The IXth Hydrographic Committee meeting was held at Mauritius recently (29 Jun to 01 Jul 2015). The Indian delegation was headed by Vice Admiral SK Jha, Chief Hydrographer to the Government of India. In addition, to reviewing various ongoing hydrographic projects, the Admiral also interacted with the senior Government functionaries including the Honourable President, Prime Minister, Cabinet rank Ministers and the Commissioner of Police, Mauritius Police Force to appraise them of the strong bilateral cooperation and also to share their views on developing Mauritius as a ocean based economy. The Government of Mauritius was particularly appreciative of the stellar work being undertaken by the Indian Naval Hydrographic team based at Mauritius since 2013 and the extensive survey being undertaken by Indian Naval hydrography ships. A significant outcome of this bilateral meeting was the renewal of the existing Memorandum of Understanding on hydrographic cooperation for the next five years. The MoU would pave way for continued cooperation between the two countries and assist Mauritius in further consolidating its hydrographic organisation.
India and Mauritius have shared strong maritime bonds over the years with myriad areas of mutual cooperation. Hydrography has emerged as one of the strongest pillars of this bilateral engagement and has been a significant source of capacity and capability building for Mauritius. Whilst, the Indian Navy has been rendering hydrographic assistance to Mauritius since the 1990s, it is through a landmark MoU inked in 2005 that the two countries formalized the mechanism of hydrographic cooperation which included periodic survey by Indian Naval ships to chart the vast Mauritian EEZ and various capacity building measures including setting up of a Mauritian hydrographic unit and skill development of Mauritian hydrographers.
Since 2005, the two countries have periodically reviewed the progress and charted a future course of action through conduct of a Joint Indo – Mauritian committee meeting on hydrography, hosted alternately by the two Governments.