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India – Maldives Relation

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Bharathi Pradeep
Bharathi Pradeep
Editor at Bharathi covers topics on Competitive exams, How To guides, Current exams, Current Affairs, Study Materials, etc. Follow her on social media using the links below.

Recent news about India-Maldives Relations

India-Maldives Relations PDF

  • The Government has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of judicial cooperation between India and the Judicial Service Commission of Maldives.
  • It is the eighth MoU signed between India and other countries in the field of Judicial Cooperation.
  • The Prime Minister while highlighting the threat of transnational crime, terrorism and drug trafficking in the Indian Ocean said that the coordination between India and Maldives in the field of defence and security is vital for peace and stability.

Trade and economic relations

  • India emerged as Maldives’ 3rd largest trade partner in 2021.
  • Indian imports from the Maldives primarily comprise scrap metals.
  • Indian exports to the Maldives include a variety of engineering and industrial products like drugs and pharmaceuticals, radar apparatus, rock boulders, aggregates, cement, and agricultural produce like rice, spices, fruits, vegetables, poultry products, etc.
  • Tourism is the mainstay of the Maldivian economy. The country is now a major tourist destination for Indians.
  • Given the geographical limitations imposed on the Maldives, India has exempted the nation from export curbs on essential commodities.

Recent MOUs

  • MoU on cooperation in the field of Hydrography
  • MoU on cooperation in the field of Health
  • MoU on the establishment of Passenger cum Cargo service by sea
  • MoU for cooperation in Customs’ capacity building
  • MoU between Maldives Civil Service Commission and India’s National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG)
  • Technical Agreement on the exchange of White Shipping Information between Indian Navy & MNDF.

India-Maldives Security & Defence Cooperation

Since 1988, defence and security have been a major area of cooperation between India and the Maldives.

India has adopted a very flexible and accommodating approach to meeting Maldivian requirements for defence training and equipment.

  • India provides the largest number of training opportunities for the Maldivian National Defence Force (MNDF), meeting around 70% of their defence training requirements.
  • A comprehensive Action Plan for Defence was also signed in April 2016 to consolidate defence partnerships.

India-Maldives defence cooperation also extends to the areas of Joint Exercises, Maritime Domain Awareness, gifting of hardware, infrastructure development, etc.

Key projects in the defence sector include the Composite Training Centre (CTC) for MNDF, the Coastal Radar System (CRS), and the construction of a new Ministry of Defence Headquarters.

Developmental Cooperation

The major completed and ongoing development assistance projects executed by India are:

  • Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital
  • Maldives Institute of Technical Education (now called the Maldives Polytechnic)
  • India-Maldives Faculty of Hospitality & Tourism Studies
  • Technology Adoption Programme in Education Sector in the Maldives
  • Male connectivity project
    • The two leaders also welcomed the launch of the Greater Male Connectivity Project, a USD 500 million project funded by New Delhi.
      • Both leaders participated in the virtual “pouring of the first concrete” ceremony of the USD500-million Greater Male Connectivity Project, being built under the grant and concessional loan support from India.
  • Agreements:
    • The countries signed six agreements to expand cooperation in a range of areas in the Maldives, including:
      • Cybersecurity
      • Capacity Building
      • Housing
      • Disaster Management
      • Infrastructure Development
        • India announced USD100 million in financial aid to help the island-nation complete certain infrastructure projects.
  • China Angle
    • China’s strategic footprint in India’s neighbourhood has increased. The Maldives has emerged as an important ‘pearl’ in China’s “String of Pearls” construct in South Asia.
    • Given the uncertain dynamics of Sino-Indian relations, China’s strategic presence in the Maldives remains a concern.
    • Also, the Maldives have started using the China card to bargain with India.

Operation Cactus

  • India’s prompt assistance during the 1988 coup attempt, led to the development of trust and long-term and friendly bilateral relations with the Maldives.
  • The immediate withdrawal of our troops when they were no longer required assuaged fears of any Indian dominance or territorial aspirations.

Disaster management

  • India was the first to assist the Maldives during the 2004 Tsunami as well as the water crisis in Malé in December 2014.
  • Under Operation NEER, India immediately rushed bottled drinking water to Malé utilizing Air Force aircraft and Navy ships.
  • When the world supply chains were blocked because of Covid-19, India continued to provide crucial commodities to the Maldives under Mission SAGAR.


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Bharathi Pradeep
Bharathi Pradeep
Editor at Bharathi covers topics on Competitive exams, How To guides, Current exams, Current Affairs, Study Materials, etc. Follow her on social media using the links below.

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