Mauritius and India have a shared destiny and future as they both cherish the values of freedom, transparency, democracy and human dignity. These values have inspired both countries to a common struggle against colonial rule. India's aspiration is for Mauritius to rise as a leading economy and a voice for peace and stability in the entire Indian Ocean Region.
The President of the Republic of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, made this statement yesterday at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute in Moka. He was addressing the youth of Mauritius and he also paid a tribute to the great Indian Leader Mahatma Gandhi. The Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Stephan Toussaint, and other eminent personalities were present on the occasion.
President Kovind is on a four-day State Visit to Mauritius from 11 to 14 March 2018 and is leading a high-level delegation comprising, his Spouse, first lady Smt. Savita Kovind; the Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey and other eminent officials.
In his address to the youth, the President of India said he was honoured to be in Mauritius for a milestone moment in the country's history, which is the golden jubilee of its independence and also its 26th anniversary of the Republic. He underscored that the values that Mauritius and India share, have inspired the two countries through the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi.
The youth of a country, the President underlined, plays an integral part and contributes significantly to its progression. On this score, he called upon the Mauritian youth to strive for success so as to make their country proud and at the same time promote peace, harmony and unity among the population. He rejoiced that the citizens of diverse background of Mauritius have built this nation as a prosperous one and which stands a model for the Indian Ocean region.
Speaking of the sanitation records of Mauritius, he stated that it is a model for India's Swacch Bharat mission which is a key programme making progress in India to achieve cleanliness coverage across the country.
With regard to bilateral journeys between both countries, he recalled the State visit of Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, in March 2015, as Chief Guest at the Mauritian National Day celebrations and also that of Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth to India in May 2017. The participation of Mauritius at the Uttar Pradesh Investor Summit in February 2018 and at the International Solar Alliance Summit in New Delhi this week were also highlighted by the President.
Referring to the collaboration between Mauritius and India, the President pointed out that Mauritius is one of the largest participating countries in the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme, with over 300 young people from Mauritius who undergo civilian and defence related training in India every year.
Under India's Africa Scholarships programme which is part of the India Africa Forum Summit initiative, the President pointed out that every year 97 scholarships are offered to Mauritian students for higher education. In addition, some 200 students enrol in Indian universities on a self-financing basis.
President Kovind further highlighted that the laying of the foundation stones of the social housing project and the ENT hospital that will be effected during his visit and the construction of the Metro rail in the country are clear indicators of the close existing bilateral relations between Mauritius and India.
In respect of the prevailing era of connectivity and the blue economy, President Kovind said that the waters and resources of the ocean should be used intelligently and humanely for uniting cultures and people in a collaborative manner adding that institutions and platforms should be built to anticipate and prepare for common challenges, related to security or humanitarian disasters.
The President of India emphasised that India's vision for the Indian Ocean region is to cooperate in developmental programmes that are sustainable, mutually-beneficial and which contribute to employment and well-being of the local community. India's close relationship with Mauritius is symbolic of the shared aspirations for Africa as well as for the Indian Ocean region, added the President.