Indian President Ram Nath Kovind was on a six-day official visit to island nations of Mauritius and Madagascar from March 11, 2018.
- These visits of President Kovind held lot of significance as Mauritius and Madagascar are located in Indian Ocean, a region where China has been increasing its naval presence in recent times.
- It is to be noted that President Kovind was the Chief Guest at the celebrations commemorating 50th year of independence of Mauritius on March 12, 2018.
- Besides, President Kovind’s visit to Madagascar was the first ever visit by an Indian President
India announced USD 100 million LoC for Mauritius
On March 12, 2018, on the second day of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to Mauritius, India announced a new USD 100 million Line of Credit for defence procurement by Mauritius.
- President Kovind stated that India will supply a Multi-Purpose Offshore Patrol Vessel to Mauritius under this Line of Credit.
- Indian and Mauritius also signed other agreements after delegation-level talks between Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth.
- The other agreements/memorandum of understanding (MoUs) signed include an MoU on cooperation between Nalanda University in Bihar and Mauritius; an MoU between the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in India and the Public Service Commission of Mauritius; an MoU on the establishment of an Ayurveda Chair at the University of Mauritius and an agreement to facilitate cultural exchanges between the two countries.
President Kovind inaugurates World Hindi Secretariat building in Mauritius
On March 13, 2018, President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the World Hindi Secretariat building in Mauritius.
- On the same day, he also launched the World Hindi Secretariat’s logo, an Early Digital Learning Programme, and laid foundation stone of an ENT hospital and social housing projects.
- These projects are being executed under the $353 million Special Economic Package extended by India.
Quick Facts about Mauritius:
- Capital – Port Louis
- Currency – Mauritian rupee
- Current Prime Minister – Pravind Jugnauth
India, Madagascar sign umbrella agreement in defence sector
During the course of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to Madagascar, India and Madagascar signed an umbrella agreement in the field of defence.
- As per the terms of this agreement, both the countries will explore various ways of co-operation in the field of defence.
- Besides, an amended air service agreement for improving connectivity between the two countries was also signed.
- He also inaugurated the Centre for Geo-informatics Applications in Rural Development. This Centre will support communities in Madagascar in using geospatial technologies for a host of applications in rural development, and will strengthen bilateral cooperation in agriculture and related areas.
Quick Facts about Madagascar:
- Capital – Antananarivo
- Currency – Malagasy ariary
- Current President – Hery Rajaonarimampianina