Indian Ocean Current Affairs - 2019

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Facts Box: Effects of El-Nino, Equinod and IOD on Indian Monsoon, 2019

The ongoing frenetic of the North-East Monsoon in the Peninsular India were supported by the same factors that propelled the South-West monsoon. The Indian monsoon of 2019 saw a neutral Pacific (neither El Nino nor La Nina), a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and a positive Equatorial Indian Ocean Oscillation (EQUINOO).

El nino

  •  The variation in sea surface temperature drives the Indian Ocean and the Pacific phenomena and thereby Indian Monsoon.
  • The El Nino is a phenomenon in the equatorial Pacific where the temperature rises over a threshold of 0.5 degree Celsius. During El Nino the Equatorial East Pacific warms up relative to the west and has adverse impact on Indian monsoon.
  • The monsoon winds and rains are strong during La Nina and weak during El Nino. La Nina years bring heavy rains and El Nino years are dry.
  • Between 1950 and 2012, there were 16 La Nina years with monsoon rains ending up above or around average every time. Also, there were 14 other occasions. The 2002 was the driest monsoons in all these years when El Nino occured.
  • The weak El Nino in the Pacific Ocean this year is one of the reasons for rainfall deficit in the month of June.


In a positive IOD, the western basin of the Indian Ocean warms up creating a low pressure. This rises warm air clouds to set up storms and heavy rains in the South and South east Asia. A positive IOD aids in Indian monsoon. 2019 Monsoon witnessed a positive IOD


The positive EQUINOD translates more or less positive IOD. The Positive EQUINOD aids in North East Monsoon. 2019 monsoon witnessed a positive EQUINOD.

Goa Maritime Conclave, 2019

The Goa Maritime Conclave was inaugurated by the National Security Advisor of India Sri. Ajith Kumar.

Theme of the conclave: Common Maritime Priorities in IOR and need for Regional Maritime Strategy

The Conclave was held under three sessions. It focused on capacity building of IOR (Indian Ocean Region) Navies to encounter emerging maritime threats

Why is IOR important?

The Indian Ocean Region is rich in tin, gold, uranium, cobalt, aluminum, nickel and cadmium. 80% of world’s sea borne trade transits through India Ocean Region. The waters are home to continually evolving strategic development that include India and China, Islamist terrorism, increase in incidence of piracy, potential nuclear confrontation between India and Pakistan, etc.

US has deployed many of its Combined Task Forces to safeguard oil flow in the region. France makes its significance presence with its naval bases at Abi Dhabi and Djibouti.

Why is IOR important to India?

India imports about 70% of oil through this region. India has its listening posts in Seychelles, Mauritius and Madagascar. Maldives is co – opted as part of India’s southern Naval command.

With China’s String of Pearl strategy to surround India, it is essential for India to strengthen its presence in the IOR.

Maritime Threats

  • Maritime Terrorism – Explosives are smuggled through the region. The Mumbai serial blasts in 1993 and infiltration of 10 Pakistani terrorists were executed by using sea routes. The 2008 Mumbai attack also proved how vulnerable the coasts are
  • Piracy – Somalia and Gulf of Aden are predominantly attacked by pirates. The attacks were in their peaks between 2005 and 2012.
  • Smuggling and human Trafficking
  • Illegal Migration, Infiltration and Refugee Influx

Choke points of IOR

Straits of Hormuz, Bab – el Mandeb and Malacca are considered as choke points of the Indian Ocean Region.