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PM Modi, President of Seychelles to jointly inaugurate projects at virtual event today

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PM Modi, President of Seychelles to jointly inaugurate projects at virtual event today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in a high-level virtual meeting on Thursday with President of Seychelles Wavel Ramkalawan and inaugurate a series of India-backed projects in Seychelles as part of New Delhi’s Indo-Pacific vision.

This will be Modi’s first interaction with Ramkalawan, who came to power after a historic victory in the October 2020 elections in Seychelles. His Linyon Democratic Seselwa party has a two-thirds majority in the Seychelles National Assembly.

President Ramkalawan is of Indian descent. It has its ancestral roots in the Gopalganj district of Bihar. He visited India in January 2018 as part of the PIO Parliamentarians’ Conference and also visited his native village, “ Parsauni ”. His cabinet has three ministers of Indian origin: Devika Vidot, Billy Rangasamy and Naadir Hassan.

Meanwhile, today’s high-level virtual event will see the joint inauguration of the new Seychelles Magistrates’ Court building, a new naval vessel, a one MW solar power plant, 10 HICDP (High Impact Community Development Projects).

The court of first instance building project is a historic project and will help bring together courts of first instance spread over different sites in Mahé in one building. It is located next to the Seychelles Supreme Court built by Chinese assistance in 2013.

The vessel to be inaugurated is a 48.9 meter fast patrol vessel built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineering Ltd. (GRSE), at a cost of Rs 100 crore. The vessel will be used for multi-purpose operations, such as patrolling, anti-smuggling, anti-poaching and search and rescue (SAR).

The FPV was delivered to the Seychelles with the assistance of the Indian Navy on March 16, 2021 and will be handed over by the Prime Minister to the Seychelles Coast Guard during the virtual event.

Dubbed “PS Zoroaster”, the FPV is the fourth ship offered by India to the Seychelles. Other vessels offered by India are the PS Topaz (2005), the PS Constant (2014), the Patrol Boat Hermes (2016).

These HICDP projects aim to implement small people-oriented projects that significantly contribute to socio-economic development and the improvement of local communities. Twenty-nine projects have so far been resumed for implementation under the MoU.

The one MW solar project is in addition to the installation of solar systems on 146 roofs of government buildings and homes that have already been completed and put into service.

During Prime Minister Modi’s tour of Indian Ocean countries in 2015, Seychelles was his first destination, after which he also visited Mauritius and Sri Lanka. It was the Prime Minister’s first visit to Seychelles after a 33-year hiatus. Prime Minister Modi expressed India’s vision of “SAGAR – Security and Growth for All in the Region” during this tour of the Indian Ocean countries.

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar was the first foreign minister to visit Seychelles after President Ramkalawan took office.

During his visit to Seychelles on November 27-28 last year, he carried a personal congratulatory message from Prime Minister Modi to the newly elected President of Seychelles.

Seychelles was also one of the first recipients of COVID-19 assistance from India.

Seychelles received more than four tonnes of life-saving medicine, including 50,000 HCQ tablets as part of the “SAGAR” mission in May last year.

It was the first African country to receive 50,000 doses of India’s Covishield vaccine on January 22 as part of India’s Vaccine Maitri initiative.

(With ANI inputs)

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