Polity & IR– Bilateral Relations
Following are the MoUs signed during the visit of PM to Maldives;
- MoU for Cooperation in the Field of Hydrography between Indian Navy and Maldives National Defence Force
- MoU on Cooperation in the field of Health between GoI and GoM
- MoU for the Establishment of Passenger and Cargo Services by Sea between Ministry of Shipping, GoI and Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, GoM
- MoU for Cooperation in Customs Capacity Building between the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs of India and the Maldives Customs Service
- MoU between National Centre for Good Governance, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances and Maldives Civil Service Commission on Training and Capacity Building Programme for Maldivian Civil Servants Following are the key highlights of the MoU between Maldives and NCGG ;
- The National Center for Good Governance (NCGG), India’s leading civil services training institution, has entered into an MOU with the Maldives Civil Services Commission for capacity building of 1000 Maldives civil servants over the next 5 years.
- The agreement envisages that NCGG will be the nodal institution for designing customised training modules and its implementation taking into account the requirements of the Civil Service Commission, Maldives
- The subject matters of the training program will include public administration, e-governance and service delivery, public policy and governance, information technology, best practices in fisheries in coastal areas, agro-based practices,self help group initiatives, urban development and planning, ethics in administration and challenges in implementation of SDGs.
- Maldives will nominate suitable civil servants in the senior/ executive/ middle management levels as per agreed timelines.
- Further the NCGG will assist the Civil Services Training Institute, a subsidiary of the Civil Service Commission, Maldives to develop training programs and materials, assist in organizing the exchange of experts as needed by the Civil Services Commission.
As close and friendly neighbours, India and Maldives share ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and commercial links steeped in antiquity and enjoy cordial and multi-dimensional relations. India was among the first to recognise Maldives after its independence in 1965 and to establish diplomatic relations with the country. India established its mission at Malé in 1972.
India and Maldives relations have been friendly and close in strategic, economic and military cooperation. India contributed to maintaining security on the island nation.
Bilateral relations have been nurtured and strengthened by regular contacts at all levels. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, almost all Prime Ministers of India visited the Maldives. Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and former President Mohamed Nasheed made a number of visits to India during their Presidencies.
India is a leading development partner of Maldives and has established many of the leading institutions of Maldives including the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH), Faculty of Engineering Technology (FET) and Faculty of Hospitality & Tourism Studies (IMFFHTS). India has offered assistance to Maldives wherever required. After the tsunami that struck Maldives on December 26, 2004, India was the first country to rush relief and aid to Maldives.
Developmental Assistance Programme
The major completed and ongoing development assistance projects executed by India are:
- Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital; Major renovation of IGMH funded by GOI was completed in June 2017.
- Faculty of Engineering technology (now called the Maldives Polytechnic)
- India-Maldives Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism S\Studies
- Technology adoption programme in Education Sector in Maldives
- Composite Training Centre for MNDF
- Coastal Radar System
- Construction of National Police Academy
- Construction of new Ministry of Defence Headquarters
Economic and Commercial relations
India and Maldives signed a trade agreement in 1981, which provides for export of essential commodities. Growing from modest beginnings, India-Maldives bilateral trade now stands at Rs.700 crores.
Both the countries share long cultural links and continuous efforts are underway to further strengthen these linkages. Exchange of cultural troupes takes place regularly between the countries. Hindi commercial films, TV serials and music are immensely popular in Maldives.The India Cultural Center (ICC), established in Male in July 2011, conducts regular courses in yoga, classical music and dance. ICC programmes have become immensely popular among Maldivians of all ages.
Indians are the second largest expatriate community in the Maldives with approximate strength of around 22,000. Indian expatriate community consists of workers as well as professionals like doctors, teachers, accountants, managers, engineers, nurses and technicians etc. spread over several islands.