International Relations: February 2021 Current Affairs Current Affairs Notes | EduRev

Current Affairs & Hindu Analysis: Daily, Weekly & Monthly

Current Affairs : International Relations: February 2021 Current Affairs Current Affairs Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


 
14                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
2. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 
2.1. INDIA – MAURITIUS 
Why in news?  
India and Mauritius signed Comprehensive 
Economic Cooperation and Partnership 
Agreement (CECPA). 
About CECPA 
• CECPA is the first trade agreement signed by 
India with a country in Africa.  
• Agreement is a limited agreement, which will 
cover Trade in Goods, Rules of Origin, Trade 
in Services, Technical Barriers to Trade 
(TBT), Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) 
measures, Dispute Settlement, Movement of Natural 
Persons, Telecom, Financial services, Customs 
Procedures and Cooperation in other Areas. 
• CECPA between India and Mauritius covers various 
export items for India, like textile and textile articles, 
electricals and electronic item etc. 
• Mauritius will have preferential market access into 
India for its various products.  
• Both sides have also agreed to negotiate an Automatic 
Trigger Safeguard Mechanism (ATSM) for a limited 
number of highly sensitive products within 2 years of 
the Signing of the Agreement. 
o This will automatically increase levies once 
imports cross a given threshold. 
o ATSM is considered as an effective tool in 
balancing trade among multilateral partners.   
o It was also part of the trans-pacific partnership, 
TPP, negotiations.  
• India also extended a USD 100 million Line of Credit to 
Mauritius to facilitate the procurement of Indian defence equipment. 
 
Other types of trade agreements 
• Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA): India has signed CEPA with Japan, Sri Lanka, and South 
Korea 
o The CEPA is a bilateral agreement that covers trade in goods and services, investment, competition and 
intellectual property rights (IPRs). 
o The pact seeks to abolish import duties on most products, increase access for Indian professionals and 
contractual service suppliers to signing countries and liberalise investment rules. 
• Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA): India signed CECA with Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. 
o CECA, as an integrated package, consisting of the following agreements: 
? Free Trade Agreement, which would include inter-alia, trade in goods and services, and investment 
? bilateral agreement on investment promotion, protection, and cooperation; 
? improved Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement 
?  liberal Air Services Agreement, and Open Skies for Charter Flights 
? work programme of cooperation in a number of areas including health care, education, media, tourism etc. 
• Free Trade Agreement (FTA): FTA between two or more countries reduces barriers to imports and exports among 
them. This is provided through preferential trade terms, tariff concession etc. 
• Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA): This is unilateral trade preferences, include Generalized System of Preferences 
schemes under which developed countries grant preferential tariffs to imports from developing countries 
o Tariffs may be reduced at low or zero for some products. 
Related information 
• Rules of Origin are the criteria prescribed to determine the 
national origin of an imported product in a country. 
• Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement aims to 
ensure that technical regulations, standards, and 
conformity assessment procedures are non-discriminatory 
and do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade.  
• Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures: Measures that are 
applied to protect human or animal life from risks arising 
from contaminants or disease-causing organisms in food. 
• Dispute settlement mechanism is to secure a positive 
solution to a dispute. 
Page 2


 
14                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
2. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 
2.1. INDIA – MAURITIUS 
Why in news?  
India and Mauritius signed Comprehensive 
Economic Cooperation and Partnership 
Agreement (CECPA). 
About CECPA 
• CECPA is the first trade agreement signed by 
India with a country in Africa.  
• Agreement is a limited agreement, which will 
cover Trade in Goods, Rules of Origin, Trade 
in Services, Technical Barriers to Trade 
(TBT), Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) 
measures, Dispute Settlement, Movement of Natural 
Persons, Telecom, Financial services, Customs 
Procedures and Cooperation in other Areas. 
• CECPA between India and Mauritius covers various 
export items for India, like textile and textile articles, 
electricals and electronic item etc. 
• Mauritius will have preferential market access into 
India for its various products.  
• Both sides have also agreed to negotiate an Automatic 
Trigger Safeguard Mechanism (ATSM) for a limited 
number of highly sensitive products within 2 years of 
the Signing of the Agreement. 
o This will automatically increase levies once 
imports cross a given threshold. 
o ATSM is considered as an effective tool in 
balancing trade among multilateral partners.   
o It was also part of the trans-pacific partnership, 
TPP, negotiations.  
• India also extended a USD 100 million Line of Credit to 
Mauritius to facilitate the procurement of Indian defence equipment. 
 
Other types of trade agreements 
• Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA): India has signed CEPA with Japan, Sri Lanka, and South 
Korea 
o The CEPA is a bilateral agreement that covers trade in goods and services, investment, competition and 
intellectual property rights (IPRs). 
o The pact seeks to abolish import duties on most products, increase access for Indian professionals and 
contractual service suppliers to signing countries and liberalise investment rules. 
• Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA): India signed CECA with Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. 
o CECA, as an integrated package, consisting of the following agreements: 
? Free Trade Agreement, which would include inter-alia, trade in goods and services, and investment 
? bilateral agreement on investment promotion, protection, and cooperation; 
? improved Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement 
?  liberal Air Services Agreement, and Open Skies for Charter Flights 
? work programme of cooperation in a number of areas including health care, education, media, tourism etc. 
• Free Trade Agreement (FTA): FTA between two or more countries reduces barriers to imports and exports among 
them. This is provided through preferential trade terms, tariff concession etc. 
• Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA): This is unilateral trade preferences, include Generalized System of Preferences 
schemes under which developed countries grant preferential tariffs to imports from developing countries 
o Tariffs may be reduced at low or zero for some products. 
Related information 
• Rules of Origin are the criteria prescribed to determine the 
national origin of an imported product in a country. 
• Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement aims to 
ensure that technical regulations, standards, and 
conformity assessment procedures are non-discriminatory 
and do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade.  
• Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures: Measures that are 
applied to protect human or animal life from risks arising 
from contaminants or disease-causing organisms in food. 
• Dispute settlement mechanism is to secure a positive 
solution to a dispute. 
 
15                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
India- Mauritius relations 
• Economic relations 
o The bilateral trade between two countries stands at $690 million in 2019-20. 
o Under Special Economic Package by India in 2017, many projects like Metro Express project, the new 
Supreme Court building, are completed and will be made operational soon. 
o Foreign direct investment: Mauritius was the third top source of foreign direct investment (US$ 2.0 
billion) into India in 2020-21, after Singapore and Cayman Islands. 
• Geostrategic importance owing to its position in Indian Ocean 
o Mauritius occupies a special place in India’s vision of ‘SAGAR' (Security and Growth for All in the Region) 
for building a secured regional architecture,  
o Mauritius’ proximity to some of the most important Sea lines of communications (SLOCs) (including the 
Cape route connecting Europe to Asia) and to West Asian oil fields has enhanced its commercial and 
strategic significance.  
• Defence Cooperation 
o India financed to build Offshore patrol vessel (OPV) Barracuda, and agreed to provide Dornier aircraft 
and an Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv which will help to shore up its capabilities to patrol and monitor 
its extensive maritime domain more effectively. 
o Mauritius has four pacts with India, including one whereby India offered unconditional cooperation in 
the key area of maritime security in the Indian Ocean region.  
• Cultural & humanitarian relations 
o As a tribute to Gandhiji and the Indian freedom struggle, the National Day of Mauritius is celebrated on 
March 12, the date of launch of Dandi Salt March. 
o Mauritius also hosts the World Hindi Secretariat, which is a bilateral organization. 
o India was the first to send a medical consignment, Hydrocloroquine (HCQ) tablet, and vaccine to 
Mauritius to deal with the COVID pandemic. 
• Regional cooperation 
o Mauritius is member of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and Indian Ocean Naval Symposium which 
is essential for India to seek support and maintain leadership in the Indian Ocean region. 
o India has also extended complete 
support to Mauritius on issue of Chagos 
Archipelago (between Mauritius and the 
United Kingdom). 
• People to people relations 
o Mauritius, also called as “Little India” due 
to around 75% population of Indian origin. 
o Mauritius is home to a large number of 
people of Indian origin who are 
descendants of indentured Indian 
workers brought in the 19th century to 
work in sugarcane plantations. 
Challenges for India- Mauritius relations 
• China factor: China’s growing presence 
and influence in the Indian Ocean region 
through Belt and Road Initiative and its 
maritime component remains biggest 
concern for India to maintain its influence 
in region.  
• Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement 
(DTAA): India has DTAA with Mauritius. 
Foreign investors often use DTAA to 
incorporate conduit companies in 
Mauritius and round-trip their investments 
in India through Mauritius. 
Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) 
• It is tax treaty between two or more countries to avoid 
taxing the same income twice is known as DTAA.  
o Double taxation is the levy of tax by two or more 
countries on the same income, asset or financial 
transaction.  
• Under DTAA there are agreed rates of tax and jurisdiction 
on specified types of income arising in a country.  
• When a tax-payer resides in one country and earns 
income in another country, he is covered under DTAA, if 
those two countries have DTAA in place.  
 
Small Island Developing States (SIDS): 
• SIDS were recognized as a distinct group of developing 
countries facing specific social, economic and 
environmental vulnerabilities at the United Nations 
Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also 
known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (3-
14 June 1992).  
• This recognition was made specifically in the context of 
Agenda 21. 
• Three geographical regions have been identified for the 
location of SIDS, namely, the Caribbean, the Pacific and the 
Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea.  
Page 3


 
14                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
2. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 
2.1. INDIA – MAURITIUS 
Why in news?  
India and Mauritius signed Comprehensive 
Economic Cooperation and Partnership 
Agreement (CECPA). 
About CECPA 
• CECPA is the first trade agreement signed by 
India with a country in Africa.  
• Agreement is a limited agreement, which will 
cover Trade in Goods, Rules of Origin, Trade 
in Services, Technical Barriers to Trade 
(TBT), Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) 
measures, Dispute Settlement, Movement of Natural 
Persons, Telecom, Financial services, Customs 
Procedures and Cooperation in other Areas. 
• CECPA between India and Mauritius covers various 
export items for India, like textile and textile articles, 
electricals and electronic item etc. 
• Mauritius will have preferential market access into 
India for its various products.  
• Both sides have also agreed to negotiate an Automatic 
Trigger Safeguard Mechanism (ATSM) for a limited 
number of highly sensitive products within 2 years of 
the Signing of the Agreement. 
o This will automatically increase levies once 
imports cross a given threshold. 
o ATSM is considered as an effective tool in 
balancing trade among multilateral partners.   
o It was also part of the trans-pacific partnership, 
TPP, negotiations.  
• India also extended a USD 100 million Line of Credit to 
Mauritius to facilitate the procurement of Indian defence equipment. 
 
Other types of trade agreements 
• Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA): India has signed CEPA with Japan, Sri Lanka, and South 
Korea 
o The CEPA is a bilateral agreement that covers trade in goods and services, investment, competition and 
intellectual property rights (IPRs). 
o The pact seeks to abolish import duties on most products, increase access for Indian professionals and 
contractual service suppliers to signing countries and liberalise investment rules. 
• Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA): India signed CECA with Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. 
o CECA, as an integrated package, consisting of the following agreements: 
? Free Trade Agreement, which would include inter-alia, trade in goods and services, and investment 
? bilateral agreement on investment promotion, protection, and cooperation; 
? improved Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement 
?  liberal Air Services Agreement, and Open Skies for Charter Flights 
? work programme of cooperation in a number of areas including health care, education, media, tourism etc. 
• Free Trade Agreement (FTA): FTA between two or more countries reduces barriers to imports and exports among 
them. This is provided through preferential trade terms, tariff concession etc. 
• Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA): This is unilateral trade preferences, include Generalized System of Preferences 
schemes under which developed countries grant preferential tariffs to imports from developing countries 
o Tariffs may be reduced at low or zero for some products. 
Related information 
• Rules of Origin are the criteria prescribed to determine the 
national origin of an imported product in a country. 
• Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement aims to 
ensure that technical regulations, standards, and 
conformity assessment procedures are non-discriminatory 
and do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade.  
• Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures: Measures that are 
applied to protect human or animal life from risks arising 
from contaminants or disease-causing organisms in food. 
• Dispute settlement mechanism is to secure a positive 
solution to a dispute. 
 
15                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
India- Mauritius relations 
• Economic relations 
o The bilateral trade between two countries stands at $690 million in 2019-20. 
o Under Special Economic Package by India in 2017, many projects like Metro Express project, the new 
Supreme Court building, are completed and will be made operational soon. 
o Foreign direct investment: Mauritius was the third top source of foreign direct investment (US$ 2.0 
billion) into India in 2020-21, after Singapore and Cayman Islands. 
• Geostrategic importance owing to its position in Indian Ocean 
o Mauritius occupies a special place in India’s vision of ‘SAGAR' (Security and Growth for All in the Region) 
for building a secured regional architecture,  
o Mauritius’ proximity to some of the most important Sea lines of communications (SLOCs) (including the 
Cape route connecting Europe to Asia) and to West Asian oil fields has enhanced its commercial and 
strategic significance.  
• Defence Cooperation 
o India financed to build Offshore patrol vessel (OPV) Barracuda, and agreed to provide Dornier aircraft 
and an Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv which will help to shore up its capabilities to patrol and monitor 
its extensive maritime domain more effectively. 
o Mauritius has four pacts with India, including one whereby India offered unconditional cooperation in 
the key area of maritime security in the Indian Ocean region.  
• Cultural & humanitarian relations 
o As a tribute to Gandhiji and the Indian freedom struggle, the National Day of Mauritius is celebrated on 
March 12, the date of launch of Dandi Salt March. 
o Mauritius also hosts the World Hindi Secretariat, which is a bilateral organization. 
o India was the first to send a medical consignment, Hydrocloroquine (HCQ) tablet, and vaccine to 
Mauritius to deal with the COVID pandemic. 
• Regional cooperation 
o Mauritius is member of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and Indian Ocean Naval Symposium which 
is essential for India to seek support and maintain leadership in the Indian Ocean region. 
o India has also extended complete 
support to Mauritius on issue of Chagos 
Archipelago (between Mauritius and the 
United Kingdom). 
• People to people relations 
o Mauritius, also called as “Little India” due 
to around 75% population of Indian origin. 
o Mauritius is home to a large number of 
people of Indian origin who are 
descendants of indentured Indian 
workers brought in the 19th century to 
work in sugarcane plantations. 
Challenges for India- Mauritius relations 
• China factor: China’s growing presence 
and influence in the Indian Ocean region 
through Belt and Road Initiative and its 
maritime component remains biggest 
concern for India to maintain its influence 
in region.  
• Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement 
(DTAA): India has DTAA with Mauritius. 
Foreign investors often use DTAA to 
incorporate conduit companies in 
Mauritius and round-trip their investments 
in India through Mauritius. 
Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) 
• It is tax treaty between two or more countries to avoid 
taxing the same income twice is known as DTAA.  
o Double taxation is the levy of tax by two or more 
countries on the same income, asset or financial 
transaction.  
• Under DTAA there are agreed rates of tax and jurisdiction 
on specified types of income arising in a country.  
• When a tax-payer resides in one country and earns 
income in another country, he is covered under DTAA, if 
those two countries have DTAA in place.  
 
Small Island Developing States (SIDS): 
• SIDS were recognized as a distinct group of developing 
countries facing specific social, economic and 
environmental vulnerabilities at the United Nations 
Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also 
known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (3-
14 June 1992).  
• This recognition was made specifically in the context of 
Agenda 21. 
• Three geographical regions have been identified for the 
location of SIDS, namely, the Caribbean, the Pacific and the 
Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea.  
 
16                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
• Agalega island: India’s projects in Agalega island of Mauritius caused disquiet among people of Mauritius and 
opposition there on lines of transparency and environmental concerns. 
• Climate change: Sustainable development and the blue economy are existential challenges for Mauritius, India 
and neighbouring island states. 
Way forward 
• Revisiting DTAA: There is need to revisit DTAA and fill gaps within it to avoid tax evasion by companies. 
• Countering China’s hegemony: Since the Mauritius have great economical, militarily and diplomatic relations 
with India it is need for India to approach proactively to boost relations further and maintains its influence 
in Indian Ocean Region to counter China’s hegemony. 
• Small Island Developing States (SIDS): India should work constructively with SIDS’s which also includes 
Mauritius for addressing their social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities. 
2.2. INDIA-MALDIVES 
Why in news? 
India has signed $50 million defence agreement with Maldives to boost maritime capability. 
More about news 
• $50 million credit line agreement for defence projects 
was signed between the Finance Ministry of Maldives 
and the Export Import Bank of India. 
o Agreement will facilitate capability building in the 
maritime domain and facilitate regional HADR 
(Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief) 
efforts. 
o India will develop, support and maintain an 
important naval facility for the Maldivian armed 
forces. E.g., Maldives National Defense Force Coast 
Guard Harbor at Sifvaru (Uthuru Thilafalhu).  
• Agreement was signed pursuant to the request Maldives made 
in April 2013 for support and cooperation of India to assist 
Maldives for enhancing the capability of the Defence Forces of 
the Maldives in exercising jurisdiction and undertaking 
maritime surveillance of its Exclusive Economic Zone and 
islands. 
• India also signed project execution contract for the 
construction of roads in Addu. This is the first of the 8 major 
infrastructure projects being implemented jointly by the 
Maldives and India to be awarded. 
India- Maldives relations 
• India was among the first to recognize Maldives after its 
independence in 1965 and establish diplomatic relations with 
the country by India’s mission at Male in 1972. 
• Importance of Maldives for India 
o Strategic importance: Maldives holds strategic importance 
for India under the India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and 
SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) due to its location in the Indian Ocean. 
? Also, this is important for India to tackle growing Chinese influence in Indian Ocean Region through 
Belt and Road initiative. 
? Maldives is situated at the hub of commercial sea-lanes running through the Indian Ocean. More 
than 97% of India’s international trade by volume and 75% by value passes through the region.  
o Role of net security provider: Maldives is positioned like a ‘toll gate’ for security check between the 
western Indian Ocean and the eastern Indian Ocean.  
Exim Bank of India  
• It was established under Export-Import Bank 
of India Act, 1981 as the apex financial 
institution for financing, facilitating and 
promoting India's international trade.  
• Bank primarily lends for exports from India 
including supporting overseas buyers and 
Indian suppliers for export of developmental 
and infrastructure projects, equipment, goods 
and services from India.  
• It is regulated by RBI. 
o
Page 4


 
14                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
2. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 
2.1. INDIA – MAURITIUS 
Why in news?  
India and Mauritius signed Comprehensive 
Economic Cooperation and Partnership 
Agreement (CECPA). 
About CECPA 
• CECPA is the first trade agreement signed by 
India with a country in Africa.  
• Agreement is a limited agreement, which will 
cover Trade in Goods, Rules of Origin, Trade 
in Services, Technical Barriers to Trade 
(TBT), Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) 
measures, Dispute Settlement, Movement of Natural 
Persons, Telecom, Financial services, Customs 
Procedures and Cooperation in other Areas. 
• CECPA between India and Mauritius covers various 
export items for India, like textile and textile articles, 
electricals and electronic item etc. 
• Mauritius will have preferential market access into 
India for its various products.  
• Both sides have also agreed to negotiate an Automatic 
Trigger Safeguard Mechanism (ATSM) for a limited 
number of highly sensitive products within 2 years of 
the Signing of the Agreement. 
o This will automatically increase levies once 
imports cross a given threshold. 
o ATSM is considered as an effective tool in 
balancing trade among multilateral partners.   
o It was also part of the trans-pacific partnership, 
TPP, negotiations.  
• India also extended a USD 100 million Line of Credit to 
Mauritius to facilitate the procurement of Indian defence equipment. 
 
Other types of trade agreements 
• Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA): India has signed CEPA with Japan, Sri Lanka, and South 
Korea 
o The CEPA is a bilateral agreement that covers trade in goods and services, investment, competition and 
intellectual property rights (IPRs). 
o The pact seeks to abolish import duties on most products, increase access for Indian professionals and 
contractual service suppliers to signing countries and liberalise investment rules. 
• Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA): India signed CECA with Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. 
o CECA, as an integrated package, consisting of the following agreements: 
? Free Trade Agreement, which would include inter-alia, trade in goods and services, and investment 
? bilateral agreement on investment promotion, protection, and cooperation; 
? improved Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement 
?  liberal Air Services Agreement, and Open Skies for Charter Flights 
? work programme of cooperation in a number of areas including health care, education, media, tourism etc. 
• Free Trade Agreement (FTA): FTA between two or more countries reduces barriers to imports and exports among 
them. This is provided through preferential trade terms, tariff concession etc. 
• Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA): This is unilateral trade preferences, include Generalized System of Preferences 
schemes under which developed countries grant preferential tariffs to imports from developing countries 
o Tariffs may be reduced at low or zero for some products. 
Related information 
• Rules of Origin are the criteria prescribed to determine the 
national origin of an imported product in a country. 
• Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement aims to 
ensure that technical regulations, standards, and 
conformity assessment procedures are non-discriminatory 
and do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade.  
• Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures: Measures that are 
applied to protect human or animal life from risks arising 
from contaminants or disease-causing organisms in food. 
• Dispute settlement mechanism is to secure a positive 
solution to a dispute. 
 
15                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
India- Mauritius relations 
• Economic relations 
o The bilateral trade between two countries stands at $690 million in 2019-20. 
o Under Special Economic Package by India in 2017, many projects like Metro Express project, the new 
Supreme Court building, are completed and will be made operational soon. 
o Foreign direct investment: Mauritius was the third top source of foreign direct investment (US$ 2.0 
billion) into India in 2020-21, after Singapore and Cayman Islands. 
• Geostrategic importance owing to its position in Indian Ocean 
o Mauritius occupies a special place in India’s vision of ‘SAGAR' (Security and Growth for All in the Region) 
for building a secured regional architecture,  
o Mauritius’ proximity to some of the most important Sea lines of communications (SLOCs) (including the 
Cape route connecting Europe to Asia) and to West Asian oil fields has enhanced its commercial and 
strategic significance.  
• Defence Cooperation 
o India financed to build Offshore patrol vessel (OPV) Barracuda, and agreed to provide Dornier aircraft 
and an Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv which will help to shore up its capabilities to patrol and monitor 
its extensive maritime domain more effectively. 
o Mauritius has four pacts with India, including one whereby India offered unconditional cooperation in 
the key area of maritime security in the Indian Ocean region.  
• Cultural & humanitarian relations 
o As a tribute to Gandhiji and the Indian freedom struggle, the National Day of Mauritius is celebrated on 
March 12, the date of launch of Dandi Salt March. 
o Mauritius also hosts the World Hindi Secretariat, which is a bilateral organization. 
o India was the first to send a medical consignment, Hydrocloroquine (HCQ) tablet, and vaccine to 
Mauritius to deal with the COVID pandemic. 
• Regional cooperation 
o Mauritius is member of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and Indian Ocean Naval Symposium which 
is essential for India to seek support and maintain leadership in the Indian Ocean region. 
o India has also extended complete 
support to Mauritius on issue of Chagos 
Archipelago (between Mauritius and the 
United Kingdom). 
• People to people relations 
o Mauritius, also called as “Little India” due 
to around 75% population of Indian origin. 
o Mauritius is home to a large number of 
people of Indian origin who are 
descendants of indentured Indian 
workers brought in the 19th century to 
work in sugarcane plantations. 
Challenges for India- Mauritius relations 
• China factor: China’s growing presence 
and influence in the Indian Ocean region 
through Belt and Road Initiative and its 
maritime component remains biggest 
concern for India to maintain its influence 
in region.  
• Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement 
(DTAA): India has DTAA with Mauritius. 
Foreign investors often use DTAA to 
incorporate conduit companies in 
Mauritius and round-trip their investments 
in India through Mauritius. 
Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) 
• It is tax treaty between two or more countries to avoid 
taxing the same income twice is known as DTAA.  
o Double taxation is the levy of tax by two or more 
countries on the same income, asset or financial 
transaction.  
• Under DTAA there are agreed rates of tax and jurisdiction 
on specified types of income arising in a country.  
• When a tax-payer resides in one country and earns 
income in another country, he is covered under DTAA, if 
those two countries have DTAA in place.  
 
Small Island Developing States (SIDS): 
• SIDS were recognized as a distinct group of developing 
countries facing specific social, economic and 
environmental vulnerabilities at the United Nations 
Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also 
known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (3-
14 June 1992).  
• This recognition was made specifically in the context of 
Agenda 21. 
• Three geographical regions have been identified for the 
location of SIDS, namely, the Caribbean, the Pacific and the 
Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea.  
 
16                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
• Agalega island: India’s projects in Agalega island of Mauritius caused disquiet among people of Mauritius and 
opposition there on lines of transparency and environmental concerns. 
• Climate change: Sustainable development and the blue economy are existential challenges for Mauritius, India 
and neighbouring island states. 
Way forward 
• Revisiting DTAA: There is need to revisit DTAA and fill gaps within it to avoid tax evasion by companies. 
• Countering China’s hegemony: Since the Mauritius have great economical, militarily and diplomatic relations 
with India it is need for India to approach proactively to boost relations further and maintains its influence 
in Indian Ocean Region to counter China’s hegemony. 
• Small Island Developing States (SIDS): India should work constructively with SIDS’s which also includes 
Mauritius for addressing their social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities. 
2.2. INDIA-MALDIVES 
Why in news? 
India has signed $50 million defence agreement with Maldives to boost maritime capability. 
More about news 
• $50 million credit line agreement for defence projects 
was signed between the Finance Ministry of Maldives 
and the Export Import Bank of India. 
o Agreement will facilitate capability building in the 
maritime domain and facilitate regional HADR 
(Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief) 
efforts. 
o India will develop, support and maintain an 
important naval facility for the Maldivian armed 
forces. E.g., Maldives National Defense Force Coast 
Guard Harbor at Sifvaru (Uthuru Thilafalhu).  
• Agreement was signed pursuant to the request Maldives made 
in April 2013 for support and cooperation of India to assist 
Maldives for enhancing the capability of the Defence Forces of 
the Maldives in exercising jurisdiction and undertaking 
maritime surveillance of its Exclusive Economic Zone and 
islands. 
• India also signed project execution contract for the 
construction of roads in Addu. This is the first of the 8 major 
infrastructure projects being implemented jointly by the 
Maldives and India to be awarded. 
India- Maldives relations 
• India was among the first to recognize Maldives after its 
independence in 1965 and establish diplomatic relations with 
the country by India’s mission at Male in 1972. 
• Importance of Maldives for India 
o Strategic importance: Maldives holds strategic importance 
for India under the India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and 
SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) due to its location in the Indian Ocean. 
? Also, this is important for India to tackle growing Chinese influence in Indian Ocean Region through 
Belt and Road initiative. 
? Maldives is situated at the hub of commercial sea-lanes running through the Indian Ocean. More 
than 97% of India’s international trade by volume and 75% by value passes through the region.  
o Role of net security provider: Maldives is positioned like a ‘toll gate’ for security check between the 
western Indian Ocean and the eastern Indian Ocean.  
Exim Bank of India  
• It was established under Export-Import Bank 
of India Act, 1981 as the apex financial 
institution for financing, facilitating and 
promoting India's international trade.  
• Bank primarily lends for exports from India 
including supporting overseas buyers and 
Indian suppliers for export of developmental 
and infrastructure projects, equipment, goods 
and services from India.  
• It is regulated by RBI. 
o
 
17                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
o Reginal cooperation: Maldives is member of SAARC, SASEC, Indian Ocean RIM Association and the 
Indian Ocean Naval Symposium hence it is important for India to have Maldives on board to maintain its 
leadership in the region. 
• Other aspects of bilateral relation 
o Economic and Commercial importance 
? India is Maldives’ 4th largest trade partner after UAE, China and Singapore. 
? Greater Male Connectivity Project to be developed by India will be a major catalyst for the Maldivian 
economy in the future through jobs and economic activity. 
o Capacity Building and Training: India offers several scholarships to Maldivian students under the SAARC 
Chair Fellowship and Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) training & scholarships,  
o Defence cooperation 
? India provides the largest number of training opportunities for Maldivian National Defence Force 
(MNDF), meeting around 70% of their defence training requirements. 
? Also, India has gifted a ‘Made in India’ Patrol Vessel named "KAAMIYAAB”. 
o People-to-People contacts 
? India is largest source of tourist arrivals in Maldives. However, in 2019 India has moved to 2
nd
 and is 
placed just below China. 
? India is also a preferred destination for Maldivians for education, medical treatment, recreation and 
business. 
? Indians are the second largest expatriate community in the Maldives. 
o Humanitarian Assistance: India has offered assistance to Maldives after the tsunami that struck Maldives 
on December 26, 2004, and following tidal surges in May 2007. 
? India provided water aid to the Maldivian capital of Male, though Operation NEER after a fire 
destroyed the biggest water treatment plant. 
o Maldives was the first country to receive Covid-19 vaccines from India.  
o Cultural Relations: Both the countries share long cultural links and continuous efforts are underway to 
further strengthen these linkages, for this India Cultural Center (ICC), was established in Male in July 
2011. 
Concerns with India- Maldives relations 
• China factor: The bigger concern has been Maldives’ growing strategic proximity to China and endorsement 
of the Belt and Road Initiative and its maritime component. 
• Political Instability: It is major concern for India in 2015 arrest of opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed on 
terrorism charges and the consequent political crisis have posed a real diplomatic test for India’s 
neighbourhood policy. 
• Terrorism and radicalisation: Number of Maldivians drawn towards terrorist groups like the Islamic State (IS) 
and jihadist groups has been increasing. Where possibility to use Maldivian islands as a launch pad for terror 
attacks against India cannot be rejected. 
• Economic crisis: International Monetary Fund report projected that the Maldives' external debt will hit 51.2 
per cent of GDP in 2021 from 34.7 per cent in 2016 as a result of the projects, this will deter developments 
among India and Maldives. 
• Concerns of workers: In 2018 Maldives denied work permits to nearly 2000 Indians working there and job 
advertisements which categorically state ‘Indians need not apply’, also denied visa to Indians which further 
exacerbated tensions. 
• India’s vote against Maldives: In 2018 India voted against and even campaigned against Maldives in its bid to 
secure a non-permanent seat to the UN Security Council. 
Way forward 
• Anti-terrorism cooperation: India needs to enhance anti-terrorism cooperation with Maldives to check entry 
of Maldivians in terrorist activities and strengthen security cooperation. 
• Cooperation and projects: India need speed up cooperation and timely deliver projects to compete with China 
who have timely delivered projects in Maldives. 
• Gujral doctrine: India needs to adhere Gujral doctrine that set of five principles to guide the conduct of foreign 
relations with India’s immediate neighbours. 
o Does not ask for reciprocity but gives and accommodates what it can in good faith and trust. 
Page 5


 
14                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
2. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 
2.1. INDIA – MAURITIUS 
Why in news?  
India and Mauritius signed Comprehensive 
Economic Cooperation and Partnership 
Agreement (CECPA). 
About CECPA 
• CECPA is the first trade agreement signed by 
India with a country in Africa.  
• Agreement is a limited agreement, which will 
cover Trade in Goods, Rules of Origin, Trade 
in Services, Technical Barriers to Trade 
(TBT), Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) 
measures, Dispute Settlement, Movement of Natural 
Persons, Telecom, Financial services, Customs 
Procedures and Cooperation in other Areas. 
• CECPA between India and Mauritius covers various 
export items for India, like textile and textile articles, 
electricals and electronic item etc. 
• Mauritius will have preferential market access into 
India for its various products.  
• Both sides have also agreed to negotiate an Automatic 
Trigger Safeguard Mechanism (ATSM) for a limited 
number of highly sensitive products within 2 years of 
the Signing of the Agreement. 
o This will automatically increase levies once 
imports cross a given threshold. 
o ATSM is considered as an effective tool in 
balancing trade among multilateral partners.   
o It was also part of the trans-pacific partnership, 
TPP, negotiations.  
• India also extended a USD 100 million Line of Credit to 
Mauritius to facilitate the procurement of Indian defence equipment. 
 
Other types of trade agreements 
• Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA): India has signed CEPA with Japan, Sri Lanka, and South 
Korea 
o The CEPA is a bilateral agreement that covers trade in goods and services, investment, competition and 
intellectual property rights (IPRs). 
o The pact seeks to abolish import duties on most products, increase access for Indian professionals and 
contractual service suppliers to signing countries and liberalise investment rules. 
• Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA): India signed CECA with Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. 
o CECA, as an integrated package, consisting of the following agreements: 
? Free Trade Agreement, which would include inter-alia, trade in goods and services, and investment 
? bilateral agreement on investment promotion, protection, and cooperation; 
? improved Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement 
?  liberal Air Services Agreement, and Open Skies for Charter Flights 
? work programme of cooperation in a number of areas including health care, education, media, tourism etc. 
• Free Trade Agreement (FTA): FTA between two or more countries reduces barriers to imports and exports among 
them. This is provided through preferential trade terms, tariff concession etc. 
• Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA): This is unilateral trade preferences, include Generalized System of Preferences 
schemes under which developed countries grant preferential tariffs to imports from developing countries 
o Tariffs may be reduced at low or zero for some products. 
Related information 
• Rules of Origin are the criteria prescribed to determine the 
national origin of an imported product in a country. 
• Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement aims to 
ensure that technical regulations, standards, and 
conformity assessment procedures are non-discriminatory 
and do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade.  
• Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures: Measures that are 
applied to protect human or animal life from risks arising 
from contaminants or disease-causing organisms in food. 
• Dispute settlement mechanism is to secure a positive 
solution to a dispute. 
 
15                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
India- Mauritius relations 
• Economic relations 
o The bilateral trade between two countries stands at $690 million in 2019-20. 
o Under Special Economic Package by India in 2017, many projects like Metro Express project, the new 
Supreme Court building, are completed and will be made operational soon. 
o Foreign direct investment: Mauritius was the third top source of foreign direct investment (US$ 2.0 
billion) into India in 2020-21, after Singapore and Cayman Islands. 
• Geostrategic importance owing to its position in Indian Ocean 
o Mauritius occupies a special place in India’s vision of ‘SAGAR' (Security and Growth for All in the Region) 
for building a secured regional architecture,  
o Mauritius’ proximity to some of the most important Sea lines of communications (SLOCs) (including the 
Cape route connecting Europe to Asia) and to West Asian oil fields has enhanced its commercial and 
strategic significance.  
• Defence Cooperation 
o India financed to build Offshore patrol vessel (OPV) Barracuda, and agreed to provide Dornier aircraft 
and an Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv which will help to shore up its capabilities to patrol and monitor 
its extensive maritime domain more effectively. 
o Mauritius has four pacts with India, including one whereby India offered unconditional cooperation in 
the key area of maritime security in the Indian Ocean region.  
• Cultural & humanitarian relations 
o As a tribute to Gandhiji and the Indian freedom struggle, the National Day of Mauritius is celebrated on 
March 12, the date of launch of Dandi Salt March. 
o Mauritius also hosts the World Hindi Secretariat, which is a bilateral organization. 
o India was the first to send a medical consignment, Hydrocloroquine (HCQ) tablet, and vaccine to 
Mauritius to deal with the COVID pandemic. 
• Regional cooperation 
o Mauritius is member of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and Indian Ocean Naval Symposium which 
is essential for India to seek support and maintain leadership in the Indian Ocean region. 
o India has also extended complete 
support to Mauritius on issue of Chagos 
Archipelago (between Mauritius and the 
United Kingdom). 
• People to people relations 
o Mauritius, also called as “Little India” due 
to around 75% population of Indian origin. 
o Mauritius is home to a large number of 
people of Indian origin who are 
descendants of indentured Indian 
workers brought in the 19th century to 
work in sugarcane plantations. 
Challenges for India- Mauritius relations 
• China factor: China’s growing presence 
and influence in the Indian Ocean region 
through Belt and Road Initiative and its 
maritime component remains biggest 
concern for India to maintain its influence 
in region.  
• Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement 
(DTAA): India has DTAA with Mauritius. 
Foreign investors often use DTAA to 
incorporate conduit companies in 
Mauritius and round-trip their investments 
in India through Mauritius. 
Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) 
• It is tax treaty between two or more countries to avoid 
taxing the same income twice is known as DTAA.  
o Double taxation is the levy of tax by two or more 
countries on the same income, asset or financial 
transaction.  
• Under DTAA there are agreed rates of tax and jurisdiction 
on specified types of income arising in a country.  
• When a tax-payer resides in one country and earns 
income in another country, he is covered under DTAA, if 
those two countries have DTAA in place.  
 
Small Island Developing States (SIDS): 
• SIDS were recognized as a distinct group of developing 
countries facing specific social, economic and 
environmental vulnerabilities at the United Nations 
Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also 
known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (3-
14 June 1992).  
• This recognition was made specifically in the context of 
Agenda 21. 
• Three geographical regions have been identified for the 
location of SIDS, namely, the Caribbean, the Pacific and the 
Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea.  
 
16                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
• Agalega island: India’s projects in Agalega island of Mauritius caused disquiet among people of Mauritius and 
opposition there on lines of transparency and environmental concerns. 
• Climate change: Sustainable development and the blue economy are existential challenges for Mauritius, India 
and neighbouring island states. 
Way forward 
• Revisiting DTAA: There is need to revisit DTAA and fill gaps within it to avoid tax evasion by companies. 
• Countering China’s hegemony: Since the Mauritius have great economical, militarily and diplomatic relations 
with India it is need for India to approach proactively to boost relations further and maintains its influence 
in Indian Ocean Region to counter China’s hegemony. 
• Small Island Developing States (SIDS): India should work constructively with SIDS’s which also includes 
Mauritius for addressing their social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities. 
2.2. INDIA-MALDIVES 
Why in news? 
India has signed $50 million defence agreement with Maldives to boost maritime capability. 
More about news 
• $50 million credit line agreement for defence projects 
was signed between the Finance Ministry of Maldives 
and the Export Import Bank of India. 
o Agreement will facilitate capability building in the 
maritime domain and facilitate regional HADR 
(Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief) 
efforts. 
o India will develop, support and maintain an 
important naval facility for the Maldivian armed 
forces. E.g., Maldives National Defense Force Coast 
Guard Harbor at Sifvaru (Uthuru Thilafalhu).  
• Agreement was signed pursuant to the request Maldives made 
in April 2013 for support and cooperation of India to assist 
Maldives for enhancing the capability of the Defence Forces of 
the Maldives in exercising jurisdiction and undertaking 
maritime surveillance of its Exclusive Economic Zone and 
islands. 
• India also signed project execution contract for the 
construction of roads in Addu. This is the first of the 8 major 
infrastructure projects being implemented jointly by the 
Maldives and India to be awarded. 
India- Maldives relations 
• India was among the first to recognize Maldives after its 
independence in 1965 and establish diplomatic relations with 
the country by India’s mission at Male in 1972. 
• Importance of Maldives for India 
o Strategic importance: Maldives holds strategic importance 
for India under the India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and 
SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) due to its location in the Indian Ocean. 
? Also, this is important for India to tackle growing Chinese influence in Indian Ocean Region through 
Belt and Road initiative. 
? Maldives is situated at the hub of commercial sea-lanes running through the Indian Ocean. More 
than 97% of India’s international trade by volume and 75% by value passes through the region.  
o Role of net security provider: Maldives is positioned like a ‘toll gate’ for security check between the 
western Indian Ocean and the eastern Indian Ocean.  
Exim Bank of India  
• It was established under Export-Import Bank 
of India Act, 1981 as the apex financial 
institution for financing, facilitating and 
promoting India's international trade.  
• Bank primarily lends for exports from India 
including supporting overseas buyers and 
Indian suppliers for export of developmental 
and infrastructure projects, equipment, goods 
and services from India.  
• It is regulated by RBI. 
o
 
17                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
o Reginal cooperation: Maldives is member of SAARC, SASEC, Indian Ocean RIM Association and the 
Indian Ocean Naval Symposium hence it is important for India to have Maldives on board to maintain its 
leadership in the region. 
• Other aspects of bilateral relation 
o Economic and Commercial importance 
? India is Maldives’ 4th largest trade partner after UAE, China and Singapore. 
? Greater Male Connectivity Project to be developed by India will be a major catalyst for the Maldivian 
economy in the future through jobs and economic activity. 
o Capacity Building and Training: India offers several scholarships to Maldivian students under the SAARC 
Chair Fellowship and Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) training & scholarships,  
o Defence cooperation 
? India provides the largest number of training opportunities for Maldivian National Defence Force 
(MNDF), meeting around 70% of their defence training requirements. 
? Also, India has gifted a ‘Made in India’ Patrol Vessel named "KAAMIYAAB”. 
o People-to-People contacts 
? India is largest source of tourist arrivals in Maldives. However, in 2019 India has moved to 2
nd
 and is 
placed just below China. 
? India is also a preferred destination for Maldivians for education, medical treatment, recreation and 
business. 
? Indians are the second largest expatriate community in the Maldives. 
o Humanitarian Assistance: India has offered assistance to Maldives after the tsunami that struck Maldives 
on December 26, 2004, and following tidal surges in May 2007. 
? India provided water aid to the Maldivian capital of Male, though Operation NEER after a fire 
destroyed the biggest water treatment plant. 
o Maldives was the first country to receive Covid-19 vaccines from India.  
o Cultural Relations: Both the countries share long cultural links and continuous efforts are underway to 
further strengthen these linkages, for this India Cultural Center (ICC), was established in Male in July 
2011. 
Concerns with India- Maldives relations 
• China factor: The bigger concern has been Maldives’ growing strategic proximity to China and endorsement 
of the Belt and Road Initiative and its maritime component. 
• Political Instability: It is major concern for India in 2015 arrest of opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed on 
terrorism charges and the consequent political crisis have posed a real diplomatic test for India’s 
neighbourhood policy. 
• Terrorism and radicalisation: Number of Maldivians drawn towards terrorist groups like the Islamic State (IS) 
and jihadist groups has been increasing. Where possibility to use Maldivian islands as a launch pad for terror 
attacks against India cannot be rejected. 
• Economic crisis: International Monetary Fund report projected that the Maldives' external debt will hit 51.2 
per cent of GDP in 2021 from 34.7 per cent in 2016 as a result of the projects, this will deter developments 
among India and Maldives. 
• Concerns of workers: In 2018 Maldives denied work permits to nearly 2000 Indians working there and job 
advertisements which categorically state ‘Indians need not apply’, also denied visa to Indians which further 
exacerbated tensions. 
• India’s vote against Maldives: In 2018 India voted against and even campaigned against Maldives in its bid to 
secure a non-permanent seat to the UN Security Council. 
Way forward 
• Anti-terrorism cooperation: India needs to enhance anti-terrorism cooperation with Maldives to check entry 
of Maldivians in terrorist activities and strengthen security cooperation. 
• Cooperation and projects: India need speed up cooperation and timely deliver projects to compete with China 
who have timely delivered projects in Maldives. 
• Gujral doctrine: India needs to adhere Gujral doctrine that set of five principles to guide the conduct of foreign 
relations with India’s immediate neighbours. 
o Does not ask for reciprocity but gives and accommodates what it can in good faith and trust. 
 
18                                                                               www.visionias.in                                                                        ©Vision IAS  
o No South Asian country should allow its territory to be used against the interest of another country of the 
region. 
o No country should interfere in the internal affairs of another. 
o All South Asian countries must respect each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. 
2.3. MILITARY COUP IN MYANMAR 
Why in News?  
Recently, Myanmar (formerly called 
Burma) military grabbed power in a coup, 
third time in the nation’s history since its 
independence from British rule in 1948.  
More on News 
• Military (also called Junta and Tatmadaw) 
has alleged that the general elections 
held in November 2020 were full of 
irregularities and that therefore, the 
results are not valid. 
o In 2020 elections, Aung San Suu Kyi 
led the National League for 
Democracy (NLD) to a landslide win. 
• Military had demanded that the United 
Elections Commission of Myanmar, or the 
government, or outgoing 
parliamentarians prove at a special 
session before the new parliament 
convenes, that the elections were free 
and fair.  
o The demand had been rejected. 
• Military, under Min Aung Hlaing , then 
launched a coup, announcing a yearlong 
state of emergency and arresting 
opposition figures, including de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and civil society activists. 
• This marked the end of Myanmar’s short-lived experience with democracy which began in 2011, when 
military implemented parliamentary elections and other reforms. 
 
 
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