India-Maldives Relation – The Core IAS

India-Maldives Relation

Bilateral ties:

  • Political relation
  • People to people relations: Indian community second largest expatriate community
  • Economic relations: Tourism
  • Humanitarian assistance
  • Capacity building and Training: Greater Male connectivity Project

Importance of Maldives

  • A very special place in the ‘Neighborhood First Policy’ and the ‘SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) vision of the Government of India
  • Free of any politically contentious issues.
  • SlOC (East West Shipping Route)
  • At the heart of international Geopolitics
  • Security & Defence by keeping an eye in the ocean (Strategic Maritime Geography)
  • The island nation lies close to India’s exclusive economic zone and is in a place from where it can oversee maritime trade emanating from major choke points such as Strait of Hormuz, Red Sea to Suez Canal and Mozambique.
  • India has had long standing ties with Maldives. In 1988,India helped Maldives thwart a coup attempt backed by a Sri Lankan militant organisation.
  • The strategic location of Maldives in the Indian Ocean makes it important for India and that is the reason India has been working to boost ties with the country, especially in matters of defence and security.


  • Member of SAARC important to maintain leadership in the region
  • Islamic Radicalisation and Security
  • Officials said having a friendly and independent Maldives is thus beneficial to India and other nations in the region with common maritime interests, particularly in the backdrop of growing Chinese attempts to expand its influence in the region.

For the Maldives:

  • Economic Opprtunities.


  • There have been ‘India Out’ protests going on in the Maldives
  • China Strategic Foot print
  • Radicalisation


Recent Developments

  • In 2020, India had gifted a Dornier aircraft to Maldives and in 2019 handed over a patrol vessel. Last year, New Delhihad also given a coastal radar system to Male.
  • India will provide 24 vehicles and a naval boat and will build police facilities on 61 islands of the country.
  • A recent joint statement released by India and Maldives highlighted ongoing defence cooperation between the two neighbours, including joint exercises and exchanges of visits by military officials. It also highlighted the importance of sharing best practices and expertise in areas such as counterterrorism, disaster management, cybersecurity and maritime security.
  • The countries have also agreed to explore additional avenues for cooperation, including in areas of defence trade, capacity building and joint exercises.
  • The handing over of these vessels are in line with India’s vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)that seeks to work together with and jointly develop the capabilities of friends and partners for a safe, secure, prosperous and stable Indian Ocean Region, the joint statement had said.
  • Both the countries are working closely to address challenges, including those on maritime security, terrorism, radicalisation, piracy, trafficking, organised crime and natural disasters.
  • The Greater Male Connectivity Project (GMCP)—a $500 million project financed by India—that would comprise a 6.74 km bridge and the causeway link connecting capital Male with the neighbouring islands, was started.
  • At the same time, both sides had signed a cyber-security pact aimed at strengthening ties to tackle transnational crimes and terrorism in the Indian Ocean region.

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