Gist of Editorials: Island Hopping (The Hindu) | GS – II

Relevance : GS Paper II (International Relations)

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  • Recently, the President of the Maldives, visited India.
  • Under Yameen a serious deterioration in ties with India occurred.
  • Maldives under Solih
    • Solih has assured a ‘India First’ policy.
    • India enjoys a special place in his worldview of good governance.
    • He called India Maldives’ “closest neighbour”.
    • Solih’s visit reflects a fine balance between the interests of both countries.
  • India’s – Maldives deals during Solih’s visit
    • India has worked out a $1.4 billion assistance package.
    • India has offered visa facilitation.
    • India has offered support to the Maldives to rejoin IORA.
    • Four agreements relating to IT, culture, agri, and visa have been signed.
    • Maldives has assured to be fully sensitive to India’s security and strategic concerns.
    • Both nations have agreed to be mindful of each other’s concerns
    • They plan to enhance maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • What India hopes to gain from the ‘ new’ Maldives?
    • Indian Navy and Coast Guard will now be able to secure better cooperation from the Maldives
    • Intelligence agencies hope to nurture better collaboration in combating terrorism
      India Inc. hopes to increase its presence in the Maldivian market.
  • The China factor
    • China’s footprint in South Asia has increased in recent years.
    • It is not feasible for India to supplant China in neighbouring countries.
    • But India has its own advantages which it should leverage fully.
  • A new grouping of India, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and the Seychelles looks attainable.
  • After repairing ties with the Maldives, New Delhi should strengthen its Indian Ocean outreach.