Mauritius and India share a long history, with over 330 years of ties. The two countries have enjoyed warm relations since the days of the British Empire, and Mauritius has been a trusted friend and ally of India since independence.
The two countries have signed several bilateral agreements to strengthen their bonds, such as an extradition treaty and a maritime boundary agreement. The liaison between the citizens of Mauritius and India is reflected in many Indian-origin people in Mauritius, the warm sentiments expressed at Independence Day celebrations, the numerous cultural and sporting events that are organised, and the large Indian community in Mauritius. Their partnership is rooted in shared democratic values, a history of close friendship, and a strong desire to build on a promising future. The collaboration between the two countries is similarly grounded in shared democratic values and a shared commitment to building a prosperous, democratic, and peaceful future for our nations and the world.
High Commission of India in Mauritius
India and Mauritius have initially been part of the same British colony. The two countries became independent in 1968 and maintained the closest ties until 1993. With a multi-ethnic-lingual population, the two countries share a history and cultural similarities. On March 12, Mauritius celebrates its National Day, commemorating Mahatma Gandhi’s stopover en route to India from South Africa in 1901. After Mauritius gained independence, a High Commission represented India in 1948. Before the arrival of the British, successive Dutch and French in Mauritius maintained contact with India.
The Indian diaspora in Mauritius is estimated at 10,000 people. Mauritius is a multi-ethnic country with a heavy Indo-Mauritian population. There are several Indian cultural centres in the country, and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations has a strong presence in Mauritius. The languages spoken in Mauritius are English, Creole, French, Hindustani and Bhojpuri. The ethnic composition of the island is about 60% Indian, 30% African, 9% European, 3% Chinese, and 1% other. In the Indian community, about 60% are Tamils, 26% are Telugus, 7% are Marathi, and 6% are Punjabi.
High Commissioner H. E. Mrs K. Nandini Singla presented her credentials to President H. E. Prithvirajsing Roopun
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Mauritius
The partnership between India and Mauritius was forged over decades, with India playing a crucial role in the rise and development of the nation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a series of projects in Mauritius as part of his visit. At a public rally in Port Louis, Prime Minister Modi spoke of the strong ties between the people of India and Mauritius and the opportunities that lay ahead. The two countries share a long history of cooperation, and Prime Minister Modi is rekindling the partnership between the two nations.
Metro Express Project
The Indian Government has decided to extend assistance to Mauritius in implementing the Metro Express Project, an essential part of the country’s urban transport infrastructure. The assistance will be provided through the India Development Assistance Fund (IDAF), a particular account at the Prime Minister’s Office. The IDAF will help facilitate the financing of the Metro Express Project, which is expected to generate significant economic and social benefits for the people of Mauritius. The Metro Express Project will enhance connectivity between the capital city and its satellite towns, reduce travel times, and improve the operational efficiency of the public transport system. Today, the metro transits 5.6 million passengers per day. The metro line will be extended using the line of credit.
The Maitri Programme
Both India and Mauritius are united by culture, maritime, ancestry, language, and geography. Under the Maitri programme, Mauritius was one of the first countries to receive vaccines from India. Today, Mauritius is one of the few countries that has fully vaccinated three-fourths of its population. Mauritius received assistance from India for the construction of affordable housing. The completion of the project has been achieved successfully. Indian projects in foreign countries are rapidly expanding and improving profitably.
Mauritius Police Academy
One of the future projects between India and Mauritius includes a Mauritius Police Academy. The campus will cover over 65,000 square metres and feature the most advanced amenities. In addition to the shooting range, gyms, and equipment for outdoor exercise, the police academy will have dormitories, canteens, libraries, and conference rooms. For those who wish to protect and serve their nation, the Mauritius Police Academy offers the highest level of training. At the academy, the recruits are trained to meet the highest standards.
National Library and Archives
Another one is establishing a project for the National Library and Archives. To foster a balanced and harmonious Mauritian society, the Ministry of Arts and Culture has proposed the creation of a cultural infrastructure that promotes and preserves cultural values, both at the individual and collective levels. The project involves the construction of a new complex of international standards designed to house two of Mauritius’ most compelling cultural institutions. The design is inspired by the geometry of leaves and represents heritage, discipline and innovation. The building would be equipped with the latest technology and modern facilities. The building is divided into two blocks that resemble leaves, with an overhanging roof that provides shade. The major components are integrated to complement each other and are segregated to symbolise the different natures of the buildings. To cater to the users of the complex efficiently, an integrated and seamless vehicular circulation plan has been proposed.
Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL)
The future project also includes a Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL). Mauritian law enforcement agencies are served exclusively by the Forensic Science Laboratory. FSL is quickly becoming a leading provider of forensic services in the region. As a result of conforming to the quality standard ISO 17025 (laboratory accreditation), the laboratory’s analytical work has improved dramatically. As the only forensics lab in the country, the FSL provides essential forensic science services at the national level to the police, judiciary, and others. In addition, advances in DNA-based evidence have resulted in a surge in office facilities.
Renal Transplant Unit
The upcoming project between India and Mauritius is to institute a Renal Transplant Unit. The transplantation of the renal organ is one of the most challenging surgical procedures. It is also one of the most effective ways of treating patients with kidney disease. The kidneys perform thousands of functions, regulating water, salt, and other chemicals in the body, filtering blood and producing hormones. The kidneys also have urine, which is vital for ridding the body of toxic waste and keeping the body well-hydrated. In Mauritius, nephrology was recognised as a separate speciality from internal medicine by the Ministry of Health and Wellness in August 2021. The decision resulted from the dedicated work of many stakeholders over a long period and awareness-raising activities by the Renal Association.
Cadaveric Organ Transplantation in India
Mauritius is in urgent need of organs every day. Many people suffer from kidney failure and heart failure daily. Furthermore, many people also have diabetes, a disease that affects multiple organs. Presently, they can only take organs from blood relatives, which is insufficient. Due to this, patients suffer greatly, and many even die. Doctors believe that the combined efforts of all stakeholders, including the government, the medical community, and the public, can be beneficial. Mauritius can become a hub for transplants because it has good health care, transportation facilities, and communication channels. However, infrastructure development is still needed. In India, cadaveric organ transplantation is a possibility. Therefore, Mauritian doctors believe that India’s helping hand could be of great benefit.
The ties between India and Mauritius are among the most deeply felt and enduring. This cultural kinship has served as the foundation of a unique friendship that has weathered the test of time for hundreds of years. For generations, Mauritian families have been coming to India for education, business opportunities, and the pursuit of a better life. It’s a bond that continues to thrive and will continue to grow stronger and more prosperous in the years ahead.