India has deployed INS Sarvekshak, a hydrographic survey ship, on a joint hydrographic survey with Mauritius. The has reached Port Louis and commenced the hydrographic survey of “Deep sea area off Port Louis” as per the statement released by India’s Ministry of Defence on 7 April 2021.
During the deployment period. Indian officials will also train Mauritian personnel on advanced hydrographic equipment and practices.
As per the information released by India’s Ministry of Defence, INS Sarvekshak is a specialised survey ship fitted with state-of-the-art survey equipment like Deep Sea Multi-Beam Echo Sounder, Side Scan Sonars and a fully automated digital surveying and processing system. The ship also carries an integral Chetak helicopter, which would be used during the survey.
So far, INS Sarvekshak has undertaken various cooperation surveys in Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania, and Kenya.
Indian naval assistance to Mauritius goes back to back time of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s administration. Her administration had gifted INS Amar, a seaward defence boat to Mauritius. In the early 2000s, Indian Navy closely cooperated with Mauritius. Recently, Mauritius and India have placed a greater emphasis on their maritime engagement under Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR). India’s Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi had emphasised increased maritime cooperation during his visit to Mauritius in 2015. Many times India has assisted Mauritius in the form of training, grants, aircrafts, and patrol vessels. India considers Mauritius an important state for strategic maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region (IORA). Both countries are part of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) which emphasises on closer cooperation among its members. Mauritius is also one of the first African nation’s to embrace the concept of Blue Economy, which emphasizes the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth.