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Indo-Pacific Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA) initiative


Recently, the Indian Navy Chief Admiral said that the Indo-Pacific Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA) initiative is a testament to the commitment to a free, open, inclusive, and rules-based Indo-Pacific region.


GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Indo-Pacific Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA) Initiative
  2. About QUAD

Indo-Pacific Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA) Initiative:

  • Announced during the 2022 Quad Leaders’ Summit in Tokyo.
  • Designed to track “dark shipping” and establish a more comprehensive and up-to-date understanding of maritime activities in partner countries’ waters across three vital Indo-Pacific regions: the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
Purpose of IPMDA:
  • A technology and training program aimed at improving maritime domain awareness within the Indo-Pacific area and increasing transparency in its significant maritime routes.
  • Utilizes advanced technology, including commercial satellite radio frequency data collection, to supply partner countries in Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean region, and the Pacific with near real-time data regarding activities occurring within their maritime territories.

About QUAD

  • The Quad is an informal strategic forum comprising four nations, namely –India, United States of America, Australia and Japan.
  • One of the primary objectives of the Quad is, to work for a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
  • The group for the first time met in 2007 on the side lines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
  • It is considered an alliance of maritime democracies.
  • The forum is maintained through meetings, semi-regular summits, information exchanges, and military drills of all the member countries.
  • The motive behind the Quad is, to keep the strategic sea routes in the Indo-Pacific, free of any military or political influence.
  • The core objective of the Quad is, to secure a rules-based global order, freedom of navigation and, a liberal trading system.
  • The coalition also aims to offer, alternative debt financing for nations in the Indo-Pacific region.
Purpose of Quad:
  • Recently the U.S. has clarified that Quad is not a security or military partnership.
  • Its purpose is to advance cooperation on key priorities in specific sectors that is consistent with international law
  • It promotes shared values of its members and underpins peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • A U.S. State Department spokesperson said that “We work to support the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, democratic values, and territorial integrity through open dialogue and information sharing on a diverse set of issue areas, including Maritime Security”.
Significance of Quad:

Quad is becoming a powerful mechanism and its significance is given below:

  • Helping to vaccinate a big part of the world and getting a lot of vaccines out there,
  • Strengthening maritime security to push back against aggression and coercion in the Indo-Pacific region,
  • Working together on emerging technologies and making sure that they can be used in positive ways and an increasingly broad and deep agenda.
  • It also supports many activities/platforms as part of its shared approach to the Indo-Pacific.

December 2023