India and Seychelles

seyc-LMAP-md

The first training squadron entered Port Victoria, Seychelles today 01 Oct 15 as part of their Overseas Deploymentseyc-LMAP-md during Autumn Term 15. The ships shall remain in harbor till 04 Oct and shall enter again on 09 Oct 15 for a couple of days.

Southern Naval Command

  • The Southern Naval Command (SNC) is the Training Command of the Indian Navy, which provides both basic and advanced training to officers and sailors of the Indian Navy.
  • The Indian Navy has also been providing training to personnel from friendly foreign countries for more than four decades, under which more than 13,000 personnel from over 40 countries have been trained.
  • The Indian Navy’s focused approach for providing high quality training by constantly adapting to evolving tactics and technologies, has gained it a reputation of being one of the finest training destinations.

 First Training Squadron

  • The first training squadron forms part of Southern Naval Command (SNC) and comprises Indian Naval Ships Tir, Sujata, Shardul, ICGS Varuna and two Sail Training Ships Sudarshini and Tarangini, all of which have been built in India.
  • The primary aim of the First Training Squadron is to impart sea training to Naval and Coast Guard trainees (within a time period of 24 weeks).
  • All the trainees are trained in Seamanship, Navigation, Ship Handling, Boat Work, Technical aspects etc. whilst being exposed to the rigours of life at sea, so as to earn their ‘sea legs’.

India and Seychelles

  • India and Seychelles have close, long-standing relations going back 36 years, covering a wide spectrum of activities and interactions, which have strengthened over recent years.
  • The people of India and Seychelles have close cultural bonds and a shared vision of a democratic and pluralistic society.
  • Based on a request from the Government of Seychelles, IN ships are regularly deployed to Seychelles and adjacent waters for surveillance of its Exclusive Economic Zone and to bolster its maritime security.
  • These deployments provide opportunities for extensive operational and training engagements and contribute to the maintenance of good order at sea..
  • Protocol for cooperation in the field of blue economy – The protocol lays down the modalities and mechanism of cooperation between the two parties for ocean studies as well as scientific exploration and exploitation of sea based resources, for sustainable development and economic purposes.

Benefits

  1. The cooperation will enhance India’s strategic cooperation in the field of blue economy;
  2. Commercial benefits from export of human resources, expertise and technology
  3. it will increase India’s access to ocean-based resources in cooperation with Seychelles.
  4. Will provide new data on ocean-based resources and also provide for sharing of expertise and technology developed by Indian scientists and research institutes. It will also help domestic innovation in the field of ocean research and technology

Assumption island

  • A plot of land for India to build its first naval base in the Indian Ocean region has been allocated by the Seychelles government in the Assumption Island.
  • Its is a joint project between India and Seychelles involving the two Defence Forces in enhancing our mutual security along our western seaboard.
  • Apart from the naval base, India is set to acquire a fully operational coastal radar system (CRS) based in Seychelles from March 2016. The CRS will provide India with the ability to gather intelligence and assist in surveillance operations of the vital energy lanes near Seychelles.
  • Security operation in the Indian Ocean region will also be helped by the leadership role that Seychelles has secured for itself in the Contact Group for Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), which will hold its first meeting in Mumbai on January 31, 2016.
  • A new patrol vessel from India will be handed over to Seychelles in mid-January 2016.

Significance

  • The naval base will help India exercise greater control over the Indian Ocean’s western region all the way to the piracy-prone eastern African coastline.
  • The base will be one of the major staging posts for a large maritime security network that India is setting up with the help of the various Indian Ocean region partner countries.
  • The project has acquired significance following China acquiring its first African naval base in Djibouti in November.
  • Both India and Seychelles have a vested interest in securitising the Western Indian Ocean. Both countries have forged a partnership that has gone a fair distance in eradicating the scourge of Somalia-based piracy as well as other maritime security issues.
  • India, with its strong intelligence network, will also be helpful in maritime law enforcement by Seychelles.

India, Seychelles working to ‘ensure security’ in Indian Ocean

  • Seychelles’s Tourism Minister Alain St. Ange, was in Chennai to promote the country’s tourism industry
    • India is an important source of tourism for the island nation.
    • Last year, about 8,000 Indians travelled to Seychelles to spend holidays. About 4,000 Indian tourists have travelled to Seychelles so far this year
    • The economy of the Indian Ocean country is heavily dependent on tourism. It receives about 2,80,000 tourists a year a year, roughly three times its population.
    • The direct share of tourism in the economy 27 per cent, which goes up to 62 per cent if the indirect contribution is factored in
  • Indian ocean– India and Seychelles have “very close” relations and both counties are working together to ensure safety and security in the Indian Ocean.
    • Work will start this year in the Assumption Island to jointly develop a naval base by India and Seychelles.
    • The country has allocated a plot on the Assumption Island for the base, which will help enhance maritime security along India’s west and south coast. This initiative has come following China’s announcement that it would build its first African naval base in Djibouti.
    • However Mr. St. Ange said it’s not right to call the Assumption Island facility an Indian naval base. It’s a base of Seychelles to be built with support from India.
    • India is already helping Seychelles patrol the Indian Ocean. When you leave the African waters, you enter the Seychelles waters in the Indian Ocean. So every time the world spoke of bandits they say in the Seychelles waters. Alone Seychelles cannot patrol this wide area.. And India is one of the supporting countries in this regard.
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