Why people are Protesting in Lakshadweep


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Paper 3- Suitability of Maldives model of development for the Lakshadweep

The article highlights the issues with development model sought to be pursued in Lakshadweep.

Background of Island Development Authority’

  • A specially constituted Island Development Authority (IDA) for the island territories of India, chaired by no less than the former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi.
  • IDA had in 1988, approved a framework for the development of India’s island territories.
  • IDA sought an environmentally sound strategy for both island groups hinges on better exploitation of marine resources coupled with much greater care in the use of land resources.
  • Deliberations of the IDA wanted that Lakshadweep, with its land ownership constitutionally protected, be opened to international tourism.

Issues with following Maldives model for development of Lakshadweep

  •  Recently, the Administrator, Lakshadweep, introduced a slew of draft legislation that will have a wide-ranging impact on the islands.
  • One such legislation is the Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation 2021 with intentions to develop Lakshadweep like neighbouring Maldives, “a renowned international tourist destination”.
  • Rejecting the Maldives model, the plan for Lakshadweep required that the industry had to be people-centric and enrich the fragile coral ecology.
  • Today, long lines and refrigeration have aided the expansion of the fishing sector but income disparities have grown.
  • Indiscriminate trawling endangers the coral, as experienced in the Maldives and now banned there.
  • The Government recognises the need to develop policies for enhancing employment opportunities, environment-friendly management of fisheries, sanitation, waste disposal and widening access to drinking water, with the youth, having acquired a modern education, preferring salaried jobs over pursuing traditional occupations.


What Lakshadweep needs is a clear policy must include conservation and natural resource management arrived at after wide consultation, eminently possible within the existing infrastructure of the Union Territory, and also taking into account climatic compulsions.

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