Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional & global groupings & agreements involving India &/or affecting India’s interests
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Location of Assumption Island and other archipelagos in IOR
Mains level: India-Seychelles defense cooperation
U-turn on Assumption Islands
- National Assembly of Seychelles last week refused to ratify the naval base that India has been planning to build on the island of Assumption.
- The island has been at the centre of high profile maritime diplomacy between India and Seychelles, which was boosted with Prime Minister Modi’s 2015 visit.
- It is not clear how both sides would take the project forward in the absence of a parliamentary ratification.
Enhancing cooperation through security and infrastructure
- PM Modi announced several initiatives for the strategically located country that included the grant of a major Line of Credit (LoC) for the purchase of defense hardware of $100 million.
- He also declared that both sides would intensify cooperation to carry out hydrographical studies of the maritime region and have declared exchange of necessary oceanic maps between two sides.
- India also gifted a Dornier aircraft to Seychelles.
- India is ready to finance three civilian infrastructure projects in Seychelles under Special Grant. Government House, New Police Headquarters and the Office of the Attorney General is included in this.
- Seychelles will soon be celebrating the 250th anniversary of the arrival of the Indian origin people to the archipelago.
- Visiting Seychelles President gifted two large Aldabra turtles that are unique and are known to live for centuries.
- Both sides sealed six agreements including one that will twin Panjim in Goa with Victoria of Seychelles.