India's Aid and investment to foreign countries : News and Discussions

RISING SUN

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India’s vision of SAGAR: Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in the Indian Ocean Region
Addressing non-traditional threats in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) is one of Indian Navy’s most prominent roles. Over the past decade, higher instances of natural disasters and regional instabilities has necessitated increased deployment of Indian Navy for undertaking Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), Non-combatant Evacuation (NEO), and Search and Rescue (SAR) Operations. The IOR and its hinterland form the locus of about seventy percent of the world’s natural disasters resulting from earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis, and floods. By assuming a benign role and deploying assets, the Indian Navy continues to be at the forefront of HADR operations in coastal areas, both in India and in the maritime neighborhood.

Before the unfortunate 2004 Asian tsunami which claimed thousands of lives, Indian disaster response was largely reactive and ad-hoc in nature. In response, the Indian parliament passed the Disaster Management Act in December 2005 which led to the establishment of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) as the principle coordinating authority for disaster response by both civilian and military agencies. By establishing the NDMA, the Indian government has signaled a shift from a responsive and ad-hoc approach, to one based on pro-active planning for potential disasters.

By remaining at the forefront of HA/DR operations in coastal areas over the last decade, Indian Navy continues to maintain credible HA/DR capability, and promote capability deployment and coordination between regional navies for combined HA/DR operations. Towards this end, as a part of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) initiatives in 2014, the Indian Navy assumed the chair of the IONS Working Group (IWG) on HADR, and subsequently formulating a way ahead for developing coordinated HA/DR response among IOR navies.

Net Security provider and First Responder in Indian Ocean
The Indian Navy has come a long way since 2013, when former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh declared that India was a ‘net security provider’ in the Indian Ocean and is committed in its efforts to improve the maritime environment. However, walking the talk and putting words into actions requires political will, operational readiness, and improved capabilities.

The Indian Navy has demonstrated its capability to assume the role of a ‘net security provider’ in the IOR in recent years by positioning itself as a “first responder” along the Indian Ocean littorals. By contributing its resources to prevent or mitigate regional or international crises, the Indian Navy continues to demonstrate its ability to sustain long deployments across the IOR and shore up its credentials as a responsible global power.

A significant beneficiary of India’s HA/DR missions has been African countries. With a vast coastline of 18,950 miles (30,497 kilometers), African littorals and Island nations are prone to natural disasters such as cyclones, floods, tsunami, typhoons, earthquake, and droughts. The key to mitigate disasters in such adverse situations rest on ensuring swift and coordinated interventions with local authorities on ground.

Cyclone Diane and Idai
The latest example of Indian Navy’s demonstration of its HA/DR operations capabilities came in the wake of ‘Cyclone Diane’ which landfall in Madagascar and La Reunion late on January 24 causing heavy rain and flash floods. The Madagascar government declared a state of national emergency as the floods claimed thirty-one lives and inundated more than ten thousand homes.

Based on request from President Andry Rajoelina, the Indian Navy launched ‘Operation Vanilla’ to provide HA/DR relief. Indian Navy Ship Airavat which was mission-deployed in the Southern Indian Ocean and en-route to Seychelles, was immediately diverted towards Antsiranana – the capital of Madagascar - to render assistance.

During the port call, the Commanding Officer and his team held meetings with local Madagascar authorities and took appraisal of the situation. Medical and disaster relief teams were deployed in affected areas. On February 1st, Indian authorities handed over relief materials comprising disaster relief stores, blankets, clothing, tents, food and medicines to Madagascar

Cyclone Idai, a Category 4 tropical storm which made landfall in the port city of Beira, Mozambique in the early hours of March 15, 2019 caused havoc, destruction of property and resulted in numerous deaths. The accompanying rains left thousands of people displace from their homes, with its impact being felt further inland in Malawi and Zimbabwe. Fortunately, three Indian Navy vessels – INS Sujatha, INS Shardul, and INS Sarathi – which were operating in the region, were immediately diverted to render assistance. Upon reaching Beira on March 18-19, the responders immediately commenced liaison work with local authorities by disembarking HA/DR stores including food, medicines, clothes, and water. Indian naval crew deployed their boats and helicopters and rescued hundreds of stranded people, many of them in Buzi Island, which is cut off from the mainland. A makeshift kitchen was set up to provide meals for rescue workers, while doctors attended to causalities in medical camps. Further, in order to sustain the rescue efforts, India sent its fourth ship – INS Magar – which carried dry provisions, ready-to-eat meals, and daily essentials, in addition to 500 kg of epidemic-related medicines, and 400 tonnes of rice.

What makes it possible for Indian Navy to be ‘first responder’?
What made it possible for the Indian Navy to be the first responder to both these incidents in Madagascar and Mozambique is its operational readiness. Indian naval ships on overseas deployment are mandated to carry additional HA/DR kits for such possible events, thus enabling them to be well-prepared to undertake relief work. This has been possible due to a shift in Indian Navy’s deployment patterns from 2017 onwards to a dynamic ‘Mission Based Deployments’ in which Indian mission-ready ships are prepared round the clock to carry out anti-piracy patrol and provide humanitarian assistance when required. Such an approach provides Indian ships the requisite speed and flexibility to maneuver at the shortest possible time and provide assistance in its area of operations.

Previous instances
Previous instances of Indian HA/DR operations in Africa includes - ‘Operation Blossom’ in Libya 2011 in which 150 Indian citizens were evacuated by the Indian Navy; An assistance of $8 million to countries affected by severe famine and drought in Horn of Africa i.e. Somalia, Kenya, and Djibouti in September 2011 through the World Food Programme; Supplying $1 million worth of life-saving drugs and medical equipment’s to National Transitional Council (NTC) of Libya in January 2012; ‘Operation Rahat’ during which Indian warships rescued over 3,000 stranded Indian citizens in Yemen in April 2015. Initially Djibouti was designated as the center for evacuation, but the port of Djibouti played a critical role in the operation as it was used by Indian ships for passage and replenishment. In the aftermath of a drought in Mozambique in 2016, India provided $10 million for the purchase of wheat and a donation of 100 tonnes of essential medicines and transport vehicles;

HA/DR and SAGAR
Both these recent instances of natural disasters in Madagascar and Mozambique points towards the particular vulnerabilities of the Indian Ocean Region. It can be argued that more than armed forces, it is the navies of IOR countries that will need to play leading role in developing and executing HA/DR strategies.

India’s vision for the Indian Ocean is encapsulated by the concept of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region). SAGAR has both various distinct and inter-related elements – such as deepening economic and security cooperation in the littorals, enhancing capacities to safeguard land and maritime territories, working towards sustainable regional development, Blue Economy, and promoting collective action to deal with non-traditional threats like natural disasters, piracy, terrorism etc.

While each of these elements of SAGAR requires equal attention, developing an effective response mechanism to address humanitarian crisis and natural disasters is one of the most visible element in India’s evolving Indian Ocean strategy. Without distinguishing between natural or man-made disasters, the Indian Navy has time and again demonstrated that it cares for and stands by its IOR partners in times of need, and has incorporated HA/DR operations as of the foremost element in its vision.
India’s vision of SAGAR: Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in the Indian Ocean Region | ORF
 

RISING SUN

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Government of India provides Relief Assistance to Myanmar Government for displaced persons in the Rakhine State (21st January, 2020)
The Ambassador of India to Myanmar handed over to Rakhine State Government, Government of India’s relief assistance for the civilians of Rakhine State displaced as a consequence of ongoing conflict. The handing over ceremony was held at Sittwe on 21 January 2020 and attended amongst others by H.E. Dr Win Myat Aye, Union Minister for Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, H.E. U Nyi Pu, the Chief Minister of Rakhine State, H.E. U Soe Aung, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, U San Kyaw Hla, Speaker of Rakhine State Parliament and Ambassador of India to Myanmar H.E. Shri. Saurabh Kumar. The relief material is valued at USD 235456 and consists of 20,000 kits consisting of Rice, Rice Noodles, Toor Dal, Chana Dal, Soya Oil, Chili Powder, Turmeric Powder, Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder, Salt and Tarpaulin.
  1. The assistance is part of Government of India's continued endeavor to support the socio-economic development of Rakhine State and provide it with relief material.
  2. It may be recalled that the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) providing for Indian assistance for socio-economic development of Rakhine State was signed in December 2017. The programmes under the MoU include creation of infrastructure in the areas of education, health, agriculture and allied activities, agro-processing, community development and related training. These could include, inter alia, support for construction of small bridges, upgradation of roads, small power projects, livelihood activity, setting up of training centres, conservation of environmental and cultural heritage, empowerment of women and child welfare.
  3. On 9 July 2019, 250 pre-fabricated houses constructed for displaced persons under the above mentioned MoU were handed over to the Rakhine State Government. A set of additional projects related to construction of pre-schools, solar power supply, water supply, seed storage houses, incinerators in a hospital, agriculture mechanisation, roads construction, and provision of libraries and soft infrastructure at 15 schools are under advance consideration and will be implemented during the current year under the above MoU.
  4. Government of India has also conveyed its readiness to establish an India-Myanmar Industrial Training Centre in Rakhine State to impart skills to the youth of the State for greater employability. Two such centres are already in operation in Pakokku & Myingyan and two other being established at the request of Myanmar government and will be operational soon at Monywa & Thaton.
  5. Under its High Impact Community Development Projects (Small Development Projects scheme), last June, Government of India provided IT equipment to Sittwe Computer University and agriculture equipment to Rakhine State Government. Earlier, India had provided medical equipment to upgrade the facilities at Sittwe General Hospital.
  6. During his visit to Sittwe for the relief material handing over ceremony, Ambassador of India called on H.E. U Nyi Pu, Chief Minister of Rakhine State and H.E. U San Kyaw Hla Speaker of the Rakhine State Assembly (who had requested for the relief material). Ambassador recalled the close bilateral bonds and people-to-people relations between India and Rakhine, and Government of India’s commitment to extend all possible help for the State’s development. Ambassador emphasized that all projects being undertaken by India in Rakhine State are grant in aid projects for the welfare of the people and that there are no commercial interests involved. He added that it is imperative that security around these projects is maintained.
  7. Government of India has already completed the development of Sittwe Port and Inland Water Transport terminals at Sittwe and Paletwa which are all part of the Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project (KMMTTP). The port and inland water way terminal operator and maintenance contractor has been selected and the port operations will start soon. The said project has a huge potential to impact the economy of the State and provide livelihood to local people. The road from Paletwa to Zorinpui in Mizoram, India is an important part of the KMMTTP and is presently under construction. Once completed, connectivity between Sittwe port in Myanmar and Mizoram State of India will be established contributing to trade and commerce between Rakhine State and North-East of India. Government of India is looking forward to the early completion of this road and is confident that all concerned would provide assistance towards this objective. The total project cost of KMMTTP is estimated around USD 484 million making it the largest grant in aid project of India abroad.
Embassy of India, Yangon
21 January 2020
Government of India provides Relief Assistance to Myanmar Government for displaced persons in the Rakhine State (21st January, 2020) [EN/MY] - Myanmar
 

Gautam

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#89
UPDF awards Indian military trainers

BY JAVIRA SSEBWAMI | PML DAILY STAFF WRITER
March 23, 2020
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The Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) has awarded the “PSC” DAGGER Award to four Indian military officers at the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs headquaters Mbuya. The Indian Military Trainers awarded included Brig Gen Ranjit Singh, Col Ranjesh Nambiar, Col Amit Suneja, and Capt Manish Shandev . The awards have been conferred upon the Officers by the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) Gen David Muhoozi.

In his remarks, the CDF praised the Indian officers for the job well done during their two year stay at Senior Command and Staff College Kimaka, reminding all that the Indian military has had good working relations with the UPDF for some good time. “Thank you for imparting exceptional skills to our senior officers. The skills you have unreservedly imparted in them will greatly impact the development of the Force. Thank you for bridging the gap between the UPDF and the Indian Association of Uganda. Our relationship with the Indian Association of Uganda has greatly improved partly because of you,” Gen David Muhoozi remarked.

The CDF asked the Indian team to find a way they could partner with the Indian Association of Uganda to help Ugandans in fighting COVID-19 pandemic.“There are people who cannot afford to buy hand sanitizers, soaps and even water and other things needed in the fight against this pandemic, if we could work together and see how to provide these essentials, this virus would be put out.”

Gen David Muhoozi applauded the team for their work towards the development of Senior Command and Staff College Kimaka which include: Building a basket ball court, donating a sixty five (65) seater bus and TATA trucks among other things.

Lt Gen Andrew Gutti, the Commandant of Senior Command and Staff College, Kimaka thanked the Indian Officers for executing their duties very well and leaving behind a good mark. “You have left behind big shoes we hope that the team that will come after you will be able to fit in and also work diligently like you.” Lt Gen Gutti said.

Brig Gen Ranjit Singh who led the Indian Officers thanked the UPDF under the leadership of the Commander in Chief, His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and the CDF for the hospitality and good working relations saying that they are committed to continue working with the UPDF for the good cause.

UPDF awards Indian military trainers