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India & Maldives

India & Maldives

UPSC CSE – SYLLABUS – GS – 3- Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.

Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.

Linkages between development and spread of extremism.

India & Maldives

India and Maldives enjoy close ties of friendship and cooperation and share a common destiny. Peace and stability in Maldives is of utmost importance to India and the region.

  Indian intervention: On November 3, 1988, when mercenaries attacked the Maldives, India was the first to respond.In 2004, when the tsunami hit Maldives, Indian naval ships were despatched to assist.During the last government’s term, when there was the Male water crisis. The Indian Naval and Air Force vessels delivered water within hours.  

India has come to the aid of Maldives during critical situations like Natural disasters. Moreover, bilateral relations have further been strengthened through the exchange of high level visits in recent times.

However, this does not mean there have not been any issues in the relationship.


  •  The relationship indeed fluctuated and vital concerns rose during the President ship of Abdulla Yameen.
  •  There were concerns that Maldives was inching closer towards and under the clout of China.
  •  This had security concerns for India considering the vital position of Maldives in the Indian Ocean and China’s assertive posture in the South China sea.
  • Now with the new government the relationship is expected to soar once again. This is evident from the range of co-operations developed off-late.

Areas of cooperation:

  • The generous development assistance provided by the Indian government is deeply appreciated by the people of the Maldives. It is going into people-oriented projects like providing fresh water, sanitation, sewerage.
  • Over the years, India has extended economic and technical assistance to Maldives including in the areas of health, education, human resource development, infrastructure development, capacity building.
  • Building roads and moving the Male commercial harbour to Thilafushi [island west of Male] are huge projects that are going to be major symbols of cooperation between the two countries.
  • Chinese loans for projects account for around 70% of the Maldives’ national debt, and New Delhi’s economic help outreach is key to helping Male break free of Beijing’s “debt-for-leverage” model of diplomacy
  • New Delhi and Malé have agreed on the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the region.
  • They will enhance maritime security in the region through “coordinated patrolling and aerial surveillance, exchange of information and capacity building.
  • The Maldives is now having an India First” policy and India is having a Neighbourhood policy, both these policies complement one another and will carry the relationship forward.

India should continue to invest in socio-economic programmes in Maldives. It should also promote transparency and progressive investments there.

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Though India and Maldives have enjoyed a warm relationship over the years, occasional fluctuations have occurred. Examine. How has the cooperation progressed in the recent years?