Prelims Level
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Prelims Syllabus : Defence Technology Mains Syllabus : GS-III Various Security forces and agencies and their Mandate.

Why in News?

  • Recently, India and France conducted joint patrolling for the first time from the Reunion Island. The patrolling was conducted in the month of February by a P-8I aircraft.

Highlights

  • It is conducted under the ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and broader maritime cooperation, the Indian Navy undertakes joint Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) surveillance with Maldives, Seychelles and Mauritius and Coordinated Patrols (CORPATs) with Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia.
  • The objectives of the CORPATs are to ensure effective implementation of United Nations Conventions on Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS).
  • The joint patrolling with France shows India’s intent to expanding its footprint in the Indian Ocean, focusing on the stretch between the East African coastline and the Malacca straits.
  • India has carried out CORPATs only with maritime neighbours and had rejected a similar offer by the US in 2016. India has recently become an observer to the Indian Ocean Commission. It consists of Reunion as one of its members.

About Defence Relations between India- France

  • The Indian navy is currently inducting French Scorpene conventional submarines, being built in India under technology transfer.
  • The Indian Air Force will soon get the first batch of its 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.
  • India is working with France to develop strategic and economic partnership involving Madagascar, Reunion Islands-Comoros so as to balance the growing influence of China in that part of the Indian Ocean Region.
  • Some of their defence exercises are
    • Gagan Shakti is conducted by the Indian Air Force to showcase its air dominance over the entire extended area of the Indian Ocean Region.
    • Garuda Shakti is the joint military exercise between India and Indonesia.
    • Mitra Shakti is the joint military exercise between India and Sri Lanka.

About P-8I Aircraft:

  • The Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon is designed for long-range Anti-Submarine warfare (ASW), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW), and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.
  • Its Indian variant is referred to as P-8I. Of a total of 12 ordered aircrafts, India has received eight, making the Indian Navy’s P-8 fleet the second largest in the world. Another four aircrafts are on-schedule to be delivered in 2020.
  • It is not just responsible for coastal patrolling but is also used for other critical missions like search-and-rescue, anti-piracy, and supporting operations of other arms of the military.
  • Reunion Island is a French overseas department and overseas region in the western Indian Ocean. It is located about 420 miles (680 km) east of Madagascar and 110 miles (180 km) southwest of Mauritius.

About United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS):

  • It is an international treaty which was adopted and signed in 1982. It replaced the four Geneva Conventions of April, 1958, which respectively concerned the territorial sea and the contiguous zone, the continental shelf, the high seas, fishing and conservation of living resources on the High Seas.
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