India-Mauritius: President Murmu’s maiden State Visit boost diplomatic and cultural ties

(The President of India, Smt. Droupadi Murmu meeting with the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Mr. Pravind Jugnauth in Mauritius on March 11, 2024 / Photo: PIB)

The President of India, Droupadi Murmu recently concluded her first state visit to Mauritius. She had reached Mauritius on March 11 and was received by the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Kumar Jugnauth along with members of his Cabinet and senior Mauritian dignitaries at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport upon arrival with full state honours.

In her first engagement of the day, President Droupadi Murmu met the President of Mauritius, Prithvirajsing Roopun at State House, Le Reduit. The two leaders discussed ways to further strengthen the unique and multi-faceted India-Mauritius relationship. President Murmu also visited the Ayurvedic Garden which was set up in the grounds of the State House last year. Later, the President visited Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden, Pamplemousses and laid a wreath at the Samadhi of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam and Sir Anerood Jugnauth.

On March 12, the President participated as Chief Guest in the National Day celebrations of Mauritius. The President also visited the Mahatma Gandhi Institute (MGI), Moka. She paid floral tributes at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi located on the campus of the Institute, which was established in 1970 as a joint initiative of the Governments of India and Mauritius. MGI is a leading institution promoting and propagating Indian arts, culture and languages in Mauritius. Addressing an enthusiastic gathering at the Institute,  the President said that the remarkable strides made by Indian diaspora in Mauritius is a matter of pride not only for us in India, but an example worth emulating for Indians around the world. She added that our decades-long development partnership is a shining example of India’s commitment to contribute towards the developmental journey of Mauritius, and to enhance the quality of life for common people in Mauritius. The President encouraged the Mahatma Gandhi Institute to provide more avenues for the Mauritian youth to engage with India – not only culturally and linguistically, but also by providing them with educational and business opportunities.

The President announced the extension of eligibility of Overseas Indian Citizenship for Indian-origin Mauritians of the 7th generation, which will allow more young Mauritians to reconnect with the land of their ancestors. During her visit to MGI, President Murmu also viewed some of the rare archival records preserved at the Institute, which document the arrival of the first Indian indentured laborers in the country.

On the concluding day (March 13, 2024) of three-day State Visit to Mauritius, the President of India, led delegation-level talks with Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth of Mauritius. They reaffirmed their commitment to further deepen the long-standing partnership between the two countries. The two leaders also witnessed the exchange of 4 agreements. These include

·        MoU between International Financial Services Centres Authority (GIFT City) and Financial Services Commission, Mauritius;

·        MoU between Public Service Commission, Mauritius and Union Public Service Commission;

·        Protocol to amend the India-Mauritius Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) to make it compliant with Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Minimum Standards;

·        MoU between Central Bureau of Investigation, India and the Independent Commission Against Corruption of Mauritius.

On the occasion, President Murmu and Prime Minister Jugnauth virtually inaugurated 14 community development projects funded by the Government of India, and laid the foundation stone for the new Forensic Science Laboratory, also being set up with Indian assistance.

Earlier in the morning, the President visited Aapravasi Ghat which holds great significance, especially for the descendants of the first indentured workers from India who arrived there nearly two centuries ago.  She also visited the International Slavery Museum. Before leaving Mauritius, the President also offered prayers to Mangalmurti Mahadev at the sacred Ganga Talao.

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