India will present a Fast Patrol Vessel worst 100 crore rupees to the Seychelles Coast Guard in a virtual event on Thursday (8 April 2021), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Seychelles new President Vakta Ramkalwan.
The 48.9 meter fast patrol vessel built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineering will be used for multi-purpose operations such as patrolling, anti-smuggling, poaching and search and rescue (SAR).
The vessel has been delivered to the Seychelles on 16 March and will be officially handed over to the Seychelles Coast Guard during a virtual event scheduled to take place at 5 pm.
The Fast Patrol Vessel will be the fourth ship gifted to Seychelles by India and is named PS Zoroaster. Other ships gifted by India include PS Pukhraj (2005), PS Constant (2014), Patrol Boat Hermes (2016).
In particular, more than 50% of Seychelles’ marine and air assets and about 70% of capacity development in terms of training, exercise and human resource expertise are provided by India.
Even development comes as threats such as piracy, illegal fishing and Chinese presence have increased in the Indian Ocean.
India will also hand over a 1 MW solar power plant at Romainville Island in Seychelles. The plant has been completed as part of the ‘Solar Photovoltaic Democratization Project’ being implemented in Seychelles by the Government of India under grant-in-aid. The 1 MW solar plant project will generate about 1.4 million units of electricity, meeting the power consumption of about 400 Seychello homes in a year.
A press release from the Ministry of External Affairs of India stated, “Seychelles holds a central position in the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘SAGAR’ – ‘Security and development in all fields.’ The role of Seychelles as a reliable partner to meet its infrastructural, developmental and security needs and evidences the deep and friendly relations between the people of India and the Seychelles. “
In addition to handing over the patrol boat and solar power plant, the two sides will jointly inaugurate the new Magistrate Court building in 10 high-impact community development projects in Seychelles. The construction of the new magistrate building in the capital city is India’s first major civil infrastructure project in Victoria TGEis Seychelles, built with grant-in-aid. This building brings together the magistrate courts spread over different places in Mahe in one building. It is spread over eight floors, spread over three floors, waiting areas for the public and parking spaces for court users, multi-functional conference rooms and other such facilities.
Prime Minister Modi will have his first conversation with Seychelles President Wavell Ramclavan at Thursday’s virtual event. President Wavell, who is of Indian origin with ancestral origin in Gopalganj district of Bihar, came to power in October 2020. He visited India in January 2018 as a part of the PIO MP Conference and also visited his native village ‘Parsauni’.
India is expanding its engagement with the Seychelles with EAM S Jaishankar in November 2020, becoming the first foreign minister to undertake the visit after Ramlakhan took office.
PM Modi visited the country in 2015, which was the first Prime Minister’s visit from India in 33 years.