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India-Mauritius Relations

India-Mauritius Relations- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: International Relations- Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

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India-Mauritius Relations- Context

  • Prime Minister of India and Prime Minister of Mauritius will jointly inaugurate the India-assisted Social Housing Units project in Mauritius virtually.

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India-Mauritius Relations- Recent Developments

  • India and Mauritius will launch the Civil Service College and 8MW Solar PV Farm projects in Mauritius that are being undertaken under India’s development support.
  • An Agreement on extending a US$ 190 million Line of Credit (LoC) from India to Mauritius for the Metro Express Project and other infrastructure projects will be signed.
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the implementation of Small Development Projects will also be exchanged between India and Mauritius.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)


India-Mauritius Relations- Background

  • Diplomatic relations between India and Mauritius were established in 1948. Mauritius maintained contacts with India through successive Dutch, French and British occupation.
  • Following Mauritius’ independence on March 12, 1968, the first Prime Minister of Mauritius Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam accorded centrality to India in Mauritius’ foreign policy.
  • Subsequently, successive Mauritian leaders ensured that India occupies a position of significance and importance in the foreign policy orientation and activities of Mauritius.


India-Mauritius Relations- Cultural Relations

  • Indira Gandhi Centre for Indian Culture (IGCIC): from March 2000, it has emerged as an important venue for the promotion of Indian cultural activities in Mauritius.
    • The IGCIC holds classes in disciplines of Hindustani music, Kathak, Tabla and Yoga for Mauritian students.
  • Mahatma Gandhi Institute (MGI): It was established in 1970 as a joint venture between the Government of India and the Government of Mauritius for the promotion of Indian culture and education.
  • The Rabindranath Tagore Institute: It was established with the assistance of the Government of India in 2000 as a Centre of Studies on Indian culture and traditions.
  • Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC): It has been India’s flagship capacity building programme since its inception in 1964.
    • Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) has acquired a strong brand name in India’s development partnership with Mauritius.
    • Mauritius is one of the largest beneficiary countries of the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme.
  • India Council for Cultural Relations: Over 100 ICCR scholarships are extended annually to Mauritian students for higher education in India.



India-Mauritius Relations- Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement’ (CECPA)

  • About: Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement’ (CECPA) is a trade pact between India and Mauritius that was signed in February 2021.
    • This is the first of its kind agreement that India has signed with any country in Africa.
    • CECPA was under negotiation since 2005.
  • Significance:
    • CECPA is expected to cut or eliminate duties on the majority of goods as well as liberalize norms to promote services trade.
    • The CECPA also marks a new step in the partnership between India and the African continent.
    • The joint economic initiative will enable India Inc. to use Mauritius as a springboard for the expansion of their businesses into continental Africa.
    • It will help Mauritius emerge, in Jaishankar’s words, as a “hub of Africa”.


India-Mauritius Relations- Health Cooperation during COVID Pandemic

  • Covid-19 Vaccines: India gifted over a consignment of 200,000 doses of Made-in-India COVID-19 vaccines to Mauritius.
  • Medicine Supply: India supplied 23 tonnes of essential medicines, half a million tablets of hydroxychloroquine, as well as a consignment of Ayurvedic medicines.
  • Mission SAGAR’ initiative: A 14-member Medical Assistance Team, under the Indian Navy’s ‘Mission SAGAR’ initiative, also visited Mauritius for providing medical help.
  • India-Mauritius health cooperation: India has assisted in the development of the Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital and the Subramania Bharati Eye Centre in the country.
    • In 2019, India virtually inaugurated a state of the art ENT hospital, built with the assistance of $14 million.


India-Mauritius Relations- Defence and Security Cooperation

  • Transfer of Defence Arsenal: India transferred a Dornier aircraft and an Advanced Light Helicopter, Dhruv, on lease to Mauritius.
    • These platforms will go a long way in helping the country monitor its extensive maritime zone.
  • Extension of Line of Credit (LoC): India agreed to extend a $100 million Line of Credit (LoC) to Mauritius.
    • This LoC was given to enable the procurement of defence equipment by Mauritius.
  • Skill Development: with India’s continuous support, Mauritius has been able to augment the skills of its security forces, and restructure and enhance the capacity of its National Coast Guard.
    • Indian Naval and Coast Guard officers are seconded to the Mauritian National Coast Guard as per a 1974 agreement.
  • Coastal Surveillance: India has extended support to Mauritius in enhancing its coastal surveillance capabilities by setting up the Coastal Surveillance Radar System (CSRS), in 2011.
    • The CSRS network enhances the country’s Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) in the Indian Ocean region.
  • Cooperation on various Multilateral Forums: Various mechanisms play a significant role in India- Mauritius cooperation. India has launched several initiatives, including-
    • Third India- Africa Forum Summit in 2015,
    • The first India-Africa Defence Ministers Conclave in 2020 and
    • India-IOR Defence Ministers Conclave in February 2021.
    • Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and
    • Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)

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India-Mauritius Relations- Cooperation in Indo-Pacific Region

  • Mauritius is strategically important with reference to India’s policy towards the Indian Ocean/Indo-Pacific region.
  • Two-thirds of the world’s oil shipments, one-third of its bulk cargo, and half of its container traffic”, transit through the Indian Ocean.
  • Mauritius-India cooperation will also make the Indian Ocean safe, secure and free from any challenge.
  • SAGAR (Security and Growth for All) was launched by India Prime Minister in Mauritius which called for deepening economic and security cooperation with India’s maritime neighbours.

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