October 16, 2015
In the 21st century the Indian Ocean region (IOR) is rapidly taking centerstage on the global maritime map. The vast majority of the world's population lives in thirty-six littoral sates and another twenty hinterland states that have contrasting economies and models of governance. The IOR is also the locus of a number of conflicts-ongoing and potential. At least 40% of the world's seaborne trade, 50% of its container traffic and 70% of the traffic in hydro-carbon products transit this ocean, with entry and exit through narrow straits or choke points. Any disruption could lead to a major impact on global oil and commodity prices. It is therefore not surprising that the the IOR has become a strategic priority for major powers. China has in recent years followed a vigorous policy of engagement with the IOR littorals and there are many indicators that it is planning to have an enduring presence in the IOR. The speaker will cover the backdrop of the IOR, the security challenges and mitigating strategies from the Indian perspective."
Admiral Nirmal Kumar Verma is a former Indian Navy Admiral who served as the Chief of the Naval Staff of Indian Navy, from August 31, 2009 to August 31, 2012. In November 2012, he was appointed as the High Commissioner to Canada.
Born on November 14, 1951, he joined the Indian Navy at the age of 19. He studied at Goethals Memorial School Kurseong, Royal Naval Staff College in the UK, and the Naval War College in the US.
Verma took charge of the Naval Academy in Goa, and subsequently became commander of a series of Indian Navy ships, including INS Ranvir (D54) and INS Viraat, India's only aircraft carrier. He rose to the rank of Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) of the Eastern Naval Command, and was appointed Chief of the Indian Navy upon the retirement of Sureesh Mehta on August 31, 2009. During his career he has been awarded several decorations, including the Param Vishisht Seva Medal and the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal. He took over as the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee on July 30, 2011 from the then outgoing Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal P V Naik.
Admiral Verma is currently at the US Naval War College, Newport, RI as the Chief of Naval Operations, US Navy Distinguished International Fellow.