Prelims level : International Relations – Bilateral Relations Mains level : GS-II India and its Neighborhood- Relations
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Why in News?

  • India has supplied 6.2 tonnes of essential medicines to Maldives, under Operation named “Sanjeevani” as assistance in the fight against COVID 19.

Key Points:

  • The medicines include influenza vaccines, antiviral drugs such as lopinavir and ritonavir among others as well as consumables such as catheters, nebulisers, urine bags and infant feeding tubes.
  • It has to be noted that Lopinavir and ritonavir have been used to treat patients with COVID-19 in some countries.
  • The medicines were delivered by an Hercules C-130J-30 aircraft of Indian Air Force.
  • India has also dispatched a 14-member Army medical team to Maldives to set up a viral testing lab there and gifted 5.5 tonne of essential medicines.

Relations between the Two Countries:

  • Historical Aspect:
  • India and Maldives share ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and commercial links.
  • India was among the first to recognize Maldives after its independence in 1965 and later established its mission at Male in 1972.
  • Defence:
  • ‘Ekuverin’ is a joint military exercise between India and Maldives.
  • India provides the largest number of training opportunities for Maldivian National Defence Force (MNDF), meeting around 70% of their Defence Training Requirements.
  • Disaster Management:
  • The Government of India has provided large-scale assistance to Maldives in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and during the 2014 Male water crisis.
  • Trade and Tourism:
  • India is Maldives’ 4th largest trade partner after UAE, China and Singapore. In 2018, India was the 5th largest source of tourist arrivals in Maldives.
  • The Maldivian economy is heavily dependent on its tourism sector, which is the major source of foreign exchange earnings and Government Revenue.

India’s Assistance given to Maldives Previously:

  • Operation Cactus: The Indian Armed Forces have helped the government of Maldives in the neutralization of the coup attempt. India has helped Maldives after the tsunami.
  • ‘Operation Neer’: India supplied drinking water to Maldives to deal with the drinking Water Crisis.
  • The Two Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) given by India to the Maldivian armed forces have been used in saving Maldivian lives.
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