India’s Republic Day is celebrated on January 26 every year to remember the day when the Constitution of India came into effect after India gained independence after a very long freedom struggle. On this occasion, the Republic of Mauritius and YUVA Mauritius wish to wish all Indians a Happy Republic Day 2022.
A salute of 21 guns and the unfurling of the Indian National Flag by Dr Rajendra Prasad heralded the historic birth of the Indian Republic on that day. Thereafter 26th of January was decreed a national holiday and was recognised as the Republic Day of India. Ever since the historic day, January 26 is celebrated with festivities and patriotic fervour all around the country.
Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is an initiative of the Government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of progressive India and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements. Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav is an embodiment of all that is progressive about India’s socio-cultural, political and economic identity. The official journey of “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” commenced on 12 March 2021 starting its 75-week countdown to the 75th anniversary of the Independence of India.
Various activities were initiated in the run-up to Republic Day Celebrations 2022 to commemorate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. The essential component of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav is to connect the youth to our rich cultural heritage. The aim of these activities is to select the best talent across the country and provide them with an opportunity to be a part of Republic Day Celebrations 2022. MyGov is hosting various online activities to celebrate the 73rd Republic Day.
India-Mauritius Bilateral Relations
Formal diplomatic relations between India and Mauritius were established in 1948, i.e. before the independence of Mauritius. India was represented by a Commission between 1948 and 1968 and a High Commission after Mauritius’ independence. Earlier, Mauritius maintained contacts with India through successive Dutch, French and British colonial rule.
The leadership of the two countries enjoy a high level of trust and mutual understanding, this is reflected from the continued high level of political engagement. The two countries have also been cooperating in several large developmental projects in Mauritius.
Mahatma Gandhi en route to India from South Africa made a brief stopover (October 29 to November 15, 1901), in Mauritius. As a tribute to Gandhiji and the Indian freedom struggle, the National Day of Mauritius is celebrated on March 12 (the date of the launch of Dandi Salt March).
Some of the recent visits by senior leadership of the two countries are listed below.
High-level visits in 2019:
- Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth (PMPJ) visited India from 3-10 December 2019 during which he also met PM Narendra Modi.
- PMPJ visited India from 30-31 May 2019 to attend the swearing-in ceremony of PM Narendra Modi.
- PMPJ visited India from 20-28 January 2019 to attend 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) in Varanasi as Chief Guest and to attend the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj.
High-level visits in 2018:
- Acting President of Mauritius, Paramasivam Pillay Vyapoory, visited India from 8-18 October 2018 to attend the 1st Pondicherry Global Economic Summit 2019 and the 5th World Tamils Economic Conference in Pondicherry.
- The 11th World Hindi Conference (WHC) was held in Mauritius from 18-20 August 2018. The Inaugural ceremony was attended by PMPJ and then EAM, late Smt. Sushma Swaraj.
- cPresident, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, paid a four-day State Visit to Mauritius from 11-14 March 2018. He was the Chief Guest for 50th anniversary of Independence of Mauritius.
In the last five years, India has been among the leading trading partners of Mauritius. In 2020, India represented a 10% share of Mauritian total imports and ranked 3rd in their main countries of import. The volume of exports from India to Mauritius was USD 1,027 million in 2018, USD 776 million in 2019 and USD 405 million in 2020. In recent years, the main items of exports of India to Mauritius have been petroleum products, pharmaceuticals and rice. It is also a major supplier of raw materials for the local industry namely supplying yarn and fabrics to the textile and clothing industry. The value of Mauritian exports to India in 2019 was USD 24 million and USD 32 million in 2020. In 2020, the main products exported by Mauritius include medical devices, scrap metal, fish meal and scrap copper amongst others. Scrap aluminium, vanilla beans, scrap paper, parts of machinery and garments were other major commodities exported by Mauritius to India in 2020.
Cumulative FDI equity inflows from Mauritius to India during the period April 2000 – September 2021 amounted to USD 153 billion (27% of total FDI inflows into India over this period), thanks largely due to the Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC). The protocol amending the India-Mauritius DTAC was signed on 10 May 2016. Mauritius was the third largest source of FDI into India during the financial year 2020-21, with FDI equity inflows amounting to USD 5.63 billion. FDI equity inflows from Mauritius to India for the period (April-September) 2021-22 amounted to USD 4.33 billion.
The Comprehensive Economic and Commercial Partnership Agreement (CECPA) between India and Mauritius was signed during the visit of EAM Dr S. Jaishankar to Mauritius on 22 February 2021 and it came into force on April 1, 2021.
10 Indian Public Sector Enterprises are currently functioning in Mauritius. The Bank of Baroda (BoB), Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), and New India Assurance Corporation (NIAC) were the first to establish operations, followed by other PSUs including Telecommunications Consultant India Ltd (TCIL), Indian Oil (Mauritius) Limited (IOML), Mahanagar Telephone (Mauritius) Ltd. and State Bank of India (Mauritius) Limited, National Building and Construction Company Ltd (NBCC), Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES), and Hospital Services Consultancy Corporation Ltd. (HSCC). Besides their core work, the PSUs have also contributed to various activities in Mauritius under their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) schemes.
India and Mauritius are both, multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic and multi-cultural countries. With the majority of the Mauritian population tracing its origins to India, the composite culture of Mauritius has many aspects common with India’s diverse cultural heritage.
India established the Indira Gandhi Centre for Indian Culture (IGCIC) in Mauritius in the year 1987. The IGCIC is one of the largest centres of ICCR, has emerged as an important venue for the promotion of Indian cultural activities in Mauritius. The IGCIC holds classes in disciplines of Hindustani music, Kathak, Tabla and Yoga for Mauritian students. Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) for 2018-2021 was renewed in March 2018.
Other institutions built with India’s assistance
The Mahatma Gandhi Institute (MGI) was founded as a joint venture between the Government of India and the Government of Mauritius for the promotion of Indian culture and education. It also hosts the ICCR Chair in Sanskrit and Indian Philosophy.
The Rabindranath Tagore Institute was established with the assistance of the Government of India in 2000 as a Centre of Studies on Indian culture and traditions.
Mauritius also hosts the World Hindi Secretariat, which is a bilateral organization and was inaugurated during the visit of President in March 2018.
ITEC and other scholarships
Mauritius is one of the largest beneficiary countries of the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme and receives every year, about 200 training slots for Civilian ITEC programmes and 160 slots for Defence ITEC programmes..
Mauritius is the largest beneficiary of Africa Scholarships under IAFS with 97 ICCR scholarships extended annually to Mauritian students for higher education in India. Another about 200 Mauritian students enrols themselves in Indian Universities every year on a self-financing basis. India ranks fourth in terms of Mauritian students studying in overseas tertiary education institutions. This year the first academic session under the e-VBAB online, distance learning programme started with the enrollment of 81 Mauritian students in various streams.
Indian Community & OCI Card
Approximately 10,500 Indian nationals are currently residing in Mauritius. Owing to the historical linkages between the two countries, Mauritius was granted, at 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas in January 2017, a special carve-out for issuance of OCI Cards to its nationals of Indian origin wherein restriction on the number of generations was waived off. The number of OCI cardholders in Mauritius is currently about 8,500. Mauritius introduced a visa-free regime for Indian tourists in October 2004, whereby Indian tourists visiting Mauritius for a period of up to 30 days do not require a visa. Mauritians are entitled to gratis E-tourist visa for visiting India.