace and Defence Laws (CADL), NALSAR University of Law!!

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India has a rich history in dealing with sea trade as well as a variety of trading and non-trading practices via sea within and beyond the confines of the country. Hence it has built up a magnificent maritime history and traditions for several decades even much before then the rise of European maritime powers.

At present, among all Asian and African countries, India has one of the largest and considerably well-coordinated merchant shipping fleets with almost ninety per cent of the country’s trade volume moved by sea. With one of the largest coastline and having boundary as sea/ocean, guarding the country through coast also gains importance.

In short, trade and security through the ocean are prominent in India. Hence from past decades, we have laws which are governing the trade and security. With the advancement in trade and an increase in crimes on seas and natural disasters, there are various issues which need to be addressed. To name a few, issues relating to insurance, liability, accidents, pirates etc., are common. With globalization and Technology-trade prominent era, new areas of concerns have emerged, like ship financing, maritime liens, carriage of goods by sea, ownership and registration of ships, ship sales and building contracts, limitation of liability contracts, the law of collision, salvage, towage and pilotage and its related claims, the law of marine pollution – its consequences and liabilities, customs and port laws are few of them.

That being highlighted in the area of trade-related, there are also new issues and emerging areas in security-related. With the issues of pirates, laws relating to the rights and ownerships for the resources on the high seas and markings of Exclusive economic Zones, Laws related to the passageways of various varieties/registered ships, the trespass of territorial waters, aid by the naval and coast guard forces, Technology used by these forces, rescue operations, access to ports, Laws relating to accidents/attacks on territorial waters, disputes settlement mechanisms for the armed forces, Strategies relating to the security on the seas etc gained prominence and require intense research and analysis of the same.

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With all the contemporary issues, Our panellists in the Webinar “India as a maritime power: Contemporary perspectives”, the last of the “Aerospace and Defence Laws lecture series”, addresses some of them on 31st July 2020 at 5:00 PM.


The webinar will be held on 31st July 2020, Friday at 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM IST.

Prof. P.V. Rao, Visiting Faculty, NALSAR University of Law

Prof. P.V. Rao obtained M.A. in Political Science from Osmania University, with a first division; M.Phil and Ph.D in European Studies from School of International Studies, JNU. He was awarded the British Council Scholarship at London School of Economics for research; Fulbright Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University, Washington; Ford Foundation Fellowship at Bandarnaike International Centre, Colombo. Prof. Rao is the founder Editor of Indian Ocean Survey, a biannual international journal, now being published by the Routledge, UK. He published over forty research articles in Indian and foreign journals. Prof. Rao was the Director of Centre for Indian Ocean Studies, Osmania University; Member, UGC Committee on Area Studies; Member COM, Indian Ocean Research Group, Perth. He regularly lectures at College of Air Warfare; College of Naval Warfare and several other academic institutions.

Commodore Udai Rao, former Principal Director, Naval Intelligence, and a former Director in the Cabinet Secretariat

Commodore Udai Rao was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 1st Jan 1974. During his 32 years of naval service, he has served in various appointments, both ashore and afloat, with the rich command, staff and administrative experience. He has commanded three frontline ships, INS Kavaratti, INS Hosdurg and INS Gomati as also other shore units. He holds an MSc (Defence Studies) degree from Madras University and is a graduate of Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) Wellington. He has subsequently also been a Directing Staff on the faculty of DSSC Wellington. He has undergone the “Army Higher Command Course” at Army College of Combat, Mhow, M.P

He was a part of IPKF operations and was Indian Naval Commander (INCOM) at Kankesanturai in Northern Sri Lanka in 1987. Earlier he had patrolled the Palk bay extensively while in command of INS Kavaratti. He has also served as Chief Staff Officer (Operations) at Navy Office in Chennai from 1994 – 1996 where he oversaw operations such as OP TASHA in the Palk Bay, Gulf of Mannar and in the waters around Sri Lanka…

An important appointment that he held was that of Principal Director Naval Intelligence (PDNI) at Naval Head Quarters, New Delhi for a period of five years from 2001 to 2006 including during OP PARAKRAM.

Commodore Rao has the distinction of having served as a Director in the Cabinet Secretariat where he set up the Maritime Division and handled strategic and security issues at the National level. He has also been a Diplomat at our mission in the Fiji Islands with concurrent accreditation to Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Commodore Rao’s areas of interests include Maritime and Coastal Security, Maritime Diplomacy, Blue Economy. Indian Ocean issues, China in the IOR, Intelligence and Security issues, and Geo-Political & Geo-Strategic issues impinging on the Maritime Domain pertaining to countries and areas of interest to India.

Cmde Rao is a recipient of the ‘Binoculars’ on being adjudged the best cadet onboard INS Krishna in 1972. He was awarded the Lentaigne memorial medal for the best dissertation while undergoing the Staff Course at DSSC, Wellington in 1986. He has received the Chief of Naval Staff’s Commendation on two occasions.

Cmde Udai Rao superannuated from Government service in Sep 2013 and has settled down in Bangalore. He keeps himself busy writing and talking on ‘Matters Maritime’ at universities/colleges/think tanks such as National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) Bangalore, Christ University, Bangalore; Pondicherry University, Manipal University, Osmania University, SV University Tirupati, Aerospace and Defence Seminars conducted by IESA, Indian Naval Academy (INA) Ezhimala, Acharya Bangalore Business school (ABBS), National Academy of Customs (NACIN)Bangalore, NMIMS Law school Bangalore etc. He has also conducted seminars on Coastal Security at Takshashila in Bangalore and at Mangalore University and lectured at the Press Institute of India, Chennai. He is closely associated with the Coastal Security Police of Karnataka and has conducted sea work up of Coastal Security personnel, of approximately 60 days duration between 2015-2018. He has recently conducted harbour and sea training of the customs marine wing

Mangalore for 10 days and sea training of customs marine wing, Mumbai for 14 days. He also occasionally writes for Deccan Herald, Hindu Business line and the Federal on line newspaper on maritime subjects.

He is currently on the adjunct faculty of Raksha Shakti University Gandhinagar, Gujarat and is a trustee of the Institute of Contemporary Studies Bangalore (ICSB).

Ms. Hamsa Devineni, Advocate and Politician

Hamsa Devineni is a practising maritime lawyer and an active politician in India. Academically, she holds a distinction in LLM in Admiralty and Maritime Laws from Tulane University Law School in the USA alongside a post-graduate diploma in patent laws from NALSAR University. Hamsa launched her maritime career with a campus placement by “One Earth Future Foundation”, a Not for profit organization in the USA where she worked on analyzing maritime trends & framing policies for the United Nations Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (UNCGPCS). She was the Project Officer in the “Oceans Beyond Piracy” programme, which along with various international maritime organizations like the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), and the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme pioneers in publishing annual reports and papers on issues concerning world maritime piracy.

She is now a partner at Haven Legal, a law firm, and practices on both the original and appellate sides in various subject matter jurisdictions. Hamsa often writes and speaks on current maritime legal issues and has also drafted and reviewed various maritime legislative bills for the State and Central governments in India. She has been a research associate at the National Maritime Foundation, New Delhi, an autonomous maritime think tank, supported by the Ministry of Defence and the Indian Navy. She is also a visiting fellow at the India Foundation, New Delhi, a premier think tank on national policy & foreign policy issues.

Alongside profession, Hamsa actively participates in public

service, politically, through the Bharatiya Janata Party. She is the spokesperson for BJP in Andhra Pradesh and has contested elections as the BJP candidate for the Ananthapur Lok Sabha constituency in the recently concluded General Elections.

Dr. A. Subramanyam Raju, Professor, Co-ordinator, Centre for Maritime Studies, School of Social Sciences & International Studies, Pondicherry University.

Adluri Subramanyam Raju is Professor in the Centre for South Asian Studies & Coordinator of the UGC Centre for Maritime Studies at Pondicherry University, Pondicherry. He was the recipient of the Mahbub Ul Haq Award (Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS), Colombo, 2003); Scholar of Peace Award (WISCOMP, New Delhi, 2002) and Kodikara Award (RCSS, Colombo, 1998). He was a Salzburg Seminar Fellow (2006). He received the National Best Teacher Award (C.V.S.Krishnamurthy Theja Charities, Tirupati, 2017) and Best Teacher Award twice (Pondicherry University, 2013 & 2018). He was a Visiting Fellow at the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies, Colombo, May 2012. He is on editorial board for five journals. He has published about fifty-five papers and presented about eighty papers at national and international seminars.

He has twenty two books to his credit: Authored: Democracies at Loggerheads: Security Aspects of US-India Relations; Third-Generation Indian Perceptions of the Kashmir Issue; Indian Women Scientists’ Perceptions of the Nuclear Issue; Co-authored: Maritime Cooperation between India and Sri Lanka; Edited: Nuclear India: Problems and Perspectives; Terrorism in South Asia: Views from India; Reconstructing South Asia: An Agenda; India-Sri Lanka Partnership in the 21st Century; Good Order at Sea: Indian Perspective; Maritime Infrastructure in India: Challenges and Prospects; Blue Economy of India: Emerging Trends; Rethinking Regionalism in South Asia; Borders in South Asia: States, Communities and People; Human Security in South Asia: Concept, Environment and Development; New Futures for South Asia: Commerce and Connectivity; Indo-Pacific: Changing Power Dynamics; Indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific: India Betwixt; Understanding Governance in South Asia; Co-edited: Envisioning A New South Asia, India-Southeast Asia: Strategic Convergence in the 21st Century; Greater Connectivity and Integration in South Asia’ & Ocean Governance: Emerging Trends. His forthcoming publications include New India from Maritime Perspective; Governance and Poverty in South Asia; & French Presence in the Western Indian Ocean Region.

Moderated by:

Group Captain Aanand Naidu Pola, Adjunct Professor, NALSAR University of Law, Director, ISAC; Cyberange and Clean Exit

Group Captain Pola Aanand Naidu has 30+ years of experience largely in management and policy intervention. He was Director Personnel(Airmen) of IAF before prematurely leaving the forces. He served as Additional Director General in Doordarshan and All India Radio (Prasar Bharati) heading Corporate HR, Administration, PR, IT&SM Operations, litigation management and Security, and International Relations. He is presently associated with Aakash Law LLP (, an Aviation law firm as a transactional practitioner, and Director of two cybersecurity firms ( and and a workplace ethics rating firm known as Clean Exit Consultancy Services Ltd ( He has been contributing to CADL, NALSAR University as an Adjunct Professor, teaching Aviation Law and Air Transport Management.

Introduction by:

Prof. Balakista Reddy, Registrar, Head, Centre for Aerospace and Defence Laws, NALSAR University of Law

Dr. V. Balakista Reddy obtained his LL.M in International Law from Osmania University and M. Phil. and PhD in International Air and Space Law from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. He has over 20 years of Teaching and Research experience. Dr Reddy has contributed extensively to various national and international journals on different facets of International law. His books on,

(1) Air Law and Policy in India

(2) Recent Trends in International Space Law and Policy and

(3) Emerging Trends in Air and Space Law,

(4) Space Law and Contemporary Issues have won international acclaim. He is a Visiting Faculty Professor at many Universities in India and abroad and has been a keynote speaker at several international seminars. He has acted as the head of the Center for Aerospace and Defence Laws (CADL) since its inception.

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