PIB ANALYSIS FOR UPSC CIVIL SERVICES EXAM
- Indian Coast Guard
- India-Maldives Relationship
1 . Indian Coast Guard
About Indian Coast Guard
- The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) protects India’s maritime interests and enforces maritime law, with jurisdiction over the territorial waters of India, including its contiguous zone and exclusive economic zone.
- The Indian Coast Guard was formally established on 18 August 1978 by the Coast Guard Act, 1978 of the Parliament of India as an independent Armed force of India. It operates under the Ministry of Defence.
- Safety and protection of artificial islands, offshore terminals and other installations
- Protection and assistance to fishermen and mariners at sea
- Preservation and protection of marine ecology and environment including pollution control
- Assistance to the Department of Customs and other authorities in anti-smuggling operations
- Law enforcement in territorial as well as international waters
- Scientific data collection and support
2 . India – Maldives Relationship
- As close and friendly neighbours, India and Maldives share ethnic, linguistic,cultural, religious and commercial links steeped in antiquity and enjoy cordial andmulti-dimensional relations. India was among the first to recognise Maldives after itsindependence in 1965 and to establish diplomatic relations with the country. Indiaestablished its mission at Malé in 1972
- Bilateral relations have been nurtured and strengthened by regular contacts at alllevels. Since establishment of diplomatic relations, almost all Prime Ministers of India visited the Maldives.
- India and Maldives have consistently supported each other in multilateral fora suchas the UN, the Commonwealth, the NAM and the SAARC.
- India is a leading development partner of Maldives and has established many of theleading 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 andaid to Maldives.
- India provided a budget support aid of Rs.10 crores in view of the serious financial difficulties being faced by Maldives on account of the tsunami and related factors.
- Assistance of US Dollars equivalent of Rs.100 million in July 2007 towards assistance was given following tidal surges in May 2007.
- Currently, India has provided US $ 100 million Stand-by Credit facility (SCF) to Maldives, including long-term loans and revolving credit for trade.
- Under new Line of Credit worth US$40 million offered by the Government of India to Maldives, the Overseas Infrastructure Alliance (OIA) of India has been given a contract to construct 485 housing units in Maldives.
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. Indian exports to the Maldives include agriculture and poultry produce, sugar, fruits, vegetables, spices, rice, wheat flour (Atta),textiles, drugs and medicines, a variety of engineering and industrial products, sand and aggregate, cement for building etc.
- Indian imports primarily scrap metals from the Maldives. Under the bilateral agreement, India provides essential food items like rice, wheat flour, sugar, dal, onion, potato and eggs and construction material such as sand and stone aggregates to Maldives on favourable terms
- The proximity of location and improvements in air connectivity in recent years hasled to a very substantial increase in the number of Indians visiting Maldives for tourism (around 33,000) and business.
- India is a preferred destination for Maldivian for education, medical treatment, recreation and business.
- The number of Maldivians seeking long term visa for pursuing higher studies/medical treatment in India has shown a sharp increase over the last two years.
- Indians are the second largest expatriate community in the Maldives with approximate strength of around 26,000.
- Indian expatriate community consists of workers as well as professionals like doctors, teachers, accountants, managers,engineers, nurses and technicians etc. spread over several islands. Of the country’s approximately 400 doctors, over 125 are Indians. Similarly around 25% of teachers in Maldives are Indians, mostly at middle and senior levels.