India launches slew of infra & development projects in Mauritius

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    In News

    • Prime Minister of India and his Mauritian counterpart jointly inaugurated India-assisted social housing unit’s project in Mauritius virtually.

    About

    • Special Economic Package (SEP): The Government of India had earlier extended a grant of US$ 353 mn to the Government of Mauritius as Special Economic Package (SEP) to execute five priority projects identified by the Government of Mauritius, among others.
      • These were: the Metro Express Project, Supreme Court Building, New ENT Hospital, Supply of Digital Tablets to Primary School Children, and the Social Housing Project.

    Major Outcomes of the meet

    • The new Supreme Court Building of Mauritius: was also inaugurated virtually by the two Prime Ministers.
    • They launched the 8 MW Solar PV Farm projects: in Mauritius that are being undertaken under India’s development support. India recalled the One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG) initiative that he put forth at the First Assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in 2018.
      • The 8 MW Solar PV Farm project involves the installation of 25,000 PV cells to generate approximately 14 GWh of green energy annually, to electrify approximately 10,000 Mauritian households.
      • An estimated avoidance of 13,000 tons of CO2 emissions every year, helping Mauritius mitigates the effects of climate change.
    • Infrastructure: An agreement on extending a USD 190 million Line of Credit from India to Mauritius for the Metro Express Project and other infrastructure projects.
      • MoU on the implementation of small development projects was also exchanged.
    • Civil Service College project: India acknowledged the importance of the Civil Service College project in nation building and offered to share learnings of Mission Karmayogi.
      • Once constructed, this will provide a fully equipped and functional facility for the civil servants of Mauritius to undertake various training and skill development programmes.

    Significance of the ties

    • The vision powering India’s development assistance: is defined by the needs and priorities of the friends and respectful of sovereignty, and at the same time enhancing the well-being of the people and bolstering the capacities of the country.
    • Culture: India and Mauritius share close ties anchored in our common history, ancestry, culture and language.
    • Indian Ocean Region: This is reflected in the privileged development partnership between our two countries, with Mauritius being a key development partner for India in the Indian Ocean Region.
    • SAGAR: India recalled that it was in Mauritius, during 2015 that India’s maritime cooperation vision of SAGAR – ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region’ was outlined.

    India-Mauritius Relations

    • Historical Ties:
      • Mauritius maintained contacts with India through successive Dutch, French and British occupation.
      • From the 1820s, Indian workers started going to Mauritius to work on sugar plantations.
      • The Indian origin population constitutes about 68% of the Mauritian population.
      • As a tribute to Gandhiji and the Indian freedom struggle, the National Day of Mauritius is celebrated on 12th March (the date of the launch of Dandi Salt March in 1930).
    • Political Relations:
      • Diplomatic relations between both countries were established in 1948.
    • Economic Relations:
      • Since 2005, India has been among the largest trading partners of Mauritius and has been one of the largest exporters of goods and services to Mauritius.
      • The bilateral trade between India and Mauritius has registered a growth of 233% from USD 206.76 million in the Financial Year (FY) 2005-06 to USD 690.02 million in FY 2019-20.
      • Mauritius was the second top source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into India in 2019-20.
      • India’s Exports to Mauritius: Petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, cereals, cotton, shrimps and prawns, frozen boneless bovine meat.
      • India’s Imports from Mauritius: Vanilla, instruments and apparatus for medical/surgical sciences, needles, Aluminum alloys etc.
    • Defence:
      • India gets a reliable partner in Mauritius and through the coastal radar network has effectively extended its maritime surveillance capability into the Southern Indian Ocean.
      • Mauritius benefits by drawing on the experience of professional Indian Navy and Air Force officers as well as being able to avail itself of naval vessels being produced at Indian shipyards at competitive prices and attractive financing packages.
      • The INS Amar, an ex-Indian Navy Seaward Defence Boat was transferred to the Mauritian National Coast Guard (NCG) in April 1974 and served as the country’s only naval vessel for over two decades.
    • Cultural Relations:
      • The Indira Gandhi Centre for Indian Culture (IGCIC), one of the largest centres of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), has emerged as an important venue for the promotion of Indian cultural activities in Mauritius.
      • The Mahatma Gandhi Institute (MGI) was founded as a joint venture for the promotion of Indian culture and education.
      • Mauritius also hosts the World Hindi Secretariat, which is a bilateral organization and was inaugurated in 2018.
    • Education and Scholarships:
      • Mauritius is one of the largest beneficiary countries of the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme.
      • Mauritius is the largest beneficiary of Africa Scholarships under the India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS).

    Way Forward

    • Today’s event, in line with the spirit of ?Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas?, marks yet another milestone in this successful, time-tested partnership.

    Source: PIB