Statements Statements

Visit of Indian Naval Training Ship - Onboard INS Sujata

Visit of First Training Squadron

Deck Reception

13 March 2019

Hon. Acting President of the Republic of Mauritius H. E. Paramsivum Pillay Vyapoory

Hon. Minister Premdut Koonjoo,

Hon. Minister Purmanund Jhugroo,

Officers of the National Coast Guard,

Distinguished Guests,

Friends from the media,

A very warm welcome to all of you on board INS Sujata and Sarathi.

Excellency Mr. President, we are very grateful to you for having accepted our invitation despite your busy schedule.

It is a matter of honour for us that an Indian naval contingent, along with a band and not to forget the helicopter, participated in the impressive National Day parade and celebrations last evening.

Once again many congratulations to our friends from Mauritius on the 51st Anniversary of their Independence and 27th Anniversary of Republic.

The progress made by the Mauritius in the last five decades as an independent sovereign nation is remarkable. The success story of its economy is very commendable and reflects the hard work and harmony of its people and the vision and foresight of its governments.

Distinguished guests,

India and Mauritius are maritime neighbours across the Indian Ocean.

India has a longstanding maritime trading tradition going back millennia. Today the Indian nation has a coastline of over 7,500 km and a very large number of islands. Livelihoods of millions of Indians depend on the ocean economy.

Safety and security of sea lanes and development of ocean economy remain priority areas for our government.

Mauritius is also an Ocean state. Its Exclusive Economic Zone is very vast and is spread over 2 million sq km. We share similar concerns and development priorities.

Accordingly, our close ties are not limited to Diaspora and economic linkages but are also reflected in the strong maritime cooperation that spans decades as independent nations.

This maritime cooperation is geared towards facilitating EEZ surveillance through joint patrolling by the National Coast Guard of Mauritius and the Indian Navy.

Such surveillance is absolutely essential to protect the national interests of Mauritius against acts of piracy; drug trafficking and smuggling; illegal fishing, all of which endanger the security and economic interests of the coastal states around the world.

Our maritime cooperation is also focused on building capacities of the National Coast Guard of Mauritius. This includes equipment but more importantly training of officers and sailors. This is an ongoing process. Besides reconnaissance, Coast Guard capacities are also required for search and rescue, medical evacuation and other such purposes.

Another important aspect of our cooperation is conducting hydrographic surveys of the regions of interest to Mauritius. Some of the existing survey maps, which are essential for navigation in these waters, date back to more than a century! We are working together to update these survey maps using the current technological tools.

Only last month, two such charts of Mauritius and Rodrigues, prepared jointly using the Indian naval ship INS Sarvekshak, were handed over to the Government of Mauritius. These charts are internationally recognized and available for use by all.

Distinguished guests,

The three ships that are here today – INS Sujata, ICGS Sarathi and INS Shardul – belong to the First Training Squadron of the Southern Naval Command of the Indian Navy. All of them have been built by Indian shipyards.

The Squadron has seven ships and trains around 150 naval officers every year. It is among the largest such facility in the world.

Yesterday, a large number of people visited the ships. The ships’ teams also participated in some social work.

As a new initiative, this time we also invited a group of bright young minds from the University of Mauritius. The aim of the visit was to expose the students to witness some practical aspects of what they study at university. I thank the team of INS Sujata who facilitated the visit and showed to the students what science and engineering lies behind the day-to-day running of a naval ship. We understand that the students liked the experience and we look forward to organizing more such theme-based visits during the future such opportunities.

Distinguished guests,

To conclude, I would like to thank all of you for accepting our invitation this evening.

May I now request Hon. Acting President Shri Vyapoory ji to say a few words on this occasion.

Thank you.

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