Blue Economy Entities

The oceans are a vast reserve for living and non-living resources and can potentially contribute towards the economic wellbeing of the nation in a substantial manner. Precise exploration and exploitation will require effective UDA for efficiently planning their extraction. Shipping, fishing, deep sea mining and many other offshore industries can contribute substantially to the economic growth of the nation.

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National Security Apparatus

The maritime nations with vast sea boundaries are vulnerable to subversive attempts by their adversaries. The keenness for undersea awareness from security perspective, means defending our Sea Lines of Communication, coastal waters and varied maritime assets against the proliferation of submarines and mine capabilities intended to limit the access to the seas and littoral waters

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Environmental Regulators and Disaster Management Authorities

Though it isn’t possible to prevent a natural disaster, early warning can certainly minimize the loss of life and property. Human activities in the maritime domain are causing serious environmental degradation and is a threat to sustainable growth. Effective UDA could facilitate management of the underwater environment in a more effective manner.

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Science and Technology Providers

Science and technology will always be the main driver for endeavours like safety, security, and sustainable growth. Understanding of the ecosystem that exists undersea, the interaction between the multiple components of the ecosystem & also the impact of various human interventions on the ecosystem requires research efforts.

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Acoustic Capability Building

The concept of Underwater Domain Awareness (UDA) in a more specific sense translates into our eagerness to know what is happening in the underwater realm of our maritime areas and the freshwater ecosystems. The key aspect is transparency and ability to monitor every development for correlation and prediction of any associated event. The conventional understanding of UDA being an underwater version of the Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) is being repositioned with broader all-encompassing definition far beyond the security driven framework. Achieving this will enable all stakeholders to unlock the potential of the Underwater Domain for cross pollination of ideas and translating them into actionable insights for multi domain relevance.


The conventional approach of each of the stakeholders pursuing their own UDA efforts has serious limitations given the highly resource intensive field experimental research initiative required for a long period. This has ensured that UDA has remained an exclusive club of very few developed nations with access to such resources and know-how. Vested interest of these few, have further ensured inequitable distribution of the global resources leading to unrest and conflict. We have gone through a full circle and now it is time we build universal systems that can minimize the inequitable distribution of resources and bring peace and harmony on a global scale.

The figure above gives a comprehensive way forward for the stakeholders to engage and interact. It will enable more focused approach and well defined interactive framework. Multi-disciplinary and multifunctional entities can interact and contribute, to seamlessly synergize their efforts towards a larger goal. The proposed UDA framework encourages pooling of resources and synergizing of efforts across the stakeholders towards safe, secure, sustainable growth for all.

UDA Framework Concept Note : Download



The UDA framework is relevant to multiple national initiatives and could substantially complement the efforts on all the three fronts namely Policy, Technology & Innovation and Human Resource Development. The initiatives are Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR), Inland Water Transport (IWT) and Freshwater Resource Management.


Post the 9/11 incident in the US, the Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) gained prominence as a security driven formulation and similarly in India, post the 26/11 Mumbai incident again the Navy driven MDA was acknowledged as a priority. The underwater component of the MDA will be a very narrow perspective for the effective realization of the UDA. The underwater threat from disruptive technology driven tools like drones and others is a real threat, however even in the US the MDA formulation is not able to effectively cover the underwater threat.

Resonance among Stakeholders

MRC team featured in Global Maritime Innovation Challenge: Narwhal Challenge. Only team from Asia among the Four finalists. Raksha Rajya Mantri recommended considering UDA framework as a National Priority. Indian Navy recognized NDT/MRC to be pioneers in initiating the National UDA discourse in India. Indian National Shipping Association (INSA), recognized NDT/MRC efforts in promoting sustainable growth in the maritime sector Chairman National Shipping Board complemented NDT/MRC for their novel work on Acoustic Habitat Degradation.
Business France and the French Consulate in Mumbai invited NDT/MRC to address a Maritime & Defence Industry delegation from France on Opportunities in India on UDA framework.