India Current Affairs - 2019
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Indra Navy-18, a bilateral naval exercise, between India and Russia concluded on 16th December 2018. It was a 4-day maritime exercise that took place in the Bay of Bengal.
INDRA NAVY or India – Russia Navy Exercise is being conducted since 2003. The first edition of this exercise was conducted in May 2003 in India.
About Indra Navy 2018:
- Ten warships from both sides participated in the Indra Navy 2018 exercise, which also included an Indian Navy submarine.
- The exercise included search, and seize drills, underway replenishment at sea drills, and anti-submarine warfare drills along with other components.
- The navies of India and Russia also conducted live-firings against aerial targets in the exercise.
- The Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet flagship Varyag participated in Indra Navy 2018. Admiral Panteleyev, which is an anti-submarine warfare ship, and Boris Butoma. which is a sea tanker, also were included by Russia in the exercise.
- INS Ranvir, INS Satpura, INS Kadmatt, IN Ships Kuthar and Khanjar and INS Jyoti participated from Indian side.
- The primary objective of Indra Navy exercise is to increase inter-operability amongst the navies of India and Russia and exchange best practices.
India and Russia are major defence partners and India is also a major importer of Russian defence equipments. Both the sides conduct regular exercises with each other. The last edition of Indra Navy took place in 2016 in the Bay of Bengal. The main goal behind conducting of such bilateral military exercises is the strengthening of friendly relations between the armed forces of India and Russia.
The Union government has decided to give USD 1.4 billion to the island nation of Maldives. This decision came after Maldivian president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih met Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his 3-days visit to India.
This is Solih’s first foreign trip after he was sworn in as the President of Maldives in a ceremony on 17th November 2018, which PM Modi had also attended.
Important Highlights of the Meeting:
- The two countries have agreed to work for the stability of the Indian Ocean region.
- Both the countries have reiterated their stands to not allow their respective territories to be used for any activity inimical to their interests.
- India and Maldives have agreed to coordinate patrolling and aerial surveillance, exchange of information and capacity building for enhancement of the maritime security in the Indian Ocean region.
- The four agreements signed between India and Maldives will enhance cooperation in areas of cultural, agri-business and information technology and will provide easy facilitation of visas.
- Solih has committed to work closely with India and reaffirmed his government’s ‘India-First Policy’.
- The Maldivian president supported India’s demand for a reformed UN Security Council and India’s candidature for permanent membership of an expanded council.
- Maldives has supported for India’s candidature for the non-permanent seat in the UN for 2020-21.
- India and Maldives have agreed to work together for creating institutional linkages and also to cooperate in the areas of health, mutual legal assistance on criminal matters, investment promotion and tourism.
- Both India and Maldives have agreed to increased cooperation in fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations in the Indian Ocean region and in the world.
- India and Maldives have agreed to increase bilateral cooperation in the common areas of concern such as piracy, terrorism, organised crime, drugs and human trafficking.
- Both the leaders also stressed on promoting the exchange of goods and services, information, ideas, culture and people between India and Maldives. The connectivity will be improved by the establishment of enabling infrastructure.
India has complimented Maldives’ decision to re-join the Commonwealth. Also, PM Modi welcomed Maldive’s decision to join the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) family.