INS Sagardhwani, an oceanographic research vessel, embarked on a two-month-long Sagar Maitri (SM) Mission-4 from South Jetty, Southern Naval Command (SNC), Kochi.
- India’s Sagar Maitri Mission, by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), plays an important role in aligning with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visionary policy declaration, “Safety and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR).”
- AIM: Fostering stronger collaboration among nations bordering the Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) in the domains of socio-economics and scientific research, with a particular emphasis on oceanic exploration and research.
Sagar Maitri Mission:
- The Mission reflects India’s commitment to nurturing scientific diplomacy in the Indian Ocean region.
- Its vision is to closely align with the broader policy perspective laid out in the ‘Safety and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)’ declaration.
- This policy emphasizes on establishing India as a responsible player, focusing on the security and prosperity of the nations in the region.
- The primary objective of the mission is to encourage and strengthen cooperation between India and countries in the Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) by fostering socio-economic ties and promoting scientific research, especially in the vast realm of oceanic exploration.
Marine Diplomacy with ‘MAITRI’:
- ‘MAITRI,’ stands for ‘Marine and Allied Interdisciplinary Training and Research Initiative.’
- It falls within the framework of the Sagar Maitri initiative.
- The ‘MAITRI’ focuses on pioneering and maintaining long-term collaborations with IOR countries in the domain of Ocean Research and Development. This innovative approach signifies India’s commitment to scientific engagement and development.
- AIM: To solidify scientific partnerships and collaborations with eight IOR countries, namely Oman, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Myanmar.
Continuing the Journey – SM-4 and INS Sagardhwani:
- Past Expeditions: Previous missions under the Sagar Maitri Initiative have set their footprints in countries like Myanmar, Malaysia, and Singapore. These initiatives are part of India’s commitment to furthering scientific cooperation and diplomacy.
- The Role of INS Sagardhwani: This advanced vessel has been designed and developed by the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL), located in Kochi. Since its launch in July 1994, INS Sagardhwani has been a dedicated platform for conducting extensive oceanic research missions and playing a vital role in scientific exploration.
- SM-4: The Ongoing Mission: As of now, the ongoing Sagar Maitri Mission-4 (SM-4) has set its sights on scientific deployments in the Northern Arabian Sea. This mission seeks to initiate collaborative research programs in partnership with the Department of Marine Sciences & Fisheries at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman, signifying India’s dedication to advancing scientific diplomacy in the region.