On May 10, 2020, the government of India (GOI) has initiated a “Mission Sagar” as a part of their efforts to send medical aid to five Island nations in the Indian Ocean amid COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, Indian Naval Ship (INS) Kesari departed for Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros, to provide Food items, COVID related Medicines including Hydroxychloroquine(HCQ) Tablets and Special Ayurvedic Medicines with Medical Assistance Teams.
- For Maldives, 600 tonnes of food items will also be provided and for Comoros medicines related to dengue would be given.
- This mission is launched in coordination with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), and other agencies of GOI.
The deployment of this mission is on the lines of Prime Ministers’ vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) for the Indian Ocean promulgated in March 2015. With this mission, India is the first responder in the region by providing aid to these countries for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant difficulties.
Commissioned in 2008, INS Kesari is a Shardul-class tank landing ship of the Indian Navy. It was built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata, West Bengal.
- In March 2014, it was involved in the hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the Indian Ocean region.
Union Minister– Rajnath Singh
Minister of State (MoS)– Shripad Yesso Naik
Departments– 5; Department of Defence (DOD), Department of Defence Production (DDP), Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (DESW), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), and Department of Military Affairs (DMA)
Union Minister– Dr. SubrahmanyamJaishankar
Minister of State (MoS)– VellamvellyMuraleedharan