Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

What is Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI)?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : CVI

Mains level : Climate vulnerability of coastlines

Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) has carried out coastal vulnerability assessment for entire Indian coast at states level.

Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI)

  • Under the CVI, INCOIS has brought out an Atlas comprising 156 maps on 1:1,00,000 scales to prepare a CVI.
  • These maps determine the coastal risks due to future sea-level rise based on the physical and geological parameters for the Indian coast.
  • The CVI uses the relative risk that physical changes will occur as sea-level rises are quantified based on parameters like:
  1. Tidal range
  2. Wave height
  3. Coastal slope
  4. Coastal elevation
  5. Shoreline change rate
  6. Geomorphology
  7. Historical rate of relative sea-level change

Other components: MHVM

  • A coastal Multi-Hazard Vulnerability Mapping (MHVM) was also carried out using above mentioned parameters.
  • These parameters were synthesized to derive the composite hazard zones that can be inundated along the coastal low-lying areas due to extreme flooding events.
  • This MHVM mapping was carried for the entire mainland of India on a 1:25000 scale.
  • These maps depict the coastal low-lying areas exposed to the coastal inundation.

Significance of CVI

  • India has a coastline of 7516.6 Km i.e. 6100 km of mainland coastline plus coastline of 1197 Indian islands touching 13 States and Union Territories (UTs).
  • Coastal vulnerability assessments can be useful information for coastal disaster management and building resilient coastal communities.

What is Coastal Security?

  • Coastal Security is understood as a subset of maritime security. It
    involves the security of the coastal water zone against any threat or challenge that originates from the sea. Coastal water zone refers to the water area seawards of the Indian coast up to the limit of India’s contiguous zone, or the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) whichever is less.
  • Coastal security has a wide connotation encompassing maritime border management, island security, maintenance of peace, stability and good order in coastal areas and enforcement of laws therein, security of ports, coastal installations, and other structures
    including Vital Areas and Vital Points (VAs/VPs) and vessels and personnel operating in coastal areas. An effective
    organization for coastal security also facilitates coastal defense.

Why is coastal security considered indispensable for India?

  • National Security: The elaborate security arrangements on land forced the terrorists and illegal migrants to look towards the sea where security measures are comparatively lax, enabling them to ‘move, hide and strike’ with relative ease. Plugging this loophole is imperative to enable a holistic national security architecture.
  • Economic development: Coastal region plays an important part in India’s economic development. Security of the region will have a direct bearing on the following areas:
    a) Trade: India’s sea dependence on oil is about 93% which includes India’s offshore oil production and petroleum exports. Further, 95% of India’s trade by volume and 68% of trade by value comes via the Indian Ocean.
    b) Fish production: India is the second-largest fish producer in the world with a total production of 13.7 million metric tonnes in 2018-19 of which 35% was from the maritime sector. In the same period, India had exported Rs 46,589.37 crore worth of marine products.
    c) Strategic minerals: India hosts some of the largest and richest shoreline placers. The beach and dune sands in India contain heavy minerals (HMs) like ilmenite, rutile, garnet, zircon, monazite and sillimanite.
    d) Geostrategic interests: The Indian Ocean Region (IOR) has become a pivotal zone of global strategic competition.
    e) Dealing with climate-induced crises: Coastal zones are already under threat from environmental degradation. At the same time, the sinking of islands due to the rising sea levels in the Indian Ocean may result in the rise of climate refugees.

How India’s Coastal Security Architecture has evolved over the years?

  • Customs Marine Organisation (CMO), 1974: Created on the recommendation of Nag Chaudhari Committee, it was mandated to conduct anti-smuggling operations. However, since the CMO was temporary in nature, not much attention was paid to strengthening this organisation. In 1982, it was merged with the ICG to avoid the duplication of efforts.
  • Indian Coast Guard (ICG), 1977: With the enactment of the Indian Coast Guard Act, 1978, the organization formally
    came into being as the fourth armed force of India. Its mandates include thwarting smuggling activities, safeguarding and protecting artificial islands, offshore terminals, installations, and other devices in the maritime zone, protecting and assisting fishermen in distress and preserving and protecting the marine environment, including
    controlling marine pollution.
  • Coastal Security Scheme (CSS), 2005: Instituted originally in 2005 and implemented by the Department of Border
    Management, Ministry of Home Affairs. The aim of the CSS was to strengthen infrastructure for patrolling and the surveillance of the coastal areas, particularly the shallow areas close to the coast.
  • Coastal Security Architecture Post ‘26/11’: Since then, the physical assets were built up and human resource capability was
    also enhanced to strengthen the coastal security. These
    efforts include:
    Strengthening the Multilayered Surveillance System: Before 2008, the existing multilayered surveillance system under the CSS was functioning only along the Gujarat and Maharashtra coasts.
    Indian Navy(IN): It was designated as the authority responsible for overall maritime security which includes coastal as well as offshore security. It was also made responsible for the coastal defense of the nation assisted by the ICG, the marine police, and
    other central and state agencies.
    ICG: The Director-General Coast Guard has been designated as the Commander Coastal Command, and is responsible for the overall coordination between central and state agencies in all matters relating to coastal security.
    Border Security Force (BSF): The water wing of the BSF have been deployed along with eight floating border outposts (BOPs), for the security and surveillance of the creeks in Gujarat and the Sunderbans.
    Central Industrial Security Force (CISF): It was entrusted with the responsibility of the physical security of India’s major ports. Vessel Traffic Management Systems (VTMS) are also being installed in all the major and a few non-major ports to monitor and regulate maritime traffic as well as to detect potentially dangerous ships.
    Sagar Suraksha Dal: An informal layer of surveillance, comprising the fishermen community- created following the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts – has also been formalized and activated in all coastal states.
  • National Maritime Domain Awareness (NMDA) Project: It includes an integrated intelligence grid to detect and tackle threats emanating from the sea in real-time. Post 26/11, it has been strengthened by establishing NC3I network and IMAC that generate a common operational picture of activities at sea
    through an institutionalized mechanism.
  • Maritime Theatre Command (MTC): MTC structure is
    proposed to integrate the assets of the Indian Navy, Army, IAF
    and Coast Guard to achieve the goals detailed out in the Joint
    Forces Doctrine (JFD), 2017. It will enable the security forces
    to form a ‘Net-centric’ Warfare model so as to gain an
    an advantage over the adversary using a flexible force structure
    to match the varied geographic domains.
  • Inter-agency maritime exercises: Such exercises help
    build inter-service synergy, interoperability, and
    jointness. These include ‘Sagar Kavach’, ‘Sea Vigil’, TROPEX.
  • Increased cooperation with littoral countries: India
    interacts more actively with littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region and employs maritime security engagement as a cornerstone of her regional foreign policy initiatives.

Gaps in existing architecture

  • Lackadaisical approach of the State governments resulting in the slow pace of construction of coastal infrastructure.
  • Multiplicity of agencies results in poor coordination.
  • Disproportionate focus on terrorism results in less emphasis on non-traditional threats.
  • Lack of professionalism and capacity constraints in marine police forces.
  • Technological backwardnessPort security remains neglected in most of the minor ports.

Ways to fill gaps in the existing architecture

  • Enacting the proposed Coastal Security Bill that will facilitate the creation of NMA.
  • Strengthening the surveillance system
  • Creation of Central Marine Police Force (CMPF)
  • Promulgate the National commercial maritime security policy document for efficient, coordinated, and effective actions.
  • Effective involvement of Coastal communities such as fishermen.
  • Reinforcing Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) regulations
    Recalibrate the defense expenditure to increase capacity and resources.


Back2Basics: INCOIS

  • Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) is an autonomous body under Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).
  • It has been issuing alerts on Potential Fishing Zone, Ocean State Forecast, Tsunami Early Warning, Storm Surge Early Warning, High Wave Alerts, etc.
  • It works through a dedicated ocean modeling, observations, computation facilities and the marine data center.


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