Thirty 5 diplomats from Madagascar, Comoros, Seychelles, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Maldives participated within the 2-week particular course held on the Sushma Swaraj Institute of Overseas Service. Comoros and Madagascar within the western Indian Ocean, a area the place bureaucratic red tapism has threatened to undermine the Indian outreach, despatched 12 and 10 diplomats respectively for the programme.
The course entailed modules on India’s polity, international coverage, up to date maritime points, humanitarian help, catastrophe aid, worldwide framework below UNCLOS, multilateral and financial diplomacy, diplomatic protocol, well being diplomacy and climate change challenges. In response to the federal government, this first-ever course will additional promote mutual understanding and cooperation between IOR nations and assist construct consciousness about this area as one primarily based on “peace, progress and prosperity” for all.
The truth that nations like Comoros and Madagascar, the most important island within the Indian Ocean, confirmed a number of curiosity within the programme is of significance to India. China has consolidated its naval presence within the area with the appointment of a defence attache in Madagascar earlier this yr.
Whereas India had accepted the proposal for a navy attache in Madagascar a couple of years in the past, the precise appointment is but to happen. Equally, one other proposal for deployment of a liaison officer on the Regional Maritime Data Fusion Centre in Madagascar remains to be hanging hearth. One more proposal for appointment of English academics in Madagascar, regardless of years of discussions, has not materialised.
Beijing, alternatively, launched a Chinese language language course within the Madagascar defence ministry final month to facilitate a extra environment friendly “alternate of concepts and experiences”’ between the two militaries. In response to World Instances, the Madagascar defence minister, Richard Rakotonirina, addressed the convention in Chinese language, saying the course will assist the two sides perceive one another and deepen ties. Even earlier than the launch of this new course, Beijing had been coaching Madagascar officers in China in French, one of many 2 official languages within the island.
For India, it’s vital to have a defence attache to have the ability to construct upon Madagascar’s said need to deepen defence ties with the nation situated in a area of accelerating strategic significance. In an interview to TOI, throughout his go to to India earlier this yr, Rakotonirina had stated Madagascar needed to achieve from India by means of joint military exercises and capability constructing programmes.
India and Madagascar have already got an MoU for defence cooperation and, as Rakotonirina had stated, the latter desires a Malagasy-Indian joint fee for cooperation in maritime sector by means of switch of Indian experience to Magalasy Nationwide Navy.