International Seminar on “Clean and Capable India of Gandhi’s Dream”



Text of speech by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the Inaugural Ceremony of the International Seminar on “Clean and Capable India of Gandhi’s Dream”
1. It is my privilege to be here with you today for the inauguration of this International Seminar on “Clean and Capable India of Gandhi’s Dream”. At the outset, let me compliment the Rajghat Samadhi Committee for organizing this symposium on a topic of great relevance. I also thank the Committee for giving me the opportunity to share my views before this august audience.

2. It is only apt that this seminar is being held on a day, which 85 years back, marked a defining moment in our freedom struggle – the start of the Dandi March by Mahatma Gandhi for Salt Satyagraha. The breaking of the unjust salt law by Gandhiji through the symbolic act of salt-making triggered the larger Civil Disobedience Movement across the country. It not only shook the foundations of the British Empire towards India’s independence, but also helped garner world-wide attention about our nation’s plight.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

3. Gandhiji was a revolutionary of an extraordinary nature, with a rare farsightedness clearly demonstrated, a century ago. Throughout his life, Gandhiji learnt from each and every experience. He had the insight and ingenuity to suggest measures to root out a problem rather than search for ways to subside it. Philip Noel-Baker, the British representative to the United Nations Security Council, had once stated that ‘Gandhi was the friend of the poorest and the loneliest and the lost’. He had also predicted that Gandhiji’s ‘greatest achievements are still to come’.

4. On the sad demise of Gandhiji, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had rightly said and I quote: “The light is gone and yet it will shine for a thousand years” (unquote). Since then, the world has witnessed sea-change in social, political and economic landscapes. Yet, the importance of Gandhian thought of truth, morality and ethics remain integral to our national consciousness. Gandhian philosophy never turns obsolete, as even decades after his death world leaders continue to follow his ideals to achieve human development.

5. We have recently embarked upon two important initiatives: (i) Swachh Bharat Mission – to achieve a Clean India by 2nd October 2019, to coincide with the 150th Birth Anniversary of Gandhiji; and (ii) Make-in-India campaign – aimed at enhancing the manufacturing capability of our nation. The noble aims of Swachh and Samarth (or capable) Bharat comprised a significant part of the Gandhian discourse. I hope the discussions by scholars at this forum through the prism of Gandhiji’s vision would lead to greater public awareness of the long-drawn imperative to have a clean and capable India.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

6. Gandhiji visualized cleanliness as having three dimensions - a clean mind, a clean body and clean surroundings. Holding that ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’, he had said and I quote: “We can no more gain God’s blessing with an unclean body than with an unclean mind. A clean body cannot reside in an unclean city” (unquote).

7. Taking a clue from what Gandhiji had asserted, the Swachh Bharat Mission envisages the provision of sanitation facilities, including toilets, waste disposal systems and safe drinking water, to every family. A winning strategy to achieve a state of cleanliness, to my mind, would comprise engaging the citizenry, addressing the reduction of waste and improving the processing of waste.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

8. Gandhiji highlighted the necessity of self-reliant villages to achieve equity and sustainability in economic growth. Firm in the belief that India lived in her villages he suggested a lifestyle structure comprising education, employment and health facilities that will encourage people to reside happily in rural areas. For him, reconstructing villages was the foremost step in rebuilding the nation and in achieving self-sufficiency and social equality. He espoused the spirit of Samarth or capability for India to achieve economic self-reliance at large.

9. The Make-in-India campaign envisages turning Gandhiji’s dream of a self-sufficient and productive India into a reality. It aims at India becoming ‘Samarth’ on all fronts of economic development by facilitating investment, promoting innovation, fostering skill development and establishing best-in-class infrastructure.

10. The advantages of democracy, demography and demand are on India’s side. It is a push through a comprehensive strategy that is required to usher in a world-class manufacturing set-up in our country. Steps in this direction include: a facilitatory governance mechanism; building of smart cities and industrial clusters; development of specialized skills in the youth; and establishment of dedicated freight corridors for improved connectivity. More concretized action is necessary. Select domestic companies having leadership position in innovation and new technology should be identified to turn them into lead global businesses. Advanced and environmentally-sensitive manufacturing companies should be encouraged to make them an important part of the global value-chain. Overall, the ‘Make-in-India’ programme should lead to an attitudinal shift in how India relates to investors: not as a permit-issuing authority but as a true business partner.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

11. A concerted effort to refurbish India will help realize Gandhiji’s dream of a Swachh and Samarth Bharat. The support and contribution of the wider section of society, including key stakeholders, is necessary. Gandhiji’s dream was guided by the light of knowledge and wisdom gained over centuries. Hence, a great responsibility is on the shoulders of those who understand his vision, to play a key role in this transformation.

12. I expect the deliberations in this seminar to cast new light on the depth and expanse of Gandhiji’s vision, and the ways in which it can become the guiding path for our effort. Gandhiji’s dream is our dream; his vision must lead us through the challenges of the present towards a clean, green and self-sufficient Bharat.

13. With these words, I conclude. I once again applaud the Rajghat Samadhi Committee for convening this important seminar. I also wish them the very best for all its future pursuits.

Thank you.

Jai Hind.


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President inaugurates International Seminar on “Clean and Capable India of Gandhi’s Dream”
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated an International Seminar on “Clean and Capable India of Gandhi’s Dream” in New Delhi today (12 March, 2015).

Speaking on the occasion the President said Gandhiji’s dream is our dream; his vision must lead us through the challenges of the present towards a clean, green and self-sufficient Bharat.

The President said that we have recently embarked upon two important initiatives: (i) Swachh Bharat Mission – to achieve a Clean India by 2nd October 2019, to coincide with the 150th Birth Anniversary of Gandhiji; and (ii) Make-in-India campaign – aimed at enhancing the manufacturing capability of our nation.

The President said Gandhiji visualized cleanliness as having three dimensions - a clean mind, a clean body and clean surroundings. Holding that ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’, he had said: “We can no more gain God’s blessing with an unclean body than with an unclean mind. A clean body cannot reside in an unclean city.”

The President said a winning strategy to achieve a state of cleanliness would comprise engaging the citizenry, addressing the reduction of waste and improving the processing of waste.

The President said the Make-in-India campaign envisages turning Gandhiji’s dream of a self-sufficient and productive India into a reality. It aims at India becoming ‘Samarth’ on all fronts of economic development by facilitating investment, promoting innovation, fostering skill development and establishing best-in-class infrastructure.

The President said a comprehensive strategy is required to usher in a world-class manufacturing set-up in our country. Steps in this direction include: a facilitatory governance mechanism; building of smart cities and industrial clusters; development of specialized skills in the youth; and establishment of dedicated freight corridors for improved connectivity.

The President said select domestic companies having leadership position in innovation and new technology should be identified to turn them into global businesses. Advanced and environmentally-sensitive manufacturing companies should be encouraged to make them an important part of the global value-chain. Overall, the ‘Make-in-India’ programme should lead to an attitudinal shift in how India relates to investors: not as a permit-issuing authority but as a true business partner.

The President said a concerted effort to refurbish India will help realize Gandhiji’s dream of a Swachh and Samarth Bharat. The support and contribution of the wider section of society, including key stakeholders, is necessary. Gandhiji’s dream was guided by the light of knowledge and wisdom gained over centuries. Hence, a great responsibility is on the shoulders of those who understand his vision, to play a key role in this transformation.

*****

Text of the PM's Remarks on the Commissioning of Coast Ship Barracuda

Hon’ble Prime Minister Sir Aneerood Jugnauth, distinguished guests,

To our naval personnel from India, our guardian of the seas, who are here today – my special greetings to you.

It is a great honour to commission the Barracuda today in the service of the National Coast Guard of Mauritius.

Thank you for giving me this privilege. Thank you for choosing India as your partner.

This ship has made a long journey – from Kolkata across the great arc of Indian Ocean to this beautiful shore.

Generations ago, people from India charted that course to a new destination and a new life.

Today, Barracuda brings with her the goodwill and greetings of the people of India.

She represents our unique trust and confidence.

She reflects our partnership that has stood the test of time.

She is a symbol of our shared commitment to peace and security in Indian Ocean- our common maritime home.

Barracuda is a beautiful ship. She is also very capable; and built to specifications of Mauritius.

Now, she sails proudly with the flag of Mauritius. She will protect your islands and your waters. She will be there to help in times of distress and emergencies.

But, she will do more than that. She will also help make our Indian Ocean safer and more secure.

In doing so, Mauritius will fulfill an important international responsibility because, the Indian Ocean is critical to the future of the world. This Ocean bears two-thirds of the world`s oil shipments, one-third of its bulk cargo; and half of its container traffic. Over three-fourths of its traffic goes to other regions of the world.

The vast Indian Ocean Region hosts over 40 states and nearly 40% of the world`s population. It touches Australia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, West Asia and the eastern seaboard of Africa. It sparkles with the gems of island states.

Think of the civilisational links, yet great diversity in this vast region! Consider the vast opportunities that it holds!

Today, the world speaks of 21st century driven by the dynamism and the energy of Asia and the Pacific. But, its course will be determined by the tides of the Indian Ocean. This is why Indian Ocean is at the centre of global attention more than ever before.

We also see growing global stakes and presence in the Ocean. Even in this changing world, the oceans hold the key to its fortunes. And, we will all prosper when the seas are safe, secure and free for all.

To ensure this will be our greatest collective responsibility. But, we will also have to rise to other challenges that are not uncommon in our region.

We have seen the tragedy of tsumanis and cyclones.

Terror has visited us from sea. Piracy has taken toll of lives and trade on a scale that seemed beyond belief in modern era.

Illegal fishing and oil spills hurt our economies. We all feel the rising impact of climate change on our coasts and islands.

We have also seen that instability and turmoil in coastal and island states can have profound impact on security on the seas.

India is at the crossroads of Indian Ocean.

Since Lothal in Gujarat became one of the earliest seaports in the world, India has had a long maritime tradition.

Our cultural footprints stretch across Asia and Africa. We see this in our strong Diaspora across oceans.

The seas forged links of commerce, culture, and religion with our extended neighbourhood across several millenniums.

Our more recent history has focused our attention on our continental neighborhood.

But, India has been shaped in more ways by the seas around us.

Today, 90% of our trade by volume and 90% of our oil imports take place through sea. We have coastline of 7500 km, 1200 islands and 2.4 million square kilometers of Exclusive Economic Zone.

India is becoming more integrated globally. We will be more dependent than before on the ocean and the surrounding regions.

We must also assume our responsibility to shape its future.

So, Indian Ocean Region is at the top of our policy priorities.

Our vision for Indian Ocean Region is rooted in advancing cooperation in our region; and, to use our capabilities for the benefit of all in our common maritime home.

It means many things.

One, we will do everything to safeguard our mainland and islands and defend our interests.

Equally we will work to ensure a safe, secure and stable Indian Ocean Region that delivers us all to the shores of prosperity.

And, our capabilities will be there for those struck by the ocean`s fury. Or, caught in distress on the seas.

Second, we will deepen our economic and security cooperation with our friends in the region especially our maritime neighbours and island states.

We will also continue to build their maritime security capacities and their economic strength.

Three, collective action and cooperation will best advance peace and security in our maritime region. It will also prepare us better to respond to emergencies.

That is why, in 2008, India promoted the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium. Today, it brings together 35 navies of the region. Our goal is to deepen our mutual understanding on maritime challenges; and, strengthen our collective ability to address them.

We also support efforts to strengthen our regional mechanisms for maritime cooperation – from dealing with piracy terrorism and other crimes; to marine safety and natural disasters.

India has also started maritime security cooperation with Maldives and Sri Lanka and we hope that Mauritius, Seychelles and other nations in the region will also join this initiative.

Four, we also seek a more integrated and cooperative future in the region that enhances the prospects for sustainable development for all.

We must promote greater collaboration in trade, tourism and investment; infrastructure development; marine science and technology; sustainable fisheries; protection of marine environment; and, overall development of Ocean or Blue Economy.

To me the blue chakra or wheel in India`s national flag represents the potential of Blue Revolution or the Ocean Economy. That is how central the Ocean Economy is to us.

For those who live by the ocean, climate change is not an issue of debate but a serious threat to existence. We must assume leadership in our region and call for a more concerted and fair global action to address the challenge of climate change.

Our Indian Ocean Rim Association can be an important instrument for pursuing our vision for a sustainable and prosperous future in the region.

We often define regional groupings around landmass. The time has come for a strong grouping around the Indian Ocean. We will pursue this with new vigour in the years ahead.

There can be no better place to host the Secretariat for IORA than Mauritius. I am pleased that the Secretary General is from India.

Five, those who live in this region have the primary responsibility for peace, stability and prosperity in the Indian Ocean.

But, we recognize that there are other nations around the world, with strong interests and stakes in the region.

India is deeply engaged with them. We do this through dialogue, visits, exercises, capacity building and economic partnership.

Our goal is to seek a climate of trust and transparency; respect for international maritime rules and norms by all countries; sensitivity to each other`s interests; peaceful resolution of maritime issues; and increase in maritime cooperation.

We seek a future for Indian Ocean that lives up to the name of SAGAR – Security and Growth for All in the Region.

We should be inspired by Monsoon, which nurtures and connects us all in region.

We will strive to unite our region in partnership, as we were once in geography.

An Ocean that connects our world should become the pathway of peace and prosperity for all.

It is no coincidence that I speak of our hopes for the Indian Ocean Region in Mauritius.

Our partnership with Mauritius is among our strongest maritime relationships in this world.

Our partnership will grow. We will together build our capabilities. We will also train and patrol the seas together.

But, the foundation of this partnership is larger. It is our shared values and a common vision.

It is our willingness to look beyond our own domain to assume our responsibility for the region.

Mauritius is a key leader for a secure and sustainable future for the Indian Ocean. We in India are proud to be your partner.

Thank you very much, and wish you all the best.

***

Text of PM's Address to the National Assembly of Mauritius

Madam Speaker, Mrs. Santi Bai Hanoomanjee,

Prime Minister Sir Aneerood Jugnauth ji,

Leader of the Opposition Mr. Paul Berenger,

Members of the Assembly,

Greetings on the Independence Day of Mauritius!

It is always a great honour to speak to a National Assembly.

But, it is truly special to do so in the Assembly of a people with which we share the deepest bonds of history and culture; and, of a nation that we are proud to call a friend and a partner.

To be here with you in this Assembly on your National Day is a blessed moment for me.

On Independence Day, we not only celebrate liberty, but also remember the struggles and sacrifices that gave birth to freedom.

Today is also a special day in the history of India`s freedom struggle.

On this day, in 1930, Mahatma Gandhi began his Dandi March.

And, India took a great step forward to Independence.

Your National Day honours Mahatma Gandhi. And, it forms a deep bond of emotion between our two countries.

Today, I also pay homage to Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam for leading Mauritius to freedom, and for his vision and leadership in building our partnership.

I stand here today not just in celebration of our relationship, but also in admiration of your achievements.

There are many countries that have seen the joys of freedom fade into the gloom of lost direction.

In Mauritius, though, the hopes and promises of independence have become brighter by the passing day.

Mauritius has stood as a bright beacon of democracy.

This is a nation of a little over a million people of huge diversity living in great harmony.

It is a nation that has lived up to the words of its national anthem – one nation, one people, in peace, justice and liberty.

It is a nation moving firmly on the path of prosperity.

I have always admired how Mauritius has made smart choices; and encouraged hard work and enterprise.

It has gone from an agricultural economy to a middle income and diversified economy, tapping the opportunities in textile and tourism and now to offshore finance and information technology.

Generations ago, people from India charted an unknown course to an uncertain new life in an unfamiliar world.

As they built their lives, they lived on the memories of Himalaya and Ganga; through the rituals of Shivratri and Kavedee; the colours of Holi and the joy of Eid; through songs that welcomed the rains and dances that celebrated the harvest.

Today, they are proud citizens of Mauritius; thriving in the dynamism of their country; contributing to its success.

The island pulsates with the beauty of their preserved beliefs and culture. Yet, they blend easily into a way of life that has been formed by the winds and waves from different parts of the world.

This morning I went to Ganga Talao. I felt a personal connection that comes from the banks of Ganga in my parliamentary constituency - Benaras.

And, I understood the powerful links of heart that have endured time and distance in this magnificent land.

Today, these links form the firmest foundation of our relationship. They have created goodwill and warmth rarely seen in international relations. They have built an unbreakable chain of trust between us.

Today we are equally proud to have a relationship that speaks to the needs of our times. We relate to each other from the comfort of our shared democratic values. We are partners in our economic progress. We shoulder our shared responsibility to advance security in the Indian Ocean. We speak in one voice in the cause of the developing world and the future of our planet.

I see Mauritius as a leader in the Indian Ocean Community and as a bridge to Africa.

Your leadership is helping promote Hindi in the world. India thanks you for hosting the World Hindi Secretariat.

Madam Speaker,

This is the wealth of our inheritance. This is the richness of our partnership.

Last year, we had democratic transition in both countries. There are two things that are similar to both.

After a long time a single party won absolute majority in both countries.

And, in both Parliaments – this is very interesting – in both Parliaments, I have the honour to say “Madam Speaker”!

We know that democratic changes make no difference to the strength of our relationship.

What we now have, though, in both nations is a stable platform to speed up economic development.

Over the last nine months, we in India have moved with a clear vision of inclusive development. We have acted with speed, resolve, innovation and boldness to increase economic growth; reform our economy and transform the lives of our people; and create opportunities for the most excluded youth, the remotest farmer and the farthest village.

I am confident that under Prime Minister Jugnauth, development in Mauritius will become more impressive.

And, I can assure you that as always we will be with you – in support of your efforts and in joy for your success.

Yesterday, I told Prime Minister Jugnauth that we understand the importance of the offshore banking sector for your economy. We are conscious of its dependence on India. We will work together for our shared objective to avoid the abuse of our double taxation avoidance convention. I thank you for your support. But, I also assure you that we will do nothing to harm this vibrant sector of one of our closest strategic partners.

It has been a great privilege to be a development partner for Mauritius. We will always be ready to do more, in accordance with your wishes.

Yesterday, we announced a new Line of Credit of 500 million U.S. dollars for the development of civilian projects in Mauritius.

Prime Minister Vajpayee had supported the construction of the first cyber city in Mauritius in 2003. That became a symbol of our thriving economic partnership. I am pleased to announce our support for a second cyber city in Mauritius.

While we are on the subject of information technology, the e-health project in Mauritius is a laudable initiative. And, we would be happy to support its development.

We are honoured to be Mauritius`s partner for meeting its petroleum requirements. We are embarking on a new project to build the petroleum storage facility here. This will further strengthen the position of Mauritius as a regional economic hub.

Mauritius has shown great vision in the development of its ocean economy – from fishing to tourism.

India is also highly dependent on the seas. We are seeking to develop our marine economy and discover new possibilities. We are doing this in a sustainable manner that preserves the delicate ecosystem of our oceans. Indeed, the oceans hold vast potential to advance our prosperity and meet the challenges of the world.

That is why I consider the blue chakr in our national flag as a symbol of Blue Revolution; just as saffron represents Energy Revolution, white the Milk Revolution and, green the Energy Revolution.

This offers a great opportunity for cooperation between our two countries. We can learn from you. Together, we can better understand our marine ecology and the new opportunities. We can improve our ability to pursue more sustainable practices.

Our partnership must also cover the challenge of climate change. For India, it is a mission that we are pursuing on an entirely new scale and with a new sense of urgency. We have set an ambitious target of 100 Gigawatts of solar energy and 60 Gigawatts of wind energy by 2022. We will seek to dramatically increase our energy efficiency, which is the cleanest form of energy.

This is a choice that is driven by commitment to the future, but also by principles.

And for me, it is an Article of Faith.

We are the inheritors of an ancient tradition and wisdom that elevated preservation of nature to a sacred duty; that worships Earth as a mother; and, that treats reckless exploitation of nature as a crime.

Mauritius has been a leading international voice on climate change, not just as an advocate for island states, but for the sake of our collective future. We look forward to working with you for a more resolute global action against climate change.

We can pursue our dreams of a sustainable and prosperous future if we are confident about peace, security and stability in our world.

For India and Mauritius, our destinies are linked by the currents of the Indian Ocean.

Our security partnership has been a strong pillar of our relationship. And, it has stood the test of time.

It is founded on unmatched mutual confidence and trust.

It is rooted in the responsibility to each other that comes naturally from our friendship.

It stems from our shared commitment to peace and prosperity in the Indian Ocean Region.

As Mauritius seeks to make islands and waters safer; as you seek to secure your vast Exclusive Economic Zone, we will always be there for you.

We will deepen our cooperation. And, we will also do everything we can to strengthen your own capabilities.

Later today, I will have the honour to commission the Barracuda into the service of your National Coast Guard.

Today, proudly flying the flag of Mauritius, she will sail as a symbol of our partnership.

India is grateful for the faith you have placed in us.

And, as Mauritius assumes greater responsibility for securing this part of the Indian Ocean, we know that our region will be a safer place.

But, we share a broader vision for lasting stability and prosperity in the region.

We believe that all nations in our region should come together to shoulder our shared responsibility.

We seek a comprehensive partnership of closer security, economic, cultural, scientific and people-to-people ties in our region.

That is why we are grateful that Mauritius hosts the Indian Ocean Rim Association. Your leadership will remain important to realize our vision. Your steadfast support in global institutions gives us more strength to speak on our common interests. Now, as the United Nations reaches its 70th year at a time of great turmoil, we seek your support to reform this institution to make it more relevant to the needs of our age.

I want to thank Mauritius for the strong support for United Nations Resolution declaring June 21 as the International Day of Yoga. This resolution was passed by a record co-sponsorship in a record time frame.

This is a tribute to our shared heritage. I know you will celebrate it with fervor in Mauritius.

Madam Speaker,

In the life of a nation, as in the life of an individual, there is nothing more precious and satisfying than a true friend and well-wisher; nothing more comforting than his embrace; nothing more valuable than his trust; nothing more reassuring than his support; nothing more enriching than his partnership.

So, we are blessed to have your friendship. And, I always say that if there is one country that has full claims on us, it is Mauritius.

It a relationship of our hearts and sentiments. And, it will never be limited by boundaries.

We in India will do everything to nurture it.

This relationship will always be a source of great joy and strength to our two countries. And, it will also be of immense value to our region and our world.

Thank you for this honour. Once again, I give you my best wishes on this National Day.

Thank you very much.

***


PM’s Statement to the media in Mauritius

Prime Minister Sir Aneerood Jugnauth, members of the media

I sincerely thank you for your warm welcome and the extraordinary hospitality.

I am very grateful to you and the people of Mauritius for invitation as the Chief Guest of the National Day tomorrow.

It is an honour for the 1.25 billion people of India. They deeply value this relationship.

It flows from the depth of our hearts; and, from the deepest bonds of kinship.

We always stand in solidarity and support for each other. It comes naturally to us from our friendship, our shared values, and our common regional and global interests.

We are partners in our economic progress.

We have built a relationship of matchless strength and character.

It is no surprise that Prime Minister and I had an excellent meeting. The outcomes and decisions today are truly significant.

We discussed our shared interests in a safe and secure Indian Ocean and a stable and prosperous Indian Ocean Region. We value the leadership by Mauritius in this area.

Today, I was pleased to offer a concessional line of credit of 500 million U.S. dollars for civil infrastructure projects for Mauritius.

We also intend to quickly build the petroleum storage and bunkering facility in Mauritius. This will not only benefit Mauritius, but also reinforce its role as a regional hub.

A decade ago, India helped build the first cyber city in Mauritius. Its remarkable success reflects the strategic foresight of Mauritius in diversifying its economy. Today, we have offered support for construction of the second cyber city.

Our agreement today on the development of Agalega Island is a major stride in our cooperation in infrastructure sector. It demonstrates the depth of our mutual confidence.

Mauritius has shown great vision in the development of its Ocean Economy.

Our agreement on cooperation in the Ocean Economy is an important step in our scientific and economic partnership.

This will improve our understanding of marine ecology.

It will help us to develop new areas of ocean economy and, at the same time, follow more sustainable practices in using our blue assets.

Over the past few years, we have discussed revision of our Double Taxation Avoidance Convention. This is based on our shared objective of preventing abuse of the Convention, while enabling Mauritius to benefit fully from this arrangement. We have agreed to continue this discussion.

However, I have assured Prime Minister that we will do nothing to harm this critical sector of one of our strongest strategic partners in the world.

I also conveyed our deep appreciation for the support and cooperation offered by Mauritius on information exchange on taxation.

We should resume our discussions on Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

Prime Minister and I consider our security cooperation to be a cornerstone of our strategic partnership.

This is not only because of our responsibility to each other, but also because of our shared vision for our maritime neighbourhood.

I reiterated India`s commitment to cooperate with Mauritius in its efforts to secure its vast Exclusive Economic Zone.

We are also honoured to be the preferred partner for Mauritius in developing its security capabilities. Tomorrow, we will commission Barracuda into the service of the Coast Guard of Mauritius.

I assured Prime Minister of timely support in all areas, including delivery of other ships and equipment that Mauritius has ordered from India.

We agreed that broader regional cooperation will enhance peace and prosperity in our maritime region.

In this context, I thanked Prime Minister for the leadership shown by Mauritius in the Indian Ocean Rim Association and for hosting its Secretariat.

We are grateful for the support Mauritius has always given us in international forums. It gives India strength to speak on issues of common interests.

The adoption of June 21 as International Day of Yoga by the United Nations General Assembly by record sponsorship in record time is a tribute to our shared heritage.

We had strong meeting of minds on climate change. We are both committed to strong national action. We will also strengthen our bilateral cooperation and global partnership on addressing its challenges.

People-to-people contacts constitute the very foundation of our relationship.

We will continue to nurture it with highest level of priority. For Mauritius, we have decided to waive the fee or the Electronic Travel Authorisation.

We have also decided to launch a multi-disciplinary youth forum. This will connect our youth more; and, it will sow the seeds of strong partnerships in the future.

I am really grateful to Prime Minister Sir Jugnauth and his team for very productive and substantive meeting.

I am excited about the National Day celebrations, the privilege of speaking to the National Assembly and other very special events tomorrow.

To me, more than anything else, they reflect the richness of our relationship.

Once again, thank you, Mr. Prime Minister.

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