Why in news?

As part of the Government of India outreach amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Indian Naval Ship Kesari has departed for Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros, to provide Food Items, COVID related Medicines including HCQ Tablets and Special Ayurvedic Medicines with Medical Assistance Teams embarked, on 10 May 2020.

Significance

  • This deployment as ‘Mission Sagar’, is in line with India’s role as the first responder in the region and builds on the excellent relations existing between these countries to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant difficulties.
  • The deployment is in consonance with the Prime Ministers vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region ‘SAGAR’ and highlights the importance accorded by India to relations with her neighbouring countries and further strengthens the existing bond.

What is SAGAR?

  • In March 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited three small but significant Indian Ocean island states — Seychelles, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka. During this tour, he unveiled India’s strategic vision for the Indian Ocean: Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR).
  • SAGAR seeks to differentiate India’s leadership from the modus operandi of other regionally active major powers and to reassure littoral states as India’s maritime influence grows.
  • India’s SAGAR vision is intended to be “consultative, democratic and equitable”.
  • India’s recent admission as observer to the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) will put this vision to the test.
  • Following a request from New Delhi, the IOC granted observer status to India on March 6 at the Commission’s 34th Council of Ministers.
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