The Indian Ocean is an area of primary importance to the Indian Navy and instability in the region directly affects India's security environment. India's geographic location in the Indian Ocean naturally renders the Indian Navy as one of the key players in the region and an important partner for the Indian Ocean community to keep the area stable and secure. Compared to the Pacific, the Indian Ocean has previously been fairly free of conflicts and geopolitical competition giving India a sense of security in its Indian Ocean role. New Delhi for far too long has been occupied with troubles along its continental border with limited focus on maritime security. The lack of an interest in developing a coherent maritime security strategy in the Indian defence establishment was aided by a relatively favourable maritime environment. The security environment in the Indian Ocean today, however, is quickly changing with a rise in strategic competition. Recent developments have forced New Delhi to take a fresh look at its maritime strategy, particularly under the current government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This chapter examines enhancing India's maritime domain awareness (MDA) in the Indian Ocean as a part of India's new maritime outlook. It underlines the factors driving this change especially in context of the Sino-Indian relationship. The chapter concludes with a set of recommendations to enhance India's surveillance capabilities in the Indian Ocean region improving its domain awareness.

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This book chapter was originally published by the Oxford University Press.