|Topic: GS2 – International Relations – India and its Neighbourhood
This topic is not much relevant in the context of Prelims but more for Mains in the context of India-Maldives relations.
- Since the British gave up power in 1965, the island nation of Maldives and India have developed a close connection spanning six decades.
- India established diplomatic relations and over time expanded its network of contacts into the corporate, military, political, and civil society spheres.
- This long-standing diplomatic and political partnership is under jeopardy due to the recent occurrences.
- Maldives is strategically significant for India’s maritime security due to its close proximity to the country’s west coast and its position at the centre of commercial water lanes in the Indian Ocean.
- India has made large investments in the Maldives defence forces, with estimates indicating that India carries out about 70% of the Maldives defence training.
- India’s desire to counter the growing influence of China in the region is another reason for its interest in the Maldives.
- China has recently been aggressively involved in the Maldives, but India wants to keep its strategic presence there and keep China’s influence in the region to a minimum.
- Maldives relies heavily on India to supply basic necessities like rice, spices, fruits, vegetables, and medications.
- India is a big trading relationship as well; a sizable portion of the Maldives’ imports originate there. India has a history of providing assistance during difficult times.
- During the COVID-19 epidemic, for example, India supplied vital supplies and offered disaster relief.
- Maldivians rely heavily on India for their education, as evidenced by the students who attend Indian universities.
- Furthermore, India provides infrastructure assistance for hospitals and other important facilities in the Maldives.
- With its intervention during a coup attempt in 1988 and combined naval drills, India has shown to be a dependable security partner for the Maldives.
- In order to protect the island nation, the Indian Navy is ever-vigilant.
- De-escalating tensions, addressing concerns, and working together on topics that are important to both countries is in the best interests of both New Delhi and Male, given their common history, strategic interests, economic interdependence, and the significance of cooperation during times of crisis.
- Decades of cooperation between India and the Maldives that have benefited both countries are in danger of being undermined by the current diplomatic crisis.
|Different Operations in Maldives
|Operation Cactus 1988: The Maldivian government has received assistance from the Indian Armed Forces in neutralising the coup attempt as part of Operation Cactus. Operation Neer 2014: Under Operation Neer India supplied drinking water to Maldives to deal with the drinking water crisis. Operation Sanjeevani: India supplied 6.2 tonnes of essential medicines to Maldives, under Operation Sanjeevani as assistance in the fight against COVID 19.
|PYQ: Discuss the political developments in Maldives in the last two years. Should they be of any cause of concern to India? (200 words/10m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2013)
|Practice Question: Analyze the reasons behind India’s strategic interest in the Maldives and the challenges posed by geopolitical shifts, considering the influence of external actors. (150 words/10 m)